How you can use IoT and data to increase sports profitability | EY

“I’ve been in the sport for 20 years, and professional cycling is the worst business model ever,” says Graham Bartlett, CEO of Velon. “It’s not working. To do something about it, we created Velon.”

Why does professional cycling produce so little? Worldwide, commercial cycling revenues are only $600 millionReverse 8.2 billion US dollars For the NFL (American Football League in the United States) and 16.8 billion US dollars For the five biggest European football competitions together.

The big difference from other sports is that they organize large events with tickets sold in one place. Cycling, where races are held on public roads, does not have this luxury. Without similar infrastructure, it is difficult for cycling to generate income from other sports.

Ironically, the most die-hard fans, the people waiting along the way, miss the most. Less involved fans who follow the race via radio or television get a more complete picture of the race. Fans along the way just glance at the riders as they pass by.

However, cycling has its own strengths: professional cyclists generate vast amounts of data, from heart rate to riding speed and information about the terrain they ride. If this data is recorded correctly, it provides a great opportunity to intensely engage cycling fans with their favorite teams and riders.

Velon has direct access to these capabilities, as the teams the organization represents generate terabytes of information each year. Velon’s idea was to capture this data, process it and make it available to the global cycling audience of 565 million people.

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“We faced a fascinating problem,” says Bartlett. “How can we send thousands of data sets per second from a live sporting event going from Bologna to Rome, across the Alps or wherever.” “Except for the people at EY, almost everyone said: ‘Forget it. You are crazy. Maybe it would work on the field, but in a cycling race where 200 kilometers are covered every day? There’s no chance.’ And the EY team looked at it and said, ‘This is a great IoT challenge.’

If this insane challenge can be overcome, EY and Velon can create a best-in-class platform that connects fans around the world directly to their favorite sport and lays the foundation for effective commercial cycling.

Amber Webster

 "Freelance zombie fanatic. Devoted web advocate. Analyst. Writer. Coffee fanatic. Travelaholic. Proud food aficionado."

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