Can Technology kill the Toss in Sports

Let’s check this scoreboard with the help of Megha Gambhir, CEO and Co-Founder, Stupa Sports Analytics where we swing the bat towards many corners like ethics, the charm of unpredictability and not knowing.

New Update


“He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.” Sun Tzu’s ‘The Art of War’ lays down many secrets that fighters can tap. And in every secret, there is a glimpse of the difficult but inevitably, the winning formula of ‘knowing something’.


Interestingly, today’s warriors, in the battlefield of many Sports, have that advantage. But is that advantage easy, usable, ethical, accessible, fair and applicable? Does it help sportspeople as much as it helps the people who make money from Sports? Does it help all kinds of sportspeople? In all kinds of Sports?

Let’s check this scoreboard with the help of Megha Gambhir, CEO and Co-Founder, Stupa Sports Analytics where we swing the bat towards many corners like ethics, the charm of unpredictability and not knowing. We also shine the torch on the rise of brands, OTT and AI as some new cheerleaders and a lot more. Let’s get the ball rolling.

What areas of the Sports industry are ripe and ready for use of technology- especially, AI, VR, Drones, Analytics, and Blockchain?


While each of these technologies offers unique opportunities, their integration into sports opens up exciting possibilities for enhancing the fan experience, improving athlete performance, and boosting operational efficiency. Through AI algorithms and VR integration, Stupa’s technology creates dynamic graphics overlays during live broadcasts, giving fans immersive visualizations of game data for a better viewing experience. Furthermore, Stupa’s exploration of VR technology offers new opportunities for immersive training, allowing athletes to simulate real-world scenarios and improve their performance.

Can Sports Tech help in expanding the audience base (like fans from other sports or segments like females or Baby Boomers)?

Sports technology holds immense potential to broaden the audience base and rejuvenate lesser-known sports. In our journey of finding the right product-market fit, we learned that the initial step towards commercializing sports lies in efficient data management. This involves not only performance data but also fundamental data required by federations and clubs for organizing tournaments and managing player memberships.


Technology, far from diminishing this unpredictability, actually enhances the excitement of sports while preserving its thrilling spontaneity.

Can it give a fillip to out-of-spotlight games that have struggled against mainstream favourites like Cricket, Football, or Baseball?

Stupa Sports Analytics actively explores the possibilities of technology to extend the reach of less-commercialized sports like table tennis, badminton, padel, and pickleball. Providing a comprehensive solution for sports organizations through a centralized platform, Stupa aims to streamline administrative processes within governing bodies responsible for fostering the growth of sports. By enhancing fan engagement through captivating graphics, personalized content, and immersive experiences, Stupa seeks to attract diverse audiences to sports events.


How can technology keep a good score on ethical areas- especially with the rise of online gambling, abuse of/too much availability of real-time player data, match-fixing, and use of biometric surveillance of players (ex; NFL’s sharing of RFID data of players)?

Stupa Sports Analytics prioritizes ethical practices and actively addresses these concerns through rigorous data protection measures and responsible use of technology. Through its integrity services, Stupa collaborates with sports organizations and regulatory bodies to promote transparency, fairness, and integrity in sports.

The fun of any game is in the uncertainty - and the ‘anything can happen’ adrenaline - will technology take that away?



The essence of sport lies in its unpredictability, which distinguishes it as the ultimate form of entertainment. Technology, far from diminishing this unpredictability, actually enhances the excitement of sports while preserving its thrilling spontaneity. With access to data and advanced technology for player performance analysis, athletes gain valuable insights into their opponents’ patterns and tendencies, allowing for more strategic preparation.

Athletes often grapple with questions surrounding who owns the data generated from their performance, how it’s interpreted, and whether they have the right to opt out of data collection.


For instance, a competitive badminton player armed with such tools can identify opponent patterns and preferences, thereby optimizing their own gameplay strategies. Additionally, virtual reality (VR) tools enable athletes to simulate match scenarios, refining their skills and decision-making abilities in a controlled environment. Similar simulations have long been utilized in sports like racing and Formula 1, and their integration into racket sports promises to elevate players’ competitiveness and uncover areas for improvement.

Ultimately, these advancements contribute to the overall quality of competitive sports, enriching the experience for fans while preserving the essence of excitement and unpredictability that defines the sporting spectacle.

How has Sports Tech played out in the OTT space- especially in India?


The rise of OTT platforms has provided sports enthusiasts with unprecedented access to live matches, highlights, and exclusive content, enriching their engagement with their favorite sports. In India, where cricket dominates, sports tech has diversified content offerings, spotlighting lesser-known sports and catering to diverse audience preferences. By integrating real-time statistics, interactive features, and personalized content streams, Stupa’s solutions enable rights-holders to captivate viewers and cultivate a loyal fan base.

How do you use AI here?

Stupa’s OTT solutions support organizations as well as players in their journey through AI-driven features to easily package full match footage into customizable highlights and key moments. Social media integration enhances player-audience connectivity, creating new avenues for monetization such as memberships, ad revenue, and sponsorships.

What are the unique challenges and possibilities that a market like India presents?

With a large and diverse population passionate about sports, there’s a huge audience eager for personalized and engaging content. However, cricket’s dominance in the sports landscape makes it tough for lesser-known sports to gain attention. Moreover, infrastructural limitations and varying levels of tech adoption across regions pose hurdles in delivering seamless digital experiences nationwide. Stupa prioritizes customization, localization, and user-centric design to navigate these complexities and establish itself as a leader in sports technology innovation.

