Innovate 21: BT provides new opportunity to create the next innovation in sports broadcasting

Innovate 21 is a competition seeking ideas for exciting new sports broadcast experiences from entrepreneurs, creatives and start-ups.

Published: 5 May 2021 - 10.14am

BT Sport today launches Innovate 21, a competition seeking ideas for exciting new sports broadcast experiences from entrepreneurs, creatives and start-ups.

The competition will provide one lucky winner the opportunity to be at the heart of BT Sport’s industry-leading innovation.

With entries open from today, Innovate 21 invites submissions for innovations spanning the entire sports media and broadcast chain, from production at events through to the viewer at home.

BT Sport is looking to uncover exciting ideas from across the UK, with the winner receiving a potential six-figure opportunity to work with BT to develop their idea, technology or service for future use - and could even see it become available to all BT Sport customers.

“Innovate 21 looks set to raise the bar even further for what BT Sport’s customers can enjoy.”
- Jamie Hindhaugh, BT Sport chief operating officer

They will also receive BT Group mobile and/or broadband connectivity for a period of 12 months at no cost.

The competition is backed by BT Sport presenters Brian O’DriscollSuzi Perry and Robbie Savage, who will be part of a panel of experts, led by BT Sport chief operation offer Jamie Hindhaugh, that will select the winning innovation at a special event in September.

Those involved in identifying a shortlist and winner include Lucy Hedges, technology editor at Metro newspaper; Matt Stagg, director of mobile strategy at BT Sport; Christian Thrane, managing director, marketing for BT’s consumer division; and Andrew Mensah, social media influencer and presenter of BT Sport digital programing including What I Wore.

Following the deadline for entries at 11.59pm on 31 July, finalists will be invited to present their proposals to the panel at the BT Sport studios in east London in September, before a winner is selected.

The finalists will also have access to Marc Allera, chief executive of BT’s consumer division, for a unique chance to gain insight into innovation and technology from one of the leading FTSE 100 chief executives in the country. 

“Delivering world-class customer experiences is one of BT’s core objectives," said Mr Allera.

"Innovate 21 from BT Sport is a rare and exciting opportunity for entrepreneurs to join that effort but also to gain access to BT’s renowned expertise and leadership around technology, products and innovation.”

Robbie Savage, Suzi Perry and Brian O'Driscoll

BT Sport Innovates

BT Sport has a rich history of providing entrepreneurs with opportunities to be at the heart of innovation.

Since winning the 2018 BT Infinity Lab competition, Sceenic has worked with BT Sport to support last year’s launch of Watch Together on the BT Sport app.

Meanwhile, the winner of the 2016 BT Infinity Lab competition, Seenit, enabled fans to send in short video reports and comments from stadia around the country as part of BT Sport’s Premier League Tonight show.

“BT is offering entrepreneurs the chance to join BT Sport’s industry-leading pursuit of providing the ultimate sports viewing experiences to customers," said Mr Hindhaugh.

"We are proud to have continually given our customers even more ways to watch and experience sport in recent years and Innovate 21 looks set to raise the bar even further for what BT Sport’s customers can enjoy.”

The innovation revolution

Find out more about how BT Sport is revolutionising live sport viewing experiences at btsport.com/innovates

BT has been at the heart of sports broadcasting innovation over recent years, including several significant landmarks:

-       Last October, BT Sport and EE teamed up to launch Matchday Experience on the BT Sport app, offering fans the most immersive sports viewing experience anywhere in the UK, powered by EE’s number one 5G network. Features include Watch Together - the only service in the UK allowing fans to watch, see and chat with three other friends, alongside any BT Sport broadcast, thanks to a split-screen interface.

-       BT Sport was the first broadcaster to show live content in 4K and UHD in 2015 and the first to adopt Dolby Atmos in 2016. BT Sport has also embraced social media, being the first to show the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League finals on YouTube and showing content such as BT Sport Score live for free on Twitter and Facebook.  

-       In 2018 BT Sport and EE successfully carried out the world’s first live broadcast over 5G using remote production, delivering a two-way transmission from Wembley Stadium to London’s ExCeL exhibition centre.

-       In 2019, BT Sport collaborated with BT’s Media & Broadcast arm to broadcast the world’s first live 8K test broadcast, into the IBC exhibition in Amsterdam.

How to enter Innovate 21

Entrants are encouraged to submit proposals in areas including, but not limited to, the Matchday Experience offering on the BT Sport app, ideas which have a strong sustainability, inclusivity or accessibility focus and ideas which enhance the live sports experience.

Entries must be made by sending an email to innovate21@bt.com with the following information by or before midnight on 31 July 2021:

-          A copy of a signed Non-Disclosure Agreement, the terms of which can be accessed here.

-          A minimum 500-word summary of the idea.

-          Information on possible use cases for the idea.

-          Detail of any recent/past deployments of the idea.

-          Indication of budget and timeline required to bring idea to life.

