Information Technology Influences on NFL, NASCAR and Other Sports
Information technology has influenced sports in many ways. Not only has it influenced sports in North America but also sports across the world. “In 1988, Stan Honey, Jerry Gepner, and Bill Squadron—three former executives at News Corp. and Fox Sports—founded Sportvision (http://www.sportvision.com). They used their extensive technology, sports production, and broadcast experience to create an innovative company that focuses on developing technology-based enhancements for the Internet, sports television, and new media platforms” (Shapiro). Sportvision has impacted sports like football, baseball, basketball, auto racing, horse racing, hockey, and a wide variety of Olympic sports.
“The technological boom began with a glowing hockey puck” (Pierce). In the 1996 NHL All-Star game, the glowing hockey puck was introduced to viewers. By giving the puck a radiant glow the viewers were better able to follow the puck as it was passed from player to player and across the rink. Without this innovation of the glowing puck it was very easy to loose track of the player carrying the puck and at times which team had possession. “The idea was to give new viewers a closer glimpse of where the puck was flying and help them keep up with the game” (Pierce).
Information technology has also helped college and pro football teams in a number of ways. The use of instant replay has decided the outcome of many professional football games. Without instant replay a bad call by the umpire could result in a loss for a team that actually should have won. Now with the ability to review a decision on the field, many bad calls are getting overturned and the team that should have won is recording a tally in the win column. “On September 27, 1998, Sportvision forever changed the sports broadcasting world when it debuted the 1st & Ten Line on an ESPN broadcast of Sunday Night Football” (Shapiro).
The 1st & Ten Line is a yellow line that is superimposed on the field so that viewers at home can see just how far the offensive team has to go to reach a first down. This is helpful in that it allows first time viewers to get a better grasp on the game and the overall offensive objective, which is to gain first downs until the team either kicks a field goal or scores a touchdown. The following is a picture of the 1st & Ten Line:
Figure 1: The yellow line
With the same technology used for the 1st & Ten Line the telestrator enables broadcasters to draw lines and arrows on the screen so that audiences at home can understand exactly what the announcer is trying to convey.
Figure 2: The telestrator
Perhaps the most innovative technology has come in the world of auto racing, specifically NASCAR. Sportvision has created many new technological advances that make watching NASCAR more enjoyable and fan friendly. “RACEf/x is a car-tracking system that collects car performance data...