Last week we were excited to witness this in action. Prior to the European Qualifiers match between Israel and Wales over the weekend, the UK played host to a group of some of the most advanced technologies being developed in Israel, for the sports sector.
A twenty-strong delegation came to the UK to meet with leading industry players including over a 100 sports clubs, stadiums, broadcasters and others. Every one of the top Premiership football clubs met with the delegates, as did all the major broadcasters including BBC Sport, BT Sport, Sky Sports and ITV Sport. This was in addition to all the other major players in British sports including the Premier League, tennis and rugby clubs, and of course a session at Wembley Stadium – the home of English football.
The thriving partnership between the UK and Israel has led to a record-high £3.9 billion trade in 2014. With more events in the Future Israel series under way, Israel’s Economic & Trade Mission to the UK and the Israel Export Institute continue to promote further collaboration between the two countries.
In light of this development, Israel’s Economic & Trade Mission to the UK teamed up with the Israel Export Institute, and worked together with the BICC-NW, to bring the best sports-tech startups that Israel has to offer to an incredibly sports-savvy UK.
Eighty applicants went through a rigorous month-long selection process in front of a panel of expert judges. Out of them, only twenty companies were selected to join the Future Sport Roadshow in the UK.
The judging panel of six industry experts – which included the former chairman the Football Association, Lord David Triesman, and former manager of the England National Football Team, Terry Venables – chose the final twenty companies for displaying the greatest capability and capacity to enhance the British sporting establishments, bringing great benefits to the UK public.
During the packed four-day programme, the delegates engaged in over 200 meetings with top level executives from British companies. “This trip exceeded expectations,” says W.S.C. Sport Technologies co-founder Aviv Arnon, “Future Sport was able to put us in a room with some of the most important people we have been trying to get a hold of for the last 2 years. Being selected by British industry experts as one of Israel’s promising sports-tech startups already made us stand out from other companies in the field. It gave important validation to our proposition and technology.”
Also amongst the innovative startups on the delegation was INPLAY, a messenger app for football fans that offers a new channel for fan engagement through unique features and chat tools. The young company has recently signed a 12-month partnership deal with London-based football giants Chelsea FC, in the hopes of turning fans into users of the app.
Offering 360 degree replay views of sports matches, Replay Technologies left a great impression on how Israeli technology can enhance the experience for consumers of British sports. Just like the Matrix movie in 1999 redefined special effects, Replay Technologies' FreeD will redefine the way that we watch sports.
The Future Sport Roadshow 2015 was the 5th event in the Future Israel series that started three years ago, with the aim to bring Israel’s technological advances to Britain’s world leading industries.
Previous events focused on the retail and travel sectors, and have proven to be very successful in bringing the best of Israeli technology to the UK. “This was just our first foray into sports technology, and we hope that it will stimulate further collaboration in this field” says Nathan Tsror, Head of the Economic & Trade Mission. “I have no doubt that in the years to come, both countries will continue to benefit from the innovative thinking and technological advances from such partnerships.”
Chief of Staff, Economic & Trade Mission
Embassy of Israel, London