In a previous insight, we compared the technologies disclosed in the patents of Nike and Adidas in an attempt to get an idea of who had the edge when it came to new sports technology. However, recent activity shows that there might be something more. Nike and Adidas have both shown significant investments into patents within the Sports Analytics Patent Forecast®: Nike owns 63 patent assets and Adidas owns 32 (over the past 10 years). Most of their investment lies in Training & Coaching. We see consistent investment in Data Analytics for training athletes. However, a deeper look into the market activity of these companies raises some interesting questions.
Surprisingly, neither company has any large market presence in sports analytics markets, primarily spending resources promoting their existing clothing and shoe lines. Neither website makes any mention of analytics-based products or services. Considering the significant financial investment in the R&D and IP that went into these patents over the past 10 years, we expect to see products and services on the market any day now. Both companies emphasize R&D accomplishments in investors’ communications. But they focus on innovation that makes clothing and shoes more sustainable or comfortable. The only sign of sports analytics for them is that both have apps for run tracking using GPS. As usual investment in patents always leads market activity. The patents in the sector extend beyond running, for example, the patent discussed in the previous insight.
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The sports analytics sector provides an insight into data analytics and data applications as they relate to sports and the athletics experience.