Tech brands and popular sports leagues/clubs have always been in a good relationship. With millions of viewers watching the matches, it serves as a great platform for tech brands to market their products or services and hence competition between these tech brands to strike an exclusive deal with a sports league or club is always intense and quite often brings out some really good innovation as well.
Samsung's case with the Liga Portugal isn't any different. Liga Portugal is the governing body of Portugal's top two division premier leagues and a knockout type league called the Taca da Liga. In the past, Samsung has partnered with Liga Portugal to stream world's first VR football broadcast with the help of gear VR for an exciting match between Porto and Benfica back in 2015. Then, in 2016 Samsung joined hands with Liga Portugal again to help match referees providing match reports more efficiently with the help of a custom app designed specifically for the Galaxy Tab S and S2. This was termed as e-Liga, a mobile app solution that digitized and streamlined the way in which match referees reported the matches and hence cut down the use of paper. Samsung reports that 2,500 referees have utilized the app to streamline reports for about 419 matches till date with this service.
This process still took a couple hours of time as the referees had to manually log in the match data to the tablets. This year, Samsung are updating the e-Liga service with the help of its current flagship wearable The Gear S3 smartwatch. Samsung will be designing an app that goes on to the Gear S3 which the referees will be wearing during the match and feed in data as and when required within a few seconds and get back to officiating the game. Once the match ends, referees can sync their watch with the app on the Galaxy Tab S or S2 and within seconds upload the match report thus saving a lot of time of an already exhausted match official.
Samsung will be testing this during the semi-finals of the Taca da Liga 2017 (the first semi-final is over at the time of writing with Braga winning 3-0 over Setubal, followed by Benfica's game happening today) and the finals which take place on 29th or 30th of Jan depending on timezones.