It is not a terribly far stretch. In the last decade, GoPro has built a large and passionate following on YouTube and other Internet sites with its adrenaline-soaked and professionally made videos of surfers riding through barrels of waves and skiers parachuting off snow-covered cliffs. Customers have independently uploaded millions of their own videos, too. And many happily label the clips with the term GoPro, which has become a sort of shorthand for action shots.
“Imagine if Silicon Valley created a football franchise. The owner/CEO would be barely more than 30, and he would talk a lot about learning to embrace failure. The president would be a veteran of Facebook, Yahoo, and YouTube. The coach would be interested in what analytics could tell him about his two-minute offense. The COO would be finding ways to harness the power of Big Data when negotiating contracts. And, of course, the team would play in a brand-new, solar-powered football palace with Wi-Fi robust enough to make folks in the Googleplex jealous -- enabling fans to use a mind-blowing mobile app that might just redefine the live sports experience.
Welcome to the San Francisco 49ers, startup edition. With a history dating back to 1946 and a glorious past that includes five Super Bowl victories, the Niners are one of the National Football League's most venerable franchises. But under the leadership of owner Jed York, 32, the team has undergone a complete reboot over the past few years. “
Artist rendering of Levi's stadium the home of the 49ers starting later this year, with all kinds of new technologies described in article
I wrote earlier in year about SAP's sports apps. Now the NBA takes it further
"The NBA, says DeGennaro, began working to add video this summer. Replays for each game will become available about 45 minutes after the final buzzer, roughly the time it takes an employee in the league’s Secaucus (N.J.) offices to log the video. Once a game is in the system, SAP’s HANA software can call up the requested slice of video in a matter of seconds. (For now, replays are available only via desktop, but the NBA intends to add mobile, according to DeGennaro.)"
Admit it – you are curious about the record setting field goal by Matt Prater in Denver. Ralph Cipolla explains
“The reduced air density does make a difference. At 55+ yards, it’s like getting a 4 or 5 yard advantage over sea-level. However, today’s game temperature makes the kick even more impressive when you consider what very cold weather does to a football, and the human foot (it was 14F when Prater made his kick). Molecules constrict, and everything feels harder – kickers say that kicking in very cold temps is like kicking a brick… with your bare foot. I tried it once, on a bet… 30 yards at 20 degrees – the upper half of my right foot was purple for 2 weeks.”
"ESPN’s cable channels collect more than $5 a month from each of the
nearly 100 million American households that subscribe to pay-TV, more
than any other channel by far. That comes to about $6.5 billion in
revenue, without even considering advertising. With an estimated value
between $40 billion and $60 billion, ESPN is at least 20 times bigger
than the New York Times Company, or five times bigger than News Corp. As
a single asset, ESPN could be worth as much as all the other parts of
its majority owner, the Walt Disney Company, combined."
"Far beyond televising games, ESPN has become the chief impresario of
college football. By infusing the sport with billions of dollars it pays
for television rights — more than $10 billion on college football in
the last five years alone — ESPN has become both puppet-master and
kingmaker, arranging games, setting schedules and bestowing the gift of
nationwide exposure on its chosen universities, players and coaches."
And it's not just going after the sports fan - it's actually attracting a number of geeks with its focus on analytics as in the sponsorship of the annual MIT Sloan Sports Analytics event
"Aside from the general
sponsorship (every Sloan Conference badge, pamphlet and logo was
meticulously emblazoned with a reminder: "Presented by ESPN"), the
company brought along 189 registered attendees to the event, ranging
from low-level data scientists and researchers to president John Skipper
and evp John Walsh, who could be seen wandering the halls in a cowboy
hat. All conference attendees were treated to a complimentary issue of
ESPN The Magazine's 2nd annual analytics issue,
a rare company celebration of data and charts, the timing of which was
no mere coincidence. During the show, ESPN's message was painfully
obvious: See, you nerds, we're here! We're listening!"
When I spent some time with the HP Vertica team at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Event earlier this month they told me about a Sentiment Tracker they were working on in prep for the NCAA March Madness countdown of 64 college teams which starts tomorrow. Various HP Software resources from Autonomy,
HP Vertica, and HP Information Management & Analytics (IM&A) were involved in the project.
The analysis looked at roughly half a million Tweets using Autonomy’s data aggregator, crunching the data using Vertica and visualization (like below) using Tibco Spotfire:
Volume of tweets by team
Volume of tweets by player
Positive, negative, and neutral sentiment groupings
Volume of tweets by U.S. city and by worldwide country
Volume of tweets by language (English, French, Spanish, etc.)
How is that going to help with your "bracketology"?
As Jeff Healey of Vertica asks here "why not use HP Vertica’s tight integration with R to develop
a statistical model based on data available from ESPN and the likes on
hard basketball statistics, such as field goal percentage, points
allowed, head-to-head scoring, and more? You could correlate that
statistical data with sentiment data trending from Twitter."
Or you could just put your finger in the air and let it pick your squares like you have done forever:)
Williams has all that information. He’s spent the past three years developing new camera software that scans facial expressions to identify fan behaviors — think cheering, jeering, talking on a cell phone — in real time at a stadium. So a company can measure, for example, how many eyeballs are attached to a Jumbotron ad (are fans looking?) and how well it’s being received (are they laughing? Smiling? Fiddling on their phones and ignoring it?).
In other words, it’s like Nielsen ratings for crowd behavior at a sports event. Says one NFL executive, who watched Williams unveil his creation at the annual MIT Sloan Sports Analytics conference in early March: “That information is incredibly valuable.”