25 May 2019 Sport, parks, & leisure: daily news and jobs
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Leisure Management - Product Innovation


Product Innovation

Lauren Heath-Jones takes a look at the latest technology and innovation currently making waves across the world of sport

Lauren Heath-Jones, Leisure Media

Batfast makes cricket more accessible, says former professional cricketer Runish Gudhka


Runish Gudhka, co-founder of Batfast and former cricketer

Batfast, a UK-based sports simulation company, has created an innovative cricket simulator that is designed to increase entry-level participation in the sport.

Founded by childhood friends Jignesh Patel and Runish Gudhka – a former international Kenyan cricketer – Batfast aims to make cricket accessible for players of all ages and abilities.

Suitable for both entertainment and training purposes, the immersive simulators are built to a small footprint and feature a large projector screen displaying a virtual bowler, which can be customised to feature real-life players.

Players can adjust the speed, pitch and direction of the ball via a phone or tablet.

“Across the UK and globally, player participation in sports is declining while interest and the number of fans is increasing,” says Batfast co-founder Runish Gudhka.

“The solution is to make playing sport simpler and more accessible. We’re aiming to inspire people to play more regularly.”

Sport-kit keyword: BATFAST


Players can adjust the speed, pitch and direction of the ball

Live streaming can help grassroots sports generate revenue, explains Dave Roe


Dave Roe, director of FilmMyMatch

Specialist sports filming company FilmMyMatch is helping to raise awareness and boost revenue for grassroots sports by providing affordable live streaming opportunities for sporting organisations and teams across the UK.

Matches are captured using mobile HI-POD equipment, which is capable of filming 25ft (7.6m) above pitch-level, offering an optimal view of the action unfolding on the pitch. The match footage is then uploaded to the FilmMyMatch online sharing platform where it can be viewed, shared and downloaded.

The company also offers a broadcasting service allowing teams to stream games live using multiple 4G networks.

Other services include live commentary and graphics that enable organisations to deliver high-quality live productions.

“There’s a real buzz around live streaming and its future potential, in terms of team and sport awareness and the revenue it can help generate, which can be reinvested to drive further growth,” said Dave Roe, director of FilmMyMatch.

Sport-kit keyword: FILMMYMATCH


Matches can be filmed from up to 25ft above the pitch

Rewards4 meets demand for fan loyalty initiatives, according to Ian Lancaster


Rewards4 director and co-founder Tom Cowgill

null,St Helens RFC has partnered with Rewards4, a sport-based rewards programme, to launch the Rewards4Rugby League programme, a new loyalty initiative to reward its fan base.

Designed specifically to help fans save money, Rewards4 has more than 4,500 brand partners that allow fans to collect points on their everyday shopping. These points can then be redeemed against club purchases including match tickets, season tickets and merchandise.

This will be the first time Saints fans will be rewarded for money spent outside of the club.

Dave Hutchinson, general manager of St Helens RFC, comments: “This will allow us to step up our offering, delivering the best sports-based rewards programme to our fans, rewarding their loyalty and helping them save money on purchases they are already making.”

“It was so simple to integrate Rewards4’s platform into our membership programme, and the fact that it’s free for both us and our fans meant there were no barriers to entry,” he concludes.

Director and co-founder of Rewards4 Tom Cowgill says: “Our platform provides clubs with a bespoke rewards and loyalty solution that requires little or no resource from the club.”

Sport-kit keyword: REWARDS4


Saints fans will be able to redeem points on club purchases

Smart glass sports floor is the future, says Dean Averies


Dean Averies is director of Beard Oxford

Beard, an Oxford-based construction firm, has installed an innovative smart flooring system at the University of Oxford’s new multi-million pound Acer Nethercott sports centre.

Enabled by embedded LED lights, the smart floor can be adapted to any sport, with users able to change its markings at just the flick of a switch, only illuminating the markings when needed.

The solution is fully customisable and can incorporate specific logos, branding and colour schemes.

Working closely with hi-tech sports floor specialist ASB, Beard installed the 700sq m (7,535sq ft) multi-sport performance flooring over a period of six weeks.

“We’re delighted to have been involved in the construction of this cutting-edge sports hall, which is a first of its kind in the country,” says Dean Averies, director of Beard Oxford.

“As specialists in the delivery of sports centres, we believe these smart glass sports floors are the way of the future, offering a sustainable hi-tech solution that outperforms traditional sports flooring,” he adds.

Sport-kit keyword: BEARD


The smart floor’s markings can be changed in an instant

Originally published in Sports Management 2018 issue 3
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