Posted on October 08, 2017

World leaders in technology have praised the success of an event in London, organised by Aspire Academy and focused on the latest innovations shaping the future of sport. The 2nd ASPIRE TECH event took place on Friday 6th October at Chelsea FC’s iconic Stamford Bridge venue.

Supported by Microsoft, CISCO, IBM, Philips and Honeywell, topics at this year’s conference focused on innovation and best practices in disruptive technologies and creating modern, digital and interactive stadium experiences for fans. In London, William Kopp, Director of Architecture, Innovation, Sports and Entertainment at Cisco, said: “The only way that you can do something with data is by gathering it and studying it. So events like ASPIRE TECH, where we can have an open dialogue and confront issues, are one of the ways to make change happen. It takes a leader to do this, and we are seeing that from Aspire Academy when it puts events like this together.”

John Short, Global Business Development Executive, IBM, Sports and Entertainment Practice, said: “It was great to see Aspire Academy bring so many clubs and organisations from around the world together to network and exchange ideas. We all need to work together to create awareness and educate people about the possibilities for technology to make improvements in sport – from the fan experience through to stadium security and legacy.” ASPIRE TECH was attended by delegates from across the world. Over two sessions held on Friday, some of the best minds in the digital and technology industries discussed stadiums, the fan experience and improvements to security.

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Francesco Norante, Head of Strategic Marketing, Sports & Major Events, Leonardo Security & Information Systems, said: “In the future, it will be difficult for one tech company to do everything, so we need to combine and collaborate. We have built good relationships at ASPIRE TECH and it’s crucial for companies to keep coming together to share thinking and envisage what’s next.” Michael Hershman, Group CEO of the International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS), spoke about how emerging artificial intelligence and predictive technology can help automate, accelerate and enhance the ability to predict potential security threats. He said: “It is vital that the sports industry uses technology as a force for good and uses emerging technologies to try to interact with audiences and predict future threats to help create an environment for everyone to enjoy sport safely and securely.”

Ryan Bowd, Consultant, Josoor Institute, said: “The quality of speakers was very impressive. To get three of the biggest tech companies in the world together on the same panel is incredible. Events like ASPIRE TECH are so important because it is only through inclusivity that we are all going to move forward to be successful. Technology has such an important role to play in improving sport, and sharing is key to this.” Looking ahead to the next event, Krishnakumar Kottekkat, Manager of IT Strategy and Operation at Aspire Zone, said: “Our ambition is to make ASPIRE TECH the world’s number one forum for industry leaders to challenge themselves, to share information and innovate for the future.” Kottekkat went on to say: “We want thank the sponsors, speakers and everyone that took part and we look forward to hosting you at the next event.”