Key takeaways from Mike D’Auria’s Executive Insights interview from SBJ Tech Week

By Genius Sports Press | 16 Mar 2023

Last week, Mike D’Auria, Chief Commercial Officer of Second Spectrum, took centre stage at SBJ Tech Week to present the future of personalised broadcasts and our work enhancing NFL, NBA and EPL experiences.

Mike also sat down with SBJ’s Executive Editor Abe Madkour for an Executive Insights interview. You can watch the full interview here and these are the key takeaways.

‘Broadcasts of the future will unify multiple sports experiences into one’

Sports fan have never had more content at their fingertips. 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year fans can gorge on huge amounts of analysis, data, video highlights, documentaries and behind the scenes content. But contrasting with other industries, Mike outlined how “content everywhere is getting more potent and sports need to catch up.”

While fans have access to more content than ever, it’s a very disparate landscape across broadcasts, social, sportsbooks and other online platforms. Mike outlined how our mission is to “integrate them into the main experience” so that fans to add everything from fantasy numbers to Twitter polls, live odds and data animations to create truly immersive broadcasts.

The crucial thing is giving fans more choice because as Mike outlined, different generations have different expectations: “my dad’s going to want to watch the traditional broadcast with nothing on it with Tony Romo announcing. I’m going to want to watch it with some additional data and maybe some betting stuff, maybe some fantasy overlayed. My son, he’s going to want explosions and fireballs and cartoon characters.”

These customisations are all available today to make broadcasts a central hub of content and interactivity, creating “personalised experiences that I think are going to be the future of sports viewing.”

‘Personalised experiences rely on foundational technology’

Personalisation is transforming every entertainment sector from tailored playlists to highly targeted shopping experiences, recommended films to watch and much more. But this level of individual customisation doesn’t simply happen; it relies on machines that understand sports at a level beyond even the finest commentators and pundits.

Led by our Second Spectrum technology, Genius Sports is the ChatGPT of the sports world, applying “ a huge amount of technology that goes below to power those (personalised) experiences”. Mike outlined how by combining AI and computer vision, media organisations can manipulate live sports video however the end user wants, creating that vital personalisation to engage the modern fan.

An end result of this is our augmented NFL broadcasts with Nickelodeon “SlimeVision for kids…or we can do RomoVision for Tony Romo or with TSN we overlayed the core stats about the game on top of players’ heads in real-time.”

This technology, including our new Dragon system, is built on over a decade of computer vision and machine learning development, making personalised broadcasts possible today.

‘ClipperVision was way out ahead of its time’

Mike outlined how Second Spectrum started over a decade ago by serving NBA teams with analytics software. This partnership has continued to go from strength to strength and just last week we announced an expanded partnership with the NBA as an official League Pass augmentation provider and to develop our new Dragon system.

At the centre of our NBA work is our partnership with the Clippers who helped pioneer the idea of bringing official tracking data and augmentations directly to fans through some of the first augmented sports broadcasts.

“Steve Ballmer and the Clippers had a lot of foresight and we built that from end to end to give Clippers fans the opportunity to watch in five different modes.” ClipperVision is now available across 70 games a season with real-time animations, graphics and special effects overlays delivering fully themed broadcasts as a “first of its kind product”.