Pro Sports Teams Turn to Computer Vision to Vet Their Sponsors
PERSPECTIVES

Pro Sports Teams Turn to Computer Vision

Why are new swaths of fast data changing the landscape for athletes, coaches, and fans? To dig in, we partnered with SiliconANGLE to sit down with sports technology leaders and talk about the intersection of data, sports, and technology. Follow along with our video series, “SportsData Silicon Valley”, as we explore sports analytics thought leadership! (Watch the series premiere here)


Can computer vision help sports teams and their sponsors do business better?

The next time that you watch a professional sports event—such as a basketball game, baseball game, hockey match, or soccer match—try to count how many advertisements are displayed during the event. It’s probably not just one or two! In fact, pro sports teams often have their sponsors spread across multiple points.

Whether on jerseys, shot clocks, stadium walls, press tables, or other places, sports sponsorships are finding new and clever ways to stay in front of the eyes of fans. But, the true value of these sponsorships has never been measured. The data had existed in silos across broadcast TV and streaming. No one had even thought about adding the value of social media into the equation.

That’s no longer the case. GumGum, an applied computer vision company based in Santa Monica, California, builds algorithms to help publishers and sports brands find the true “dollars and cents” value of their sponsorship investment. Brian Kim, Senior Vice President, Product at GumGum is helping lead the charge. We sat down with Brian to talk about his work. Find out his insights below!

Key Points:

  • GumGum was founded in 2008 as an artificial intelligence company with a specialization in computer vision.
  • Advancements in machine learning and AI have fueled the rise of computer vision as a tool to drive business value.
  • Full stack vertical solutions using computer vision give sports brands, agencies, and publishers the ability to create more targeted campaigns.

Key Points:

  • In the past, analysts used to hand-time the duration and size of brand placements during a sports event to calculate the value of sponsorship.
  • Computer vision could automate this process while providing more accuracy and efficiency, down to an exact pixel size.
  • Social media is a huge gap that has yet to be worked in to media valuations for sports sponsorships.

Key Points:

  • Sports brands and advertisement publishers alike have been surprised by the value unlocked by computer vision.
  • Instead of waiting six to eight weeks for data about sports sponsorships, this new technology returns the same data in only a week or less.
  • Fast data could change the sponsorship model from annual deals to shorter cycle deals.

Starting Conversations that Were Never Told Before

When deals are made, hands are shaken, and money is exchanged, no one wants to end up with the short end of the stick. Professional sports teams are looking to promote their brands while protecting their reputation with fans and stakeholders. Third-party companies are looking to raise their visibility while providing a clear return on their investment.

GumGum Sports is using computer vision to help agencies, sports brands, and publishers, for the first time talk about the true value of media valuations for sports sponsorships.


Sports technology is transforming the way that athletes train and coaches coach through the power of data and sports analytics.


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