Infinite Athlete seeking to make mark in stadium tech sector

Stamford Bridge image: Daniel/CC BY 2.0/Edited for size

US technology company Infinite Athlete gained a place amid football’s collective consciousness when it signed on last year as the new principal partner of Premier League club Chelsea, and it is seeking to build “truly immersive experiences” for match-going fans.

Infinite Athlete was only formed in 2023, after the merger of Tempus Ex Machina, founded in 2019, and Biocore, formed in 2009. For that reason, football fans could be forgiven for asking ‘who are Infinite Athlete?’ when the Chelsea deal was announced in August.

However, with a mission statement of “creating a single technological foundation across all major sports, upon which innovative sports technology and media products can be built”, the company is seeking to expand its horizons beyond a current client base that includes Chelsea, along with the likes of the NFL and the athletics division of the University of Colorado.

Stadium technology is a particular focus, with Charlie Ebersol, co-founder and CEO of Tempus Ex Machina and Infinite Athlete, describing how this sector has moved on from his stint as CEO and founder of the ultimately short-lived Alliance of American Football (AAF).

Commenting on what Infinite Athlete sees as the opportunities for the company in the stadium and arena technology sector, Ebersol told TheStadiumBusiness.com: “Delivering the industry’s fastest and most comprehensive data and video to developers so they can build truly immersive experiences to fans in the stadium.

“Five years ago, the AAF’s core in-stadium product was a ‘guess the next play app’ which delivered animated recreation of game data with predictive analytics and interactive game play in under 150ms. Today our team is capable of being even faster with way more functionality. Imagine what the world’s top app developers could build with that?”

Ebersol continued: “Our proprietary technology, FusionFeed, allows the creation of new interactive experiences around live events. Meaning, our partners use our technology to build innovative commercial tech products that enhance the overall sports experience – which can include venue operations.”

Building fan engagement

Prior to securing principal partner status with Chelsea, which grants Infinite Athlete front-of-shirt branding rights, the company held existing ties with the London club through Tempus Ex Machina.

This included the launch of Match View X (MVX) via Chelsea’s official app. Chelsea has deployed the artificial intelligence-based MVX technology to provide fans with customisable broadcasts and fan engagement opportunities.

Launched during the club’s summer tour of the United States, fans were able to tailor live streams of matches with graphical overlays, real-time statistics, play-by-play match events, player tracking, and instant highlights.

This was said to have resulted in a 48% year-on-year hike in total video views for the app, to 2.7 million, with almost half of all fans using MVX’s suite of interactive features.

Along with its partnerships with sports organisations, Infinite Athlete also has a Partner Network that includes the likes of The 33rd Team, Optimum Grading, Dizplai, Slate and StreamLayer. Earlier this week, Gemini Sports Analytics, a sports-specific AI cloud and automated machine learning application, became the latest addition to this roster.

As part of the new deal, mutual teams and club partners will be able to utilise both the Gemini Sports Analytics platform and Infinite Athlete’s FusionFeed technology to provide a single technological foundation across all major sports.

Ebersol said: “There are several apps being built now that will arrive next year with our various partners that are iterations on our wildly successful MVX product that we launched with Chelsea FC this season.

“Over the course of the next year, we are very excited to roll out a whole suite of partner products built on FusionFeed that we hope will transform the experience for fans, players and stadium visitors alike.”

Targeted expansion

Looking forward, Ebersol has said Infinite Athlete’s development strategy, in terms of expanding its client-base, will have a specific focus. “We have been highly selective in the markets we have chosen to enter and the partners with whom we do business,” he stated.

“Our process is largely focused on reaching the largest audience of the most passionate fans, because we believe that will attract the best developers. The NFL, Chelsea, Colorado, etc… are just a few of our blue-chip brand partners with the best fans in the world.”

Infinite Athlete’s principal partner contract with Chelsea has been signed for the 2023-24 season. Chelsea has long been weighing up a major redevelopment of Stamford Bridge, its home since 1905, or building a new stadium from scratch.

Ebersol confirmed Infinite Athlete has plans to extend the principal partner deal, along with working with the club to aid its long-term stadium development ambitions, adding: “Yes… but that’s all we can say about that.”