With March Madness in Full Swing, How is IoT Changing the Game?

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2Q 2022 | IN-6500

March Madness is a popular time of year, especially in the United States, and this insight gives perspective on how IoT is affecting the game of basketball.

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Competitive Advantages of IoT


The Internet of Things (IoT) impacts almost every industry and that doesn’t stop short of the sports industry. Teams and players are constantly looking for any competitive advantage that they can gain and IoT can offer one. The hardware integration spans from placing vibration sensors on the rim or backboard to wearables for players under their jerseys or in their shoes to even sensors embedded into the floor. There will never be too much data collected for the analytical minds in the game of basketball, and it is simply a matter of implementing hardware that can effectively collect data without affecting gameplay.

Information Everywhere


The implementation of IoT and all of the data that is collected surrounding the game of basketball has a tremendous impact on how the game is played, as well as how it is watched. When players are doing their individual workouts, they will use hoops that have vibration sensors built into them to see where their shot is hitting the rim or backboard and basketballs that have trackers to collect data on the rotation and revolution of each shot. Teams are using data collected by wearables to track biometric data of their players to understand their fitness level throughout a game and at what levels they are performing their best. Professional teams and high-level college teams are also using advanced biometric data for injury prevention for their players. Lastly, referees are benefitting from the sensors that are being embedded into courts to make more accurate calls and keep the game flowing smoothly. For example, the sensors may be on the three-point line or on the boundaries to help referees to know if the lines were stepped on when they do not have the angle to see. The first use cases of IoT in basketball are sensors in the actual basketball and sensors collecting biometric data from the players, but the other use cases mentioned will soon be implemented.

Data Transparency Will Have a Large Impact on Sports Viewership


March Madness brings together millions of people each year in hopes of making the perfect bracket and winning millions of dollars. According to the NCAA, people have roughly a one in 120 billion chance to fill out the perfect bracket. This year, there was over seventeen million brackets filled out, yet not one made it through the second round of games. In addition to the brackets, sports betting during the tournament is also at or near its peak during this part of the year. ABI Research recommends providing as much data transparency as possible to the public to allow for viewers to make data-driven decisions when making brackets or placing sports bets.

In addition to the data used by viewers before games, it is also desirable for some viewers to be able to view live data to be more immersed in the game. Fans of high-level sports teams are very passionate about their teams and can even have an influence on the decisions that teams make. Social media has had a large impact on the sports world and analytics from the game spark many conversations about the play of teams and individual players, which increases viewership and interest in the game. Extensive data collection is done by teams and third-party analytics companies provide great opportunities for subscription-based services to be provided by the team or third-party companies for fans to get exclusive access to. Garnering interest in the sport in as many ways as possible is beneficial for all parties involved in the game of basketball as any interest will continue to grow revenues. It will be important for networks broadcasting the games as well as individual teams to invest in ways to provide applications that are simple and effective for fans to use.



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