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Analytics and Big Data have disrupted many industries, and now they are on the edge of scoring major points in sport. Over the past few years, the world of sport has experienced an explosion in the use of analytics. Up until a few years back, experience, gut feelings, and superstition have traditionally shaped the decision making process in sport.
It first started with the Oakland Athletics’ General Manager, Billy Beane, who applied analytics for selecting right players. This was the first known use of statistics and data to make decisions in professional sports. Today, every major professional sports team either has an analytics department or an analytics expert on staff. From coaches and players to front offices and businesses; Analytics can make a difference in scoring touchdowns, signing contracts or preventing injuries.
Big name sporting organizations such as the Chicago Cubs, and Golden State Warriors are realizing that this is the future of sport and it is in their best interest to ride the wave while everyone else is trying to learn how to surf.
The Golden State Warriors, have similarly used big data sets to help owners and coaches recruit players and execute game plans.
SportVu has six cameras installed in the NBA arenas to track the movements of every player on the court and the basketball at 25 times per second. The data collected provides a plethora of innovative statistics based on speed, distance, player separation and ball possession to improve the next games.
Adidas miCoach app works by having players attach a wearable device to their jerseys. Data from the device shows the coach who the top performers are, and who needs rest. It also provides real-time stats on each player, such as speed, heart rate and acceleration.
The Patriots developed a mobile app called Patriots Game Day Live, available to anyone attending a game at Gillette Stadium. With this app, they are trying to predict the wants and needs of fans, special content that can be delivered, in-seat concession ordering and bathroom wait times.
FiveThirtyEight.com provides details into more than just baseball coverage. It has over 20 journalists crunching numbers for fans to gain a better understanding of an upcoming game, series or season.
Motus’ new sleeves for tracking a pitcher’s throwing motion, measures arm stress, speed and shoulder rotation. The advanced data generated from this increases a player’s health, performance and career. Experts can now predict with greater confidence if and when a pitcher with a certain throwing style will get injured.
In the recent Cricket world cup, every team had its own team of Data Analysts. They used various technologies like Cloud Platform and visualizations to predict scores, player performance, player profiles and more. Around 40 years’ worth of Cricket World Cup data is being mined to produce insights that enhances the viewer’s experience.
Analytics can advance the sports fans’ experience as teams and ticket vendors compete with the at-home experience – the thinking being that the better they know their fans, the better they can cater to them.
This collection of data is also used for internet ads, which can help with the expansion and growth of your organization through social media platforms or websites.
- What would be the most profitable food served at the concession stand?
- What would be the best prices to sell game day tickets?
- Determine which player on the team is the most productive?
- Which players in the draft will become all-stars, and which ones will be considered role players?
- Understand the fans behavior at the stadium via their app and push relevant information accordingly.
In this Digital age, Analytics is the present and future of professional sports. Any team that does not apply them to the fullest is at a competitive disadvantage.
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