What new opportunities and dangers can advertisers/brands watch out for with the availability of real-time data and interactive marketing- Ex: The Uber Eats’ retraction of its ad in Super Bowl?

Real-time data and interactive marketing offer advertisers and brands new chances to connect with people in a more personal way. With real-time insights, brands can make their messages more relevant to specific groups, which makes them more effective. Interactive marketing, like games and immersive experiences, really grabs people’s attention and keeps them engaged.

We are currently developing hardware camera solutions that are designed to make courts smarter and enhance the playing experience for amateur players.

But, there are also some big challenges and risks. Having access to real-time data brings up concerns about user privacy, data security, and regulatory compliance. It’s important for data owners to work with sports organizations and brands to prioritize user privacy and data.

If performance-enhancing substances are wrong in Sports - does the same lens apply to performance-enhancing technology for players?

The practice of recording live matches and training sessions has long been standard in the sports industry to analyze player performance, pinpoint strengths and weaknesses, and strategize for improvement. Stupa was founded with the vision of using technology to streamline this process, making it more efficient for coaches and players alike. Previously, coaches would spend countless hours manually reviewing match footage, lacking intuitive tools to swiftly process vast amounts of data and extract meaningful insights. Handling a mix of players across different age groups like juniors, youth, and seniors made things even more difficult for coaches. Imagine, if a coach had to sift through five or ten matches from a single tournament for just one player, it could take up a good two to three weeks of their time. That’s where Stupa stepped in with smart solutions which made it easier for coaches to gather and analyze data quickly, giving them better insights into player performance. This meant coaches could plan their training sessions more effectively and address players’ needs with more precision.

Stupa’s innovation empowers coaches and players to quickly identify areas for development and fine-tune their strategies. In today’s data-driven world, information is a valuable asset utilized to enhance efficiency and gain a competitive edge. Stupa prioritizes fairness and transparency, ensuring that athletes have access to such information through ethical tools that support performance improvement.

What has been your best use-case so far?

A notable example of Stupa’s innovative approach to sports technology is its collaboration with Manav Thakkar, a talented table tennis player, in 2019. Despite his considerable skill, Thakkar faced challenges in performing at the international level. Recognizing his potential, Stupa developed a tailored player performance tool to address his specific needs. Through detailed analysis of Thakkar’s gameplay and training routines, Stupa pinpointed areas for enhancement and provided personalized insights. As a result, Thakkar significantly improved his performance and achieved the prestigious World #1 ranking in the under-21 category.

Witnessing firsthand the transformative impact of their technology on an athlete’s performance inspired the founders to establish Stupa Sports Analytics and they registered the company in 2020. Since then, numerous success stories within their network have further validated the effectiveness of their approach.

Thinking of Sports Analytics from a sportsman’s point of view: are there concerns around ownership of data, the gaps between what the data is and how it is interpreted, opt-out policies, invasiveness of data collection, unethical use by competition, etc.?

Athletes often grapple with questions surrounding who owns the data generated from their performance, how it’s interpreted, and whether they have the right to opt out of data collection. Additionally, there’s apprehension about the invasiveness of data collection methods and the potential for unethical use by competitors or third parties. These concerns highlight the need for transparent policies and safeguards to protect athletes’ rights and privacy while harnessing the benefits of sports analytics. At Stupa, we prioritize data ownership and transparency. Stupa Sports Analytics’ solutions empower athletes to maintain control over their performance data. Moreover, Stupa collaborates closely with sports organizations to establish ethical guidelines for data collection and usage, fostering trust and integrity within the sporting community.

Can self-regulation be enough - Ex: the Voluntary Code of Ethics signed by online gaming players?

Self-regulation can indeed play a crucial role in maintaining ethical standards within various industries, including sports. The effectiveness of self-regulation, however, depends on several factors such as industry collaboration, transparency, and enforcement mechanisms. While initiatives like the Voluntary Code of Ethics signed by online gaming players demonstrate a willingness to adhere to responsible practices, they may not fully address the intricate ethical challenges present.

What else should we be talking about/thinking of when we think of Sports and Technology especially Analytics?

While much attention is often given to professional leagues and elite athletes, the potential for analytics to revolutionize the grassroots level should not be overlooked.

At Stupa, we understand the importance of democratizing access to advanced analytics tools, even at the grassroots level. We are currently developing hardware camera solutions that are designed to make courts smarter and enhance the playing experience for amateur players. By capturing data on player movements, shot placements, and game dynamics, these solutions provide invaluable insights that can help amateur athletes refine their skills and compare their data with their friends.

What’s the big picture here?

The use of analytics in grassroots sports extends beyond the immediate benefits for individual players. It also plays a crucial role in capturing player performance and match data from early in their careers. By documenting historical patterns, playing styles, and trends from the grassroots level, athletes can build a comprehensive profile of their development trajectory. This data serves as a valuable resource as they progress to higher levels of competition, providing coaches, scouts, and analysts with rich insights into their strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement. Stupa aims to achieve the above through its association with grassroots competition platforms such as Sports For All (SFA) which are great opportunities for technology to integrate with grassroots and provide athletes of all backgrounds with access to the tools and insights they need to thrive.