©SAP Extreme Sailing Team

©SAP Extreme Sailing Team

Sports have become more competitive than ever and the fan experience is improving exponentially with technological advances. Similar to Nike, who has recently unveiled their new NBA Connected Jersey, the Extreme Sailing Series aims to re-create sailing regattas and turn such into exhilarating sport events, where fan experience comes first.

As the leader in technology software, SAP has expanded its relationships within the sports and entertainment world. On the field, the company is improving player preparation and performance through real-time, data insights, whilst in the back-office SAP is enabling leagues and teams to become more profitable and successful. In their latest pursuit, the German software giant is reinventing the fan experience at games, in stadiums, and across mobile devices, providing insights and engagement opportunities that bring them closer to their passion. 

The sailing sport has developed immensely over the last few years with new high-tech hulls tripling the yachts speed. To put that in context, imagine facing a 600 km/h tennis serve, or a Formula One car racing at 900 km/h! So, whilst the sailing yachts underwent dramatic change, the media coverage started to grow for the sport and the demand for an improved fan experience began to rise.

SAP has responded to this challenge. With fans in the grandstands and boats in the water, the additions of massive screens and 3D visualizations of the boat tracks have brought the fans much closer to the action. SAP Sailing Analytics allows the public to watch the race, but also to receive insights into how the boats are performing, and make comparisons between teams. "Without this data, it’s like watching a soccer match without knowing the score," says Jes Gram-Hansen, who is co-skipper of the SAP Extreme Sailing Team. Furthermore, the company introduced 'SAP+You: The Smarter Skipper.' It is a virtual reality sailing experience that puts fans in the shoes of the crew members. Sitting in a life-like replica of the GC32 catamaran with a 360° VR headset on. It allows the fan to get a fully immersive experience, as if they were on the boat sailing themselves, in the beautiful waters around the world.