Four key themes we spotted at the Sports Loft Showcase 2023
In the heart of London, the second Sports Loft Showcase in May brought together an assembly of visionary companies and influential figures from the sports, media and entertainment sectors. As part of the event, each Sports Loft member company took the stage to deliver a compelling 10-minute presentation that set out their proposition and offered a clear vision for how they're contributing to the future of our industry. Below, we've pulled together our reflections on the day.
1. Innovators don't stop innovating
Just 12 months on from the first Sports Loft Showcase, every member company has raised the bar, incorporating new features into their products, forging impressive partnerships, and securing business from the biggest names in the industry. This was not lost on the audience. Over lunch after the presentations, one of the most frequently heard comments was how much these companies have achieved in the last year. They just keep pushing.
2. AI is a supercharger
A number of our member companies showcased the use of AI in solving real industry challenges. Satisfi Labs and Move.ai have built their core businesses on artificial intelligence, using it to tackle two very different issues. Others are working with AI to enhance their existing offerings, such as Spalk automatically mixing audio from its remote commentators, Greenfly using AI to tag content and distribute it to the right people, and FEVO enabling marketers to quickly create AI-generated ticketing offers. As with anything, providing utility is key.
3. Women's sports can capitalise on technology
Often open to innovation and relatively free from the burden of legacy tech systems, women's sports organisations present an exciting arena for our member companies – and a number of the talks featured case studies in the space. In the US, womens’ teams are utilising FEVO to sell-out vast stadiums. Greenfly is helping foster the growth of female superstars and aiding in the cultivation of their personal brands. And Pumpjack Dataworks can help organisations to better understand and cater to their emerging fanbases, using data analysis. Ultimately, women's sports teams and leagues have the opportunity to build innovation into their brand identities, and craft a reputation of being the first to apply new tech – while also benefitting commercially.
4. Funding is out there (but it's tough to secure)
Contrary to what you might read on Twitter or LinkedIn, the availability of VC funding hasn't completely dried up. Recent fundraising rounds by Sports Loft member companies, including Tagboard and Covatic, serve as evidence of this. These successful raises highlight that funding is indeed out there for businesses that possess a compelling narrative – one that includes having tangible revenue streams, an established and growing client base, and an exhilarating vision for the future.
That's a wrap
Sports Loft isn't an events company. So, the Showcase exists only to serve our member companies and the wider sports ecosystem. To that end, the 2023 edition of the event served as a platform for industry leaders to come together, share insights, and shape the future of sports technology. If you couldn't attend this year's event but would like to be a part of the excitement next year, don't hesitate to get in touch. We value your participation and are always eager to welcome new voices to the conversation.
Furthermore, if you know someone who should be part of this gathering of innovators and thought leaders, we would love to hear your recommendations. Help us expand our network and ensure a diverse and enriching experience for all attendees.
The discussions and presentations at the Sports Loft Showcase highlighted not only the key topics above but also other emerging macro trends and exciting developments in the industry. If something else caught your eye or sparked your interest during the event, share your thoughts with us. We thrive on the exchange of ideas and look forward to continuing the dialogue beyond the Showcase.