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Why we should be extra careful with what we say online

Social media, for the most part has been a groundbreaking invention that has allowed people across the world to interact from the comfort of their own homes.

We are able to communicate with friends, family and anyone else through platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and before their declines, myspace and Messenger.

But in the eyes of some, the use of social media has allowed those to express feelings and thoughts in a negative manner. And in the world of sport, there’s usually someone or something on the receiving end of this ‘abuse’.

Quite frankly, it’s downright disgusting.

To hide behind a keyboard and post things you wouldn’t say to or someone if they were standing right in front of you is a true act of cowardice. And deservedly, it’s universally condemned.

But it’s easy to take this perspective when you’re fortunate enough to not be the subject of online abuse and vitriol.

For those who play sport at a professional level and for clubs with significant fan bases, it can be quite scary to read things that people around the world say about you.

With the stakes they play for being so high, any level of failure is met with a knee-jerk reaction by those online. And with such easy access to the aforementioned platforms, it’s hard for professional athletes to see the bright side.

Some athletes do see the bright side, knowing that what’s said online rarely translates to what’s said in real life. A great example of this is through the popular TV segment, Mean Tweets.

Hosted by late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, high profile people are made to read derogatory tweets directed at them, with most of them expressing laughter at the stupidity of what’s said.

Here’s a couple of examples of the segment.

But then there’s the other side of the equation, those who do get affected by what people say.

Often, these comments left online can be quite upsetting and sometimes, those on the receiving end don’t take it well. And despite there being those who can cop the abuse, some have different perspectives.

These comments, whether they’re made online or from the stands, are dragging the game of soccer down and it’s a real shame.

Back in 2017, Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren played a poor game against Tottenham Hotspur in a 4-1 loss. Following the game, Lovren’s family members were threatened purely based on his performance.

You could be the most soulless person on this planet and still find that kind of comment disgraceful.

Briefly on Tottenham, left-back Danny Rose was diagnosed with depression in 2018. He seems to have put it behind him after becoming a first team regular for Tottenham this season.

Granted, Rose has admitted that injuries played a part in his depression during a BBC video that went online this year (can be found below in full), but it goes to show something.

We may see them as these worldwide superstars who can do anything. But in reality, they’re just like us.

Human.

Some may think that these comments don’t have any affect, but they do.

Mental health is one of the biggest problems surrounding soccer players and athletes around the globe because people think that they can say anything and get away with it.

They say these things for numerous reasons. Their performances on the field, as we know. It can be down to their appearance and personality (see above video for Peter Crouch). But there’s one other factor.

The fact that most of these players are millionaires.

Footballers get paid lots of money and there is a select group that think because of this, they should never be sad in their lives. Purely because they’re a bit wealthier than most folk.

To rebut these opinions, there is only one thing that needs to be said.

Money can’t buy happiness.

So before you send that tweet, Facebook post or whatever it is, put yourselves in their shoes.

How would you feel seeing someone say that about you? Because in life, you should only treat people the way you want to be treated.

And it’s time that we stamp the abuse out, whether it’s racism, sexism or general oppression. Because whatever it is, it has no place in sport or in life. Anywhere.

 

 

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Caelum Ferrarese is a Senior journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on micro policy within Australasia and industry disruptions at grassroots level.

TicketCo Media Services a silver lining for Covid-19 ravaged clubs

TicketCo have come up with a way to turn a negative situation into a positive with their pay-per-view Media Services.

When Covid-19 swept across the world, clubs were left wondering about ways to generate revenue with limited to no fans in attendance.

With countries such as the UK still working towards getting supporters back in stadiums, particularly for the English Premier League, TicketCo have come up with a way to turn a negative situation into a positive with their pay-per-view Media Services.

It’s been just over a year since the coronavirus pandemic made its way to nations other than China, prompting the postponement or cancellation of major events.

In that time, sport organisations and media outlets have had to adapt. We’ve seen new streaming services pop up and the need for pay-for-view type services which TicketCo can provide, to make up for lost matchday attendance.

For supporters at home, they need the best possible viewing experience. As part of their streaming service, TicketCo can offer user friendliness as of utmost importance, a smooth process for ticket purchasing by the end user, versatility to watch not just on TV, as well as high definition quality sound and video.

TicketCo can also work closely with organisations to ensure that everything goes to plan, including a secure URL to the stream that isn’t copied or shared without permission, keeping the match available for sale until it starts & during event, customer data integrating with the club’s customer relationship management (CRM) system, no up-front investment for the broadcasting part of production, the offering of club merchandise, and easy-to-use technology that gives access to graphics.

Just like the clubs and leagues, TicketCo have changed the way they provide their service. It’s now become more important than ever to have a digital element to your craft, where they saw a new opportunity pop up to assist teams that needed a pay-per-view alternative.

TicketCo Media Services has become a video-on-demand solution that aligns with their event payment platform, so the ticket office can cater for online broadcasting. It puts the supporters (end user) at the forefront to deliver them a smooth and enjoyable experience.

TicketCo ensures that fans are able to watch all content on a variety of devices to make sure they aren’t pigeonholed with how they can watch. Having that freedom to watch from a TV, phone, tablet, desktop or whatever it might be promotes good fan experience and less annoyed ones.

There have already been lower league clubs embracing this technology and shows that most clubs are capable of utilising TicketCo’s offering.

TicketCo is a hugely versatile platform and a true disrupter,” FC Isle of Man commercial director Ty Smith said.

“The platform provides the club with cutting edge technology and capabilities that even professional clubs can only dream of.”  

National League club Altrincham FC is another side that has seen the benefits of pay-per-view streaming, being able to provide fans with access to all of their home games this season.

“Club’s that don’t explore live streaming are crazy, to put it simply,” Co- chairman Bill Waterson said.

