Technology and Sports essay

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The continuous invention of technology has played a significant role in the emancipation of sports objectives. This fact has been revealed in varied of fields of sports where the uptake of technology has led to visible changes. Through technological applications different sports packages have been developed with an aim of making the sporting experience become more efficient. This is especially relevant in an era where the inclusion of information technology is a major drive in the evolution of sporting capabilities. In essence, the application of information technology over time in the field of sports has led to an improvement in the measurement of team performance variables, formulation of new reporting strategies, and measurement of feedback variables.

The most conspicuous form of information technology application in sports is the inception of the print media. Since, the beginning of print media newspapers became the key domain for reporting sports events. The act of reporting essentially leads to the preservation of essential sporting information, which can be accessed at a later date. It is important to note that print media essentially report on the events after they have occurred while electronic media reports on present status of events (Stoldt, Dittmore & Branvold 67). This contributes to the preservation of critical sports information, which can be accessed at a later date for training purposes. In addition, the print media such as newspapers have essentially led to the sensitization of sporting activities towards members of the vast population. The print media plays a significant role in the delivery of critical sporting information at local level (Stoldt, Dittmore & Branvold 67). This has led to the creation of a historical setting for some forms of sports- Stoldt, Dittmore and Branvold observe that “They pointed to the depth of game coverage and variety of sports covered…” (67).

Moreover, the contribution of print media has led to the development of public relations platform specifically focusing on team related activities. Stoldt, Dittmore and Branvold remark that, “Sport public relations professionals often do well to focus on smaller daily and weekly newspapers that may be more community-based and do not focus on larger stories for which they do not have the resources” (68). Print media have also enabled the establishment of sporting teams as important franchise establishments. Through expansion and relocation of team specific information for city based magazines, teams in those cities have been able to develop into franchise establishments, for instance, St. Louis in Phoenix since 1988 (Stoldt, Dittmore & Branvold 67). This has formed a critical marketing domain for the sports industry.

The second most critical technological invention in the sporting domain was the enhancement of broadcasting capabilities through the use of radio. In essence, the relationship of sports with radio dates back to the early innovations of commercial broadcasting (Raney & Bryant xii). Radio formed a fundamental technological element in the dissemination of important sporting information to the numerous fans who were then followers to certain forms of sports, for instance, boxing. Hence, through radio the fans were in a position to get on spot information without the need to receive information at a later date as was previously the trend with print media. Raney and Bryant remark that, “The coverage of sports on radio offers both a narrative of sports radio’s history – from KDKA’a airing of prize fights in the 1920s to XM Satellite’s latest MLB deal – and an update overview of the scholarly investigations into that history” (xii). This elementally gave sports a more lively description and marked the transition of sporting events from passive to active perception.

Furthermore, the utilization of radio helped to develop a deeper historical aspect of sports activities by assigning them important timelines, which could later be used for review purposes.  Raney & Bryant observe that, “However, it was with the emerging electronic medium of radio that sports really caught fire. The commercial birth of radio is typically dated 1920” (30). The continuous enhancement of the radio technology later led to incorporation of similar strategies in sports, which elevated the spirit of sports among the population. In the 1970s, the radio industry fundamentally changed through the adoption of FM radio replacing the older AM band introducing a higher fidelity signal (Raney & Bryant 123). This newly adopted higher fidelity signal improved the clarity of sports news transmission, which further deepened people’s association with sporting activities. This also led to development of new career opportunities in sports announcement and critical analysis. As Raney and Bryant remark “The strong relationship between baseball radio announcers and the fans has not diminished in the years since McNamee’s era” (122)

The third entrance into the sporting technological domain was the invention of the television. The onset of the television introduced graphical components into the sports arena making the experience of sports become more enhanced. Television broadcasting stations became the preferred mode of transmitting important sports information. After 1970, the growth of cable television replaced broadcast stations leading to the popularity of programs such as ESPN and HBO, while the delivery of cable television grew from 19.9% of total U.S households viewing television in 1980 to 70% by the end of 2003 (Stoldt, Dittmore & Branvold 70). Hence, the onset of the television essentially marked the elevation of people’s passion towards sports, consequently increasing the number of sports fans. “The importance of cable and satellite to sports has developed as rapidly as the saturation of the networks” (Stoldt, Dittmore & Branvold 69). This marks the important role of television in growing the sports industry potential.

Finally, the onset of new media in the form of internet based communications changed the sporting landscape in a great way. New media include communication platforms that are internet based, which range from traditional website tools, electronic commerce systems, social networking sites (e.g. twitter, my space, facebook), to website sporting blogs (Pedersen, Parks, Quarterman & Thibault 279). These elevated the experience of sports to a virtual domain where sports fun globally interact and exchange ideas on their favorite teams. It has been estimated that by 2009 there were 1.7 billion people worldwide accessing the internet (Pedersen, Parks, Quarterman & Thibault 279). Hence, the internet has the highest impact in enhancing the sportsman’s experience. Many of the users go online have been established to frequent look for sports information from sporting websites that include ESPN.com, FoxSports.com, Sportsline.com, NBCSports.com, SportingNews.com, Sports.Yahoo.com, and NFL.com (Pedersen, Parks, Quarterman & Thibault 279). These sites have essentially served to as a marketing bay for sports teams and sporting personalities. In addition, they have also served as a mode of generation revenue for the sporting activities.

It is important to note that the application of information technology over time in the field of sports has led to an improvement in the measurement of team performance variables, formulation of new reporting strategies, and measurement of feedback variables. As a result, there has been a massive transformation seen in terms of sports and media relationship through print media, radio, television, and the World Wide Web. This has changed the experience in sporting events immensely. For instance, through the internet, the utilization of webcasts and sports blogs has led to the development of a virtual sports experience. In essence, technology has benefited the sports industry significantly.

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