This technology and this sport looks like a winning bet for investors

Dave Gilbert here, editor of smart money.

We Americans love our sports.

We played it as kids. We watch it as adults. We are passionate about our favorite teams, both professional and college. And we can find a sporting event on television at almost any time of any day.

They are fun, entertaining, can teach us valuable lessons, and are a great distraction from the problems of the world – like inflation and stock market sell-offs.

Anything popular means money. When it comes to sports, we talk about a lot silver.

Much of it has to do with the NFL, which started its season last weekend. Forbes ranks the Dallas Cowboys as the most valuable sports team in the world, worth $8 billion. That stock has appreciated 73% over the past five years, easily outpacing the S&P 500’s 60% gain over the same half-decade.

In fact, four of Forbes’ the most valuable teams in the world are in the NFL. The Cowboys are followed by the New England Patriots ($6.4 billion), the Los Angeles Rams ($6.2 billion), and then a tie between the iconic New York Yankees baseball franchise. York and the New York Giants football team (both worth $6 billion).

The three major sports – football, baseball and basketball – were all invented more than a century ago. And those five teams have an average appreciation of 78% over the past five years.

How do these sports continue to grow in popularity and value?

Improved equipment. Updated rules. Advanced strategies. The athletes themselves are getting faster, stronger and simply better.

But…don’t underestimate the impact of technology on the sport and our fandom. Thanks in large part to next-gen 5G wireless connectivity, there are more ways than ever to watch sports and even play sports.

This is yet another reason why investors need to be aware of what’s to come…

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Experience sport on a whole new level

When it comes to watching sports, something we all take for granted now is instant replay – both on TV and inside stadiums and arenas.

In seconds, we can rewatch what just happened in normal speed, amazingly clear slow motion, multiple camera angles, and even additional AI-generated angles.

We can watch games at a level we probably wouldn’t even dream of when instant replay was first used in 1955 during a Hockey Night in Canada broadcast. It took several minutes to prepare a replay, and she could only play at normal speed. The idle didn’t come for seven years.

At the most basic level, 5G improves our access to a live sporting event anytime, anywhere. Previous-generation wireless networks allowed us to watch live events on our mobile devices — not to mention recorded replays — but the speed and reliability of 5G makes it as seamless as cable TV.

Streaming builds on capabilities that have been building for years, but 5G enables other breakthroughs that impact our sports viewing – or, should we say, “game-changing” breakthroughs – even if we don’t realize it.

One of the main means is the real-time data collection made possible by 5G. This takes player stats and tracking to a whole new level.

You’ve probably seen the ads for Amazon Next Gen Stats used on NFL broadcasts. The 2019 Pro Bowl was the first NFL game where fans could follow players’ movements live. The NFL said at the time that Next Gen Stats “captures player location in real time, generates over 200 stats per game, and tracks individual movements within inches.”

The National Hockey League now has 5G networks in all of its arenas. The apps start with puck and player tracking, providing data such as how fast a player is skating or how many miles per hour a shot has traveled.

Last year, Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) and technology being tested by the New Jersey Devils that would allow fans to point their phones at players to see how fast they were skating and gain access to other stats, both historical and in-game. Going forward , the NHL hopes to build on this 5G and cloud infrastructure to deliver augmented and virtual reality.

In the NBA, the new Phoenix Suns training center even bears the name Verizon 5G Performance Center. The 5G network collects data from 150 cameras, sensors and more to track ball movement, player movement, shots and just about everything else in one integrated system.

And then there is sports betting. In 2018, a Supreme Court ruling left it up to each state to decide whether or not to legalize sports betting. More than half have done so, and a large proportion of betting is done on mobile devices. Growing adoption of 5G networks is expected to be a major factor in the predicted growth of sports betting to $144 billion by 2026, according to The Business Research Company.

The number and variety of bets is almost unbelievable. In last night’s Monday Night Football game, a “side” bet was whether new Seattle quarterback Geno Smith would attempt fewer than 30.5 passes in the game. (He did. He threw 28.)

The great potential of 5G

All these devices collecting and analyzing all this data in real time can only happen with the speed and reliability of 5G. This is why it is sometimes called a “keystone” technology. It enables many of the breakthroughs we see today, such as artificial intelligence, self-driving cars, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Some of these connected “things” are now athletes, coaches, TV channels, and watch and bet on these athletes and coaches.

This is where Eric Fry always saw a great opportunity…

By 2025, more than 40 billion “smart devices” will connect to the global network to become the Internet of Things (IoT). 5G networks will make these devices even smarter by enabling them to perform advanced computing functions at blazing speeds, in combination with artificial intelligence and machine learning processes.

As a result, connected devices such as smart locks, smart thermostats, smart security cameras and many other products [editor’s note: like smart umpires?] will not only work more reliably, but they will also “learn” to perform their specific functions more intelligently.

This opportunity is still in its infancy, which means it will produce a growing list of winners over time.

Companies that understand what’s going on and leverage this powerful new 5G network to enhance or create entirely new services and industries could quickly grow into the next Amazon or Netflix.

It’s the same with investors.

Those who understand that 5G is a much bigger story than faster smartphones…and understand that the last hype-filled years were just the build phase and not an empty promise…could make incredible gains as they go. as this story unfolds.

That’s why 5G is one of the megatrends Eric is following closely as he recommends 5G-specific tech games in Fry’s Investment Report. (Learn more about how you can access these choices here..)

Based on estimates from industry sources, Eric reported that 5G networks will generate a huge $56 trillion in global sales activity by 2050. We can “bet” that sports will be a big part of that. And we can “bet” that investors will see good opportunities to make money.