-          An outline of the Entrant’s diversity and inclusivity policy and how this will come to life should they get the opportunity to work with the Promoter.

-          Proof that the entrant is submitting an entry in their capacity as part of a commercial organization that is no bigger than a small-to-medium-sized business as defined by the Companies Act 2006 and that the individual entering the Competition is a Director of the Company. Entrants must provide the registered Company number along with its last set of public accounts.

Full terms and conditions and details of how to enter are provided below.

Innovate 21: Terms and conditions

1.       The Promoter is British Telecommunications plc, with a registered office at 81 Newgate Street London EC1A 7AJ.

2.       The Competition is only open to registered companies that are no bigger than a small-to-medium-sized business as defined by the Companies Act 2006 that are not dissolved, inactive, or dormant during the Competition term (the “Company” or “Entrant”). Only one entry per Company.

3.       The Promoter reserves the right to verify the eligibility of all Entrants and the nominated representatives of their Company (each group being a “Team”) and to check the registered status of each Company e.g. on Companies House.  Members of the Team must either be employees or Directors of the company.

4.       At least one of the Team members entering this competition on behalf of the Entrant must be a Director of the Company who has full capacity and authority to do so, along with all necessary licences, permits and consents, to bind the Company to these Terms and Conditions. Such individuals must upload a document evidencing their position as the Director of the Company, e.g. from Companies House. 

5.       The scope and purpose of this Competition is as follows (the “Competition Scope”):

•             This is a competition for small businesses to identify a new innovation around sports media and broadcast, spanning the entire broadcast chain, from production at events through to the viewer at home device, which are likely to have direct or indirect benefits for BT Sport customers. Areas of interest include, but are not limited to:

(i)                  any solutions that enhance sustainability

(ii)                content capture

(iii)               content distribution

(iv)               viewer engagement

(v)                social media

(vi)               user interfaces

(vii)              augmented reality

(viii)             immersive experiences

(ix)               data analytics

(x)                 production-side media

•             The winner will have the opportunity to work with BT to develop the ideas contained within their winning entry for potential future use. Uses include but are not limited to: a non-public test/demonstration, a public test/demonstration, launch of the idea to BT customers.

6.       The winning Entrant will receive the following prize (subject to applicable terms and conditions):

•             have the opportunity to work with BT to develop the ideas contained within their winning entry for potential future use. Uses include but are not limited to: a non-public test/demonstration, a public test/demonstration, launch of the idea to BT customers;

•             receive BT Group mobile and/or broadband connectivity for a period of 12 months at no cost to the winning Entrant for specific use in developing the winning entry. BT will determine the exact product(s) to be made available; and

•             gain access to the BT facilities and resources for a period determined by BT to enable idea development.

7.       The Promoter reserves the right to substitute a prize of equivalent or greater value if this is necessary for reasons beyond its control. No cash alternative will be offered and prizes are non-transferable.

8.       Entries must be made by sending an email to innovate21@bt.com with the information specified in (9) to arrive by or before midnight on 31 July 2021.  

9.       Entries must include the following information:

•             A minimum 500-word summary of the idea

•             information on possible use cases for the idea

•             detail of any recent/past deployments of the idea

•             indication of budget and timeline required to bring idea to life

•             an outline of the Entrant’s diversity and inclusivity policy and how this will come to life should they get the opportunity to work with the Promoter

•             proof that the entrant is submitting an entry in their capacity as part of a commercial organisation that is no bigger than a small-to-medium-sized business as defined by the Companies Act 2006 and that the individual entering the Competition is a Director of the Company. Entrants must provide the registered Company number along with its last set of public accounts.

•             A copy of a signed Non-Disclosure Agreement, the terms of which can be accessed here.

10.   Winning Entrants will be selected in order of merit and will meet a minimum standard of quality. The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

11.   The Competition will be assessed in two stages: a preliminary shortlisting stage, and a final presentation (“Pitch”) stage. The Promoter reserves the right to:

a)            re-allocate the shortlisted Entrants and Winning Entrant(s) if they cannot be contacted within a reasonable period of time (to be established at the Promoter’s sole discretion); and

b)           disqualify any Entrant or select an alternative winner in the event that it believes that any Entrant has contravened these Terms and Conditions.

12.   Successful entries will meet a minimum standard of quality.

13.   Entries will not be considered in circumstances including but not limited to the following.

•             If the proposed idea is currently or has in the past five years been trialed/evaluated by any other commercial or academic organization

•             If the Entrant does not own the necessary intellectual property rights or other legal rights in order to further progress the ideas contained within their entry in accordance with the Competition Scope;

•             If the budgets, timeline and requirements of the proposed idea are deemed by the Promoter to be significantly different to those as outlined in the entry; or

•             If the proposed idea requires a significant amount of involvement by third parties.

14.   In the event of a disqualified entry, the Promoter reserves the right to choose an alternative winner at any point in the future. The Promoter reserves the right to choose more than one winner, who will each receive the same prize.

