Sports Technology

Angela Ruggiero: At the Convergence of Sports and Tech

Overview Sports Innovation Lab CEO Angela Ruggiero shares her insights on the intersection between sports and technology and how it is inspiring the next generation of fans.

A four-time Olympian in ice hockey, Angela Ruggiero is no stranger to the sports industry, and as a board member on the International Olympic committee, is finely tuned to the trends and opportunities available in sports.

Ruggiero is also CEO of Sports Innovation Lab, which is a company that aims to deliver actionable insights on sports technology. They are a machine learning-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform that processes data on the people, companies and products that matter to sports leaders and their businesses, allowing them to stay on top of sports, entertainment and media trends to make effective decisions.

The Sports Innovation Lab software can help sports business leaders develop insightful arguments, define investment plans, build networks and more, and it caters to those working at different experience levels:

  • Explorers: Those trying to make sense of the sports tech landscape

  • Evangelists: Those already aware of the opportunities in sports tech

  • Accelerators: Those who have already experts in the sports tech sector

​“We can help and enable sports companies [and] technology companies that are moving into this sector perform at their best,” Ruggiero said on the CES Tech Talk podcast. “Know who your competitors are, know where the market is heading, understand the data.”

We hope to use our own technology to extend the accessibility and adoption of sports to underrepresented populations around the globe, so sports can continue to inspire people for decades to come.

Angela Ruggiero
CEO, Sports Innovation Lab

From Olympian to CEO

With studies showing a downward trend in the number of kids playing sports in the U.S., as well as a decline in viewership of and attendance at major league sports, Ruggiero realized that “unlocking the potential of technology in sports was the way the sports industry could stay relevant and inspire the next generation of children and fans.”

“What would the world look like without sports?” Ruggiero said in an interview with i3 magazine.
Ruggiero also recognized that sports business leaders were not provided with objective and reputable data and analysis on tech and sports trends, despite the growth of tech and the expectation for sports business leaders to correctly and effectively evaluate new sports tech developments.

To bridge the gap between tech companies and the sports world, Ruggiero grasped an opportunity and, along with cofounder Joshua Walker, started the Sports Innovation Lab to provide the first trusted objective source of data and analysis for sports tech.

The Trends in Sports Tech

Technology is set to reinvent the way sports are played and enjoyed. Through tech, the sports industry can prioritize security and sustainability in smart venues, increase accessibility to sports for those who aren’t able to pay for an in-person ticket, and inspire female and minority sports fan by showing representation in teams.

“We hope to use our own technology to extend the accessibility and adoption of sports to underrepresented populations around the globe, so sports can continue to inspire people for decades to come,” said Ruggiero.

Sports Innovation Lab sees five major trends in sports tech:

  • Esports are defining how future sports fans consume sports.

  • Immersive media companies are developing digital sports content, making the future of sports more accessible than ever.

  • Next-gen sponsorship technologies help build and maintain the relationship between sports brands and fans through digital experiences.

  • Companies are focusing on the quantified athlete, monitoring, measuring and predicting athlete training and performance.

  • Smart venues are providing better fan experiences.

Sports Innovation Lab at CES

At CES 2019, Ruggiero presented latest trends in sports tech. Sports Innovation Lab also sponsored an area at CES that focused solely on sports technologies, with sports tech companies showcasing their products and industry leaders discussing the future of sports.

Angela Ruggiero is returning to CES 2020 as brand ambassador of CES Sports Tech and emcee of the Sports Tech conference program.

Visit CES Sports Tech at CES 2020, and learn more about Angela Ruggiero’s journey with Sports Innovation Lab.


Angela Ruggiero: Leading the Sports Innovation Lab

Read an in-depth interview with Angela Ruggiero about why she started Sports Innovation Lab and how technology is changing sports. 

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