Amazon Web Services Infiltrates Canadian Sports In New Partnership

Amazon Digitizing the Canadian Sports Sector

On Feb. 23, Amazon Web Services Inc. announced a multi-faceted partnership in conjunction with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) that will enhance the sports experience for Toronto’s most famous professional sports teams. 

The deal makes Amazon Web Services the official provider of MLSE’s artificial intelligence, machine learning, and cloud services. MLSE will use Amazon Web Services’ extensive network, database, and resources to support their internal business operations, build solutions for their teams, keep their players healthier, and enhance fan engagement and experience. The teams primarily affected by the partnership will be Toronto’s biggest sports teams: the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Toronto Raptors, Toronto Football Club, and the Toronto Argonauts.  

To help enhance competitiveness, caliber, and game strategy, there will be cameras installed at MLSE training facilities and game venues. Using Amazon Web Services’ automated image and video analysis platform, Amazon Rekognition, as well as Amazon Kinesis, which processes and analyzes video in real-time, teams will be able to make more strategic decisions on the fly. These platforms analyze their play and store the data, which is accessible to coaches to make more informed decisions in a live game, even from the bench. 

A Good Day to Be a Toronto Sports Fan

This partnership also greatly benefits the Toronto sports fan base and gives them never-before-seen opportunities to connect with their favorite teams. Using augmented and virtual reality, MLSE and Amazon Web Services will launch their “game within a game” experience. This gives fans the ability to track their favorite players, exposure to exclusive game insights in real-time, and access to free-to-play gaming and on-demand sports betting. Using Amazon Kinesis, they will also create a mixed reality experience for at-home fans using video analysis from around the arena and sensors in players’ uniforms. 

In June of 2021, Canadian sports fans got a taste of some of what Amazon Web Services has to offer. During the 2021 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs, they provided viewers with shot and save analytics as on-screen graphics to give viewers a more in-depth understanding and interpretation of how their favorite teams perform. Also in June of 2021, came the legalization of sports betting in Canada – a triumph that will no doubt also contribute to the success of the Canadian sports fan experience. 

Other experience-enhancing opportunities will be made available to at-home fans through a new platform called Digital Arena. This will give fans the opportunity to talk to each other, mascots, and even team alumni while watching the game. It includes all things that you miss out on when you’re not in the arena: a virtual t-shirt toss, games, and exposure to other sports fans. 

Through the use of Amazon Web Services’ cutting edge technology and over 10 years of data collected by the NHL’s Hockey and Information Tracking System (HITS), Canadian sports fans (especially hockey fans) are entering an immersive experience like they’ve never seen before. It comes at the perfect time for the Toronto Maple Leafs organization who just teamed up with Amazon Prime Video to release their docuseries, All or Nothing: Toronto Maple Leafs, which covers life on and off the ice during the 2020-21 season.