15.   The winner will be the Entrant that presents an entry which the judges deem at their discretion to be the best idea in pursuance of the Competition Scope, taking all circumstances into account including but not limited to the following criteria:

·         Extent to which the idea identifies new live sports experiences for BT Sport customers;

·         Extent to which the idea complements BT Sport’s Matchday Experience offering: https://www.bt.com/sport/features/matchday-experience-bt-sport-app-augmented-reality-watch-together

·         How it enhances BT Sport’s sustainability or inclusivity or accessibility credentials.

Stage One (entries assessment):

16.   In the first stage of the Competition the Promoter will establish a review panel made up of key employees across BT Group to assess each submission. The review panel will review each entry and decide which successful entries will progress to the stage two of the Competition.

17.   During this time the Promoter may contact any Entrant with a request for further information. Requests for further information must be responded to as soon as possible, as the review panel will not delay their final decision to accommodate a response to a request for further information. Unsuccessful Entrants will be informed on or before 31 August 2021.

Stage Two (The final):

18.   Finalists will be notified by telephone on or before 31 August 2021 .

19.   Each Finalist will be invited to a Pitch session, held at a BT venue in London. The Entrant must be available on the date communicated to them when they are notified in (18), which will be a tbc date in September 2021. This date and the format of the Pitch session might change at BT’s discretion.

20.   The Pitch will consist of:

a)            a presentation, where each Entrant shall present their idea to a panel of judges. The panel of judges will be made up of key employees across BT Group and at least one independent member. The presentation is an opportunity to explain and demonstrate the idea to the panel. As part of the presentation, the Entrant must answer any questions posed to the best of their knowledge and belief.

b)           an assessment session – the panel alone will review its findings and select a winner from the Finalists.

c)            The winning Entrant will be informed that they have won that day

Information and Privacy

21.   To enter into this Competition you must first obtain all required consents from each member of your Team to allow for the Promoter to process each Team member’s personal data for the purposes of running the Competition and administering the Prize.

22.   Your personal details will be retained for the purpose of the Competition and will not be processed for any other purpose, unless you choose or have chosen to receive information from the Promoter. For more information please see BT’s Privacy Policy which can be found at https://www.bt.com/privacy-policy/

Intellectual Property

23.   All entries must be the independent and original creation of the Entrant and must not infringe the copyright or other intellectual property rights of any third party, nor breach the confidential information of any third party. For the avoidance of doubt this includes any content submitted as part of a video pitch, including music, content, and visuals.

24.   Upon entering into this Competition and submitting your entry, the Entrant hereby grants a non-exclusive limited licence to the Promoter to use the content (including any intellectual property rights that subsists in it) in order to meet the Competition Scope.

•             If you are not a Winning Entrant, this licence will expire once the winner is announced.

•             If you are a Winning Entrant:

(i)                  this licence will continue for a 12-month period commencing from the date on which you are informed of your winning entry;

(ii)                for a 3-month period from the date of being informed that you are a Winning Entrant, you agree to enter into good faith negotiations, on an exclusive basis with the Promoter, to investigate the possibility of entering into a commercial agreement for further development or use of the ideas contained within the Winning Entry;

(iii)               you agree for the duration of the Competition and for the 3-month period after being notified that you are a Winning Entrant not to disclose any information relating to your entry with any third party that the Promoter considers at its discretion to be a competitor 

25.   Once the Finalist Teams have been decided the Promoter shall be entitled (but not obliged) to feature or present to the public any entries from each Finalist submitted under this Competition in any form, in all media (including without limitation) and any goods or products manufactured by or on behalf of the Promoter.

26.   The Promoter is an active innovator in both technology and customer experience, and has a number of developments in progress at any one time. By entering into this Competition you acknowledge that any similarity between ideas or entries submitted to this Competition and future BT products is entirely coincidental.

27.   By entering this Competition you agree that your image, biography and likeness (if applicable) may be used by the Promoter in unpaid promotional related publicity (including photographic shots and interviews) and you agree to waive your moral rights accordingly.

Confidentiality

28.   Confidentiality will be treated in accordance with the terms of the signed Non-Disclosure Agreement submitted by the Entrant in order to enter this Competition.

29.   The winner will be announced on or before 31 October, 2021.

30.   Submitting an entry to this Competition is deemed to be acceptance by the entrants of these Terms and Conditions. The Promoter reserves the right to alter, amend or foreclose this Competition without prior notice in the event that unforeseen circumstances make this unavoidable.

31.   The Promoter accepts no responsibility for any loss, damage, injury or disappointment suffered by any entrant resulting from entering this Competition or by the entrant’s acceptance of the prize, or any damage to any entrant’s or other person’s computer or mobile phone equipment as a consequence of downloading any material relating to this promotion.

32.   This promotion and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with it or its subject matter shall be governed by and construed in accordance the laws of England and Wales. The courts of England and Wales shall have exclusive jurisdiction to settle any dispute or claim (including non-contractual disputes or claims) arising out of or in connection with this agreement or its subject matter or formation.