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US – Bally’s seeks to ‘transform fan engagement’ through 2.0 gamification of combat sports

By - 10 June 2021

Bally’s and Oscar de la Hoya’s KO Entertainment, a subsidiary of boxing promotion company Golden Boy Promotions, have entered a strategic relationship that aims to transform fan engagement.

To unveil the initiative, the companies will broadcast a pilot of “Oscar de la Hoya’s KO Entertainment Presents Bally’s Fight Night” — a reimagining of how the sports of boxing and mixed martial arts are presented, and the first development in the 2.0 gamification of combat sports.

Bally’s Fight Night will feature five professional MMA and four professional boxing contests displayed in a video game type presentation. Utilising sensors and a custom built data tracking dashboard, a variety of objective data points such as punch force, and punch combinations thrown and landed, will be captured in real time.

Through the use of sports science, the data will be conveyed in an on-screen power bar, similar to those displayed in video games, summarising a fighter’s total absorbed damage.

To enhance the gamification of combat sports and the viewing experience, Bally’s intends to integrate Monkey Knife Fight, its daily fantasy sports platform, into live broadcasts.

Soo Kim, Chairman of Bally’s Corporation’s Board of Directors, explained: “This partnership represents an extraordinary opportunity to bring together experts in gaming, media and combat sports to breathe new life into boxing and mixed martial arts.

“By integrating our innovative technology and interactive gaming platforms into combat sports, we will create new and transformative ways for audiences to engage with our live broadcasts.

“We look forward to unveiling the pilot of Bally’s Fight Night, which represents just the beginning of this journey, and invite viewers to tune in for what should be an incredible night of entertainment.”

Oscar de la Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, commented: “We have the utmost respect for the storied history and tradition of boxing and mixed martial arts.

“By partnering with Bally’s, and working to develop this innovative product, we believe that we can deliver real-time, data-based insights into the punch-by-punch action, creating a level of transparency and objectivity that has never existed before.

“We will also provide an experience that is more easily understandable for the average viewer, and at the same time more rewarding and safer for fighters.”

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