Analytics tracking company, Heed, partners with UFC

August 25, 2017

The AP reports that the UFC has reached a partnership with Heed in a move toward advancements in technology.  The company uses sensors that collect data on everything from fan and competitor emotion to real-time event tracking that could change how fights are scored.

Heed has deals with Professional Bull Riders and Euroleague Basketball.  According to this article from 2016 when the company announced its partnership with the Euroleague, it is a joint venture between AGT International (“AGT”) and WME |IMG.

AGT uses IoT Technology to procure data.  It sampled its technology on an old UFC fight that kept a running tally of different strikes and displayed them on the bottom of the screen.  The makers believe that this technology could be utilized on Fight Pass.

Unique to this technology is that it can track fan or fighter emotions ranging from sadness and surprise to disgust and fear according to the AP report.  These analytics may help with determining a fighter’s health.

Payout Perspective:

This is an interesting move for the company and shows how technology can add value into the entertainment experience.  Notably, it’s a joint venture with the owners of the UFC.  A curious question with procurement of analytics is who actually owns the data and how may it be used.  This triggers some privacy arguments and we shall see what becomes of this as this technology is applied.  The NFL, NBA and other league are utilizing this technology but they have player’s associations which, I assume, will eventually deal with these types of privacy issues.  But, fighters, as independent contractors is another issue.