“Our partnership with TicketCo proves that you don’t have to be a big club to provide a professional service to supporters.” 

TicketCo Media Services is building on the future of media technology through AWS, the leading cloud technology provider. It hoped that lower league clubs can take full ownership of their digital content and monetise it through a platform like TicketCo Media Services.

It can be handled from a league level instead of club level, so that teams can offer their fans a range of packages, including physical home tickets and virtual away tickets, or virtual home and away tickets for anyone wanting to view games from overseas.

Leagues can also think about branding involvement, so that this is relevant for the viewing audience. Graphics can be used in a similar manner to what we see in top leagues on commercial TV channels. It adds another layer of advertising opportunities, as TicketCo Media Services have an ‘up-sell’ functionality that promotes and sells other products to supporters while fans go and purchase their digital match tickets.

Lower league clubs tend to have a very loyal follower base, but this has the potential to grow with an effective streaming provider such as TicketCo Media Services.

By the time the 2021/22 season kicks off in lower leagues across the UK, it’s expected that there will be full online coverage and monetization of every match. TicketCo Media Services see this as a positive aftermath of Covid-19, where a widespread crisis has created an unexpected silver lining for recovering clubs.

Football Queensland’s QR code solution to continue

Football Queensland has announced the extension of their agreement with EVA Check-In, who provides a QR code attendance tracking solution.

Football Queensland (FQ) has announced the extension of their agreement with EVA Check-In, who provides a QR code attendance tracking solution.

It will remain in place for the upcoming 2021 season of men’s and women’s competitions, with FQ covering the cost of use until stated otherwise.

Attendance tracking is featured in Stage 5 of FQ’s Return to Play guide. With a contactless check-in poster, visitors to clubs can use their smartphones to scan a QR code that saves time on administration and resources. They simply use their camera to capture the QR code and click on a link to register with their name and contact number.

Clubs have their own unique posters available at no cost and should be displayed at entries and exits of a venue to give spectators easy access to check in and out every time they visit.

This allows everyone to match the Queensland Government’s COVID Safe Plans for the sport, recreation and fitness industry – where clubs and venue must be able to complete an Attendance Data form if requested.

The QR technology remains a vital resource for clubs to avoid disruptions and means they can meet COVID Safe requirements related to contact tracing.

It was first supplied to clubs across the state by FQ when the 2020 season was resumed to ensure attendance tracking was completed, to detect any positive cases within the community.

For more information on how the QR code system operates, and for frequently asked questions, you can find them here.

Veo: Recording and analysing football matches with AI-driven cameras

Co-founded in 2015 by Henrik Teisbæk, Veo is a sports technology company with one main aim, to record sporting matches automatically without the need for a camera operator.

To achieve this goal, the company has developed an AI-powered 180-degree camera with two 4K lenses, capturing every single moment of a match in high quality and at 30 frames a second.

Veo has specifically trained the AI to follow the ball during the course of a game, creating a broadcast-like experience for the matches recorded using the software.

The camera ships with a tripod selected by the customer, is able to record up to four hours of footage on a single charge, and weighs less than one kilo, making it a portable option for both home and away matches.

“Veo has been a great asset for us since we purchased it. It allows us to record every game which at this level is brilliant. All around it has been an excellent purchase and something we are really proud to be using,” former senior coach of Brunswick City (now on the Melbourne Victory coaching staff) Riccardo Marchioli said.

One of the important selling points of the product is the analysis work that can be conducted on Veo’s online subscription platform.

Users are offered a 12-month subscription to the platform (at no additional cost) with the purchase of a camera kit, which allows coaches, scouts, players and so forth to review and analyse match recordings using a variety of Veo’s implemented features.

These features include:

  • The ability to consume automatically detected highlights in a match recording through Veo’s AI software, which pinpoints moments such as goals, kick-offs and half-time intervals
  • The ability for coaches to draw on the screen to provide feedback to players through the use of lines, shapes and arrows
  • Players can be tagged in highlights by the coach on Veo’s online platform
  • Coaches can also take over the camera and create their own highlights to share with players in a group or individually
  • Comments can be attached to every highlight, with a choice of which players can see the particular piece of advice or criticism

The online platform has been a successful system for various coaches around the world, including head of football at the City Of London School and U18 Head Coach of Independent Schools for England, Jono Santry.

“Veo has literally transformed our football programme,” he said.

“For years we have been searching for a solution to video matches, tag events, analyse the footage, and share with the staff and players. I had given up on finding a one fits all solution that was both affordable and not reliant upon having staff to film, edit and produce the footage. Veo literally is all this and more.

“We put the camera at the top of the tripod, press record and then plug it in when we return to the office. Veo’s “bots” do the rest and by the time the players wake up the next morning, they have tagged match footage that is excellent quality and follows play. All of this without a human having to control a camera or edit the footage.

“We are using it for other sports with the same precision which means more of our students are gaining the benefit that it clearly brings.”

To date, almost 5000 clubs use Veo in 79 countries across the world, with over 225,000 matches recorded using the product.

Professional clubs who use the service include Manchester City, As Roma, Chelsea, Leicester City FC, Everton FC, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Borussia Monchengladbach, Impact de Montréal, Inter Miami CF, Real Salt Lake, Club Brugge KV and many more.

However, professional clubs who have signed up to Veo only account for 10% of the Danish company’s customer base.

75% of Veo’s customers are either from grassroots or youth clubs across the globe, with schools making up the remainder of the base.

The basic camera setup costs under $2000AUD, with local A-League club Wellington Phoenix utilising Veo’s service, as well as ambitious NPL clubs such as Heidelberg United, who believe the investment is worthwhile to record and analyse their junior sides.

More information on Veo can be viewed here.

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