With the technology produced by Israel-based sports company PlaySight Interactive, tools like instant replays and frame-by-frame video analysis aren’t just for the pros anymore. PlaySight, which uses cameras that capture and stream 4K and HD video from multiple angles, is already essential for elite athletes in tennis and basketball. In 2017, the company added 25 new NCAA tennis programs and three more NBA teams to its roster, doubling its revenue.
But the big opportunity is in the little leagues. “We want a 14-year-old basketball player to enjoy the same technology as an NBA player,” says cofounder and CEO Chen Shachar. The company signaled its intent to transform youth sports last year by announcing SmartSchools, an initiative to install PlaySight tools in existing facilities, and PlayFair, which seeks to remove cheating from junior tennis (and eventually other sports) using technology. Shachar also grew his smart-court tech beyond actual courts, to hockey rinks, soccer and lacrosse fields, and even swimming pools. The expansion democratizes access to the kind of insights that pros can discover about their performance, from the biomechanics of individual athletes to a team’s strategic execution. PlaySight saves all of the data and video it captures to the cloud so that teams can track progress toward their goals. “[With] all sports content in one place,” Shachar says, “athletes from all around the world can share performance and communicate with one another.” It also sets up PlaySight to be a media company that helps facilities market the action.