Sky has invested £0.3 million (€0.396m) in mobile fan engagement and sports marketing company InCrowd. The investment in the UK-based company follows a series of Sky partnerships with pioneering technology companies in the US, helping to accelerate innovation.
InCrowd, formed by the team behind the world’s leading sports data company, Opta, specialises in developing mobile apps, offering real time content, match analysis and interactive games, providing clubs and rights holders with a direct way to engage with fans.
Sky Sports, which has developed some of the UK’s most popular digital channels, will work with InCrowd to explore new ways of delivering the best content to sports fans.
InCrowd has also developed its own connectivity software that sits within its apps, allowing phones to share all available connectivity, rather that compete for it. Any information requested by an app user without a signal can be provided by the network, while the more phones that join the network, the better the solution works.
Sky, which offers fast, reliable connectivity to thousands of venues around the country through its Wi-Fi business, The Cloud, will work with InCrowd to develop in-stadia connectivity even further.
“This is the latest in a series of investments in pioneering technology companies, which we know bring real benefits to customers,” noted Emma Lloyd, Director of Corporate Development and Strategic Investments at Sky. “We’re really looking forward to working with InCrowd, a company that shares our passion for innovation, and for finding new and exciting ways to deliver content.”
Aidan Cooney, Co-Founder and CEO, InCrowd, described Sky as “world leaders” in delivering content to sports fans wherever they are. “We’re incredibly excited to be working with them to explore new ways of engaging with fans.”
The partnership follows recent Sky investments in programmatic advertising company DataXu and OTT video company TV4 Entertainment. Sky has previously invested in a number of other pioneering US technology companies, including the leading online sports network Whistle Sports, IP streaming service provider Roku and cinematic virtual reality company Jaunt.