A few months ago, I talked about how the Phoenix Suns adopted the Samsung Galaxy Tab for their entire organization. At the time I thought it was a very smart move, and I still wonder why we haven’t heard of more professional sports teams doing the same thing. It makes a lot of sense, for a bunch of different reasons. I know one of the main reasons why some teams are hesitant is because the leagues have restrictions on using them on the sidelines, and that makes sense. With the way technology is today, there is no telling what kind of sneaky things some team would try to do to gain an edge in the billion dollar market that has become professional sports. However, there are still a ton of different ways that sports teams can use tablets without taking them onto the playing field on game day.
The Denver Broncos decided to go all in on this idea for this upcoming season. They are doing away with their weekly 500-page playbook for each player. I am by no means a tree hugger, but I also want to do what I can to make sure our planet stays healthy for a while. So let’s look at some numbers: If there are 40 players on each team that get a playbook every week, and 17 weeks in the regular NFL season, that means that each team uses 340,000 sheets of paper in a season. Now that number is just for players. I’m sure most coaches and assistant coaches get playbooks as well. So lets add in ten playbooks for coaches, with an additional 85,000 sheets per season. That makes 425,000 sheets of paper per season, just for playbooks. At Best Buy’s current prices ($5.99 per 500 sheets), that would be $5091.50, just for paper. In my work’s copier, each copy costs us about six cents to print. Add the $25,500 for ink and printer costs and you end up with $30,591.50. Now I know this is a very rough guess, but that is a lot of money just to print out playbooks each week. Multiply that by the 32 teams in the NFL and you get almost a million dollars just on printing costs!
The Broncos used something similar to my example above in the reasoning for moving to the iPad for their players. They state that the iPads will pay for themselves in a very short amount of time. Using my example above of $30,591.50 for each team per year, that averages out to about $600 per player or coach per season. Those iPads will be paid for before the year is up.
The main app that the Broncos will be using is one called PlayerLync. It is a digital playbook that gives players and coaches the ability to add notes and even video to the playbook. The Broncos are also planning on having game film available as soon as an hour after each game on their iPads. Another great thing about the iPads is the remote erase feature. Most teams are very security conscience when it comes to their playbooks, and now they don’t have to worry about one falling into an opposing teams hands. If a player or coach loses his iPad, they simply have to log on and erase all the sensitive data remotely. As a tablet fan, I would love to see the rest of the professional sports teams across all leagues follow the way of the Suns and Broncos and move to tablets for more of their day-to-day items. To me, it just makes sense.