Saracens, a professional Rugby Union team in the Aviva Premiership (top flight) in the UK, are using the iPad to help give their team a competitive edge.
Rugby is somewhat similar to football, but with players wearing nearly no pads and games played at breakneck pace for two 40-minutes halves. So an 80 minute match takes something very close to 80 minutes – nothing like the 3.5 hours required to play a 60 minute football game. It’s a great sport and Saracens are currently one of the best teams in the UK’s top league. And … the iPad is helping them stay on top, as recently reported in The Guardian, who spoke with the CEO of Saracens, Edward Griffiths.
No other club in Britain has totally rejected the old playbook orthodoxy and given every staff member an iPad instead.
To illustrate his point, Griffiths describes how Saracens’ pre-match team meetings have altered since specially encrypted iPads were doled out in February. "Typically, if we’re playing on a Sunday we have a team talk on a Friday morning at 10.30. The players listen to the coaches, watch clips of the opposition and talk about our approach. Then everyone goes out and trains. That used to be it. Now the whole team-talk is put on the iPad, complete with diagrams and video clips, so the player can study it again, even if he’s lying in bed on a Sunday morning. The amount of footage watched by our players last month compared with the previous month increased by something ridiculous like 2,500%."
The iPad is also being used by major sports teams in the US, in the NFL, NBA, and Major League Baseball. Chalk up another area where the iPad is proving a big hit – to go along with being a huge success in the consumer market, the enterprise, and in the healthcare and education arenas.
Oh, and if you know rugby traditions at all you may not be entirely shocked to hear that one Saracens player has already lost his iPad – after leaving it in a bar. :)
Big thanks to my friend Martin for sending me in links to this news.