2013 International CES Recap 2017-07-12T07:31:23+00:00
STATE OF SPORTS AND FITNESS TECHNOLOGY

Thanks to electronic sensors, the Internet and mobile devices, the sports and fitness high tech industry has, in the past two years, literally skyrocketed.

Our 2013 Sports and Tech Fitness Conference was an energetic look at where this nascent industry is headed and how companies can take advantage of the trajectory.

Jennifer Jolly, host of USA Today’s TECH NOW, opened this year’s conference with a introduction to how innovative thinking and technology has transformed the sports and fitness world and made the challenge of keeping fit much more comprehensible, accessible and, most importantly, enjoyable.

OUR BODIES, OUR DATA

Lifestyle monitoring: who would have imagined just a few years ago the life changing potential of bringing technology to the personal level? Though monitoring devices have been around for decades, the infusion of capital and media attention has led to an explosion of companies eager to come up with products that encourage knowledge and awareness of how our bodies work, how fit we are and what each of us has to do to improve and maintain a lifestyle of fitness.

Whether personal devices, exercise equipment in clubs and schools, even apps for today’s smartphones, conference participants acknowledged that the explosion of companies competing for this important segment of the fitness industry and the attention and awareness that has been the result has been beneficial for all

TRAINERS ON USING TECH

Jennifer Jolly returned to host a panel consisting of elite trainers/athletes on how they actually use the data that technology can now provide. We are able to get all varieties of information relevant to our fitness activity, whether it be training or walking up some stairs, but what does it all mean? How do we comprehend all the data that technology can provide for us and translate it into a language that we can utilize to our benefit?

LUNCHEON KEYNOTE: CHRISTOPHER NOWINSKI
CASTING A WIDER NET

Brain trauma in competitive sports has become national headline news as the long term effects of concussions, including premature fatalities, have increasingly been delineated in the past couple of years. Introducing our Luncheon Keynote Speaker, NFL Quarterback
Matt Hasselbeck welcomed Christopher Nowinski, Founder of the Sports Legacy Institute, the organization that leads the charge in informing and attempting to deal with this national health crisis. A former Harvard football player and professional wrestler, Chris discussed the obstacles confronting the attempt to deal with this increasingly apparent crisis, and how companies are beginning to use technology to monitor and address this threat that athletes around the world are facing. Through education and the development of new equipment designed to prevent these silent though life changing injuries, the Sports Legacy Institute is working closely with these companies to finally address this critical issue.

IT TAKES A VILLAGE

Sports and Fitness, though competitive in nature has, at the same time, always involved sharing, whether it be team involvement, common experiences, support and advice. Sports can be tribal: runners, skiers, workout enthusiasts, athletes of every undertaking discover an easy bond with like-minded individuals.

With an exploding Sports and Fitness Tech industry, participants gathered to discuss the benefits to everyone of sharing marketing strategies, branding opportunities, potential partnerships, not only consumers but providers as well.

CROWDSOURCING, COMMUNITY AND FITNESS
Everybody wants to be fit, but finding the motivation to get there can be difficult for many. Companies may have great products but how do they excite consumers and generate participation? In a time where we are suddenly besieged by social media, panelists described how their companies are taking advantage of new platforms of engagement with potential customers, whether it be social communities, rewards based activities, game playing, crowdsourcing, etc, i.e. thinking “outside of the box” to bring potential customers to their products.
HIGH-TECH vs HIGH-TOUCH

Nobody can disagree that technology has revolutionized all of our lives in many different ways, both seen and unseen. However, the concept of the “intoxication” of technology has been around for more than a decade, and nowhere is it more apparent than at the Consumer Electronics Show. Literally miles of alluring products and exhibits, certainly mind-boggling, but what part does the human component play?

In the Sports and Fitness arena, the technology is advancing at a staggering pace but what does it mean for consumers? Author and consultant Denise Yohn led this panel as participants illustrated some of this year’s new concepts and products, discussed how people are learning to incorporate these products into their daily lives and, ultimately, how beneficial technology can be when applied to lifestyle.

FITPICKS: WHICH PRODUCTS GET TO MARKET AND WHY

There is no shortage of discussion as to everything that technology has brought to the Sports and Fitness industry; obviously the market is expanding exponentially. However, just because you have the technology, just because you have the product, is no guarantee that it will succeed in the marketplace. How do people discover your product, how do they learn about it, and how do they choose to buy it?

Denise Yohn introduced Ian Andes, President of 4iiii Innovations who discussed the sales and marketing aspect of introducing a new product to the industry. If a fabulous product sits in a warehouse, what’s the point? How do you get it out of the warehouse and to the consumer?

CLOSING KEYNOTE: MICHAEL YANG
PICKING THE WINNERS
What do investors look for? What do venture capitalists think of when they look at these emerging technologies, at these emerging companies and entrepreneurs? What is important to them as they make their own “financial bets?” Michael Yang, Partner and Managing Director of Comcast Ventures, introduced the perspective of the investor: in a sea of potential investments, why is the choice made to invest in a particular product and why is the choice made now? What do investors see in the integration of fitness and mobile technologies and what part does the new social networking play? In conclusion, he introduced some of the more recent newcomers to the world of Sports and Fitness Tech? Which ones will become winners?
See you in 2014. It’s not too early to contact us about your thoughts on conference sessions and exhibiting.