NFL GSIS And Next Gen Stats New Distribution Partnership With Sportradar US

NFL GSIS And Next Gen Stats New Distribution Partnership With Sportradar US - Sports Techie blog.
NFL GSIS And Next Gen Stats New Distribution Partnership With Sportradar US – Sports Techie blog.

NFL GSIS And Next Gen Stats New Distribution Partnership With Sportradar US

The National Football League Next Gen Stats initiative is part of a sports and entertainment agreement granting exclusive distribution rights for the 2015 and 2016 season by new partners at Sportradar US. This breaking news released today signifies further development of a new sports technology data category together by the NFL and Sportradar centered on distributing official real-time scores, player statistics and play-by-play data known as the Game Statistics and Information System (GSIS), in addition to proprietary Next Gen Stats to digital outlets. The Sports Techie community blog was excited to represent SportsBlog during an overseas chat with Ulrich Harmuth, Managing Director, and Alexander Inglot, Head of Communications, Sportradar AG, from their locations in Switzerland and London respectively, about their company, tech solutions and new data-centric, 24/7 US facility, and how they plan to enhance broadcasts, the fan experience and sponsors ROI.

NFL tabs Sportradar US as new exclusive statistics distribution partner.
NFL tabs Sportradar US as new exclusive statistics distribution partner.

Sportradar US
Sportradar US is the U.S. branch of Sportradar AG, the global leader in sport, betting and media industries for sports data and content. Over 800 business clients in more than 80 countries rely on Sportradar’s data expertise and variety of international services. Their global HQ is in St. Gallen, Switzerland with 30 office locations worldwide. They employ in excess of 1,000 technically savvy staff around the globe.

Sportradar US is formerly known as SportsData LLC but after being acquired by Sportradar AG in 2013, they changed the name and are now accepted as the fastest-growing sports data provider in the United States. Part of their core competence is to provide official league feeds for the NFL and NASCAR, plus 20,000 live events covering professional football, baseball, basketball, hockey and golf events, plus collegiate football and basketball.

Harmuth added, “Coming right after our decision to rebrand SportsData as Sportradar US, this deal is an important milestone for our company and in particular underlines our commitment to securing a leading position in the U.S. sports data market. We are thrilled to partner with the NFL in developing a completely new data category that will boost the fan experience as well as improve how the NFL and its partners interact with their fans. At Sportradar we pride ourselves on being both a development and a technology partner to leagues and customers, and we are looking forward to working hand in hand with the NFL and exploring all the innovative possibilities this partnership opens up for both organizations.”

Sportradar provides data solutions for prominent global sport, technology and media corporations such as Google, CG Technology, IBM, Turner Sports, Bleacher Report, NCAA, NBC Sports, Facebook and Twitter.

If a customer needs Swiss sports or Finnish sport experts, or the biggest sporting market in the world here in the U.S. has a sports data need, Sportradar has technology focused, high level people on ground that understand local, regional, national and international needs for acuity and little delay.

A Sportradar Fraud Detection System (FDS) is in operation for UEFA and the German DFB/DFL. The innovative company is the exclusive, worldwide distributor for ITF (International Tennis Federation) Official Data.

Sportradar also provides betting software. Gambling establishments can look to Sportradar for fixtures, odds suggestions, trading tools and resulting software.  Their Live Scouting, Live Odds Services, Live Odds Monitoring and Live Trading Tools are made to improve betting status quo for users.

A new website was designed to inform about market-leading betting and sports data services in a more user friendly layout with new features and enhanced engagement.

NFL Sports Tech
The NFL decided to further their integration of performance metrics by aligning with a Sportradar data package in order to meet the demands of a 3.5 hour game. During a peak NFL game month, 1,008,000 total monthly requests are conducted to pull data from a single feed every second of an average game, according to Sportradar information. So to help close the deal, Harmuth said the goal of their company pitch to the NFL was to become a development and data partner so they could both distribute and create products. Sportrader saw a need and filled it.

“We look forward to our partnership with Sportradar US,” said Vishal Shah, VP of Media Strategy and Business Development at the NFL. “Statistics are core to the fan experience, and being able to broadly deliver new, differentiated viewpoints is compelling. Next gen stats is an exciting initiative that adds tremendous breadth and depth to our sport. The ability to partner with Sportradar US, with its focus on technology and high quality data distribution, enables the NFL bring these great experiences to the rapidly growing sports data market and our fans.”

Next Gen Stats
Beginning in the 2014 season, the Next Gen Stats initiative began capturing real-time location-based data for all players, in all games, such as speed, acceleration and distance traveled. Together with GSIS information, the NFL signed with Sportradar US to distribute the statistics and game info so fans can have better visuals and key data to help understand the kind of athletic skill sets it takes a running back to get to the edge or a safety to cover defensive passing zones in the secondary. Next Gen Stats Insights promise to reveal parts of the game fans will want to know about while in-stadium looking at mobile and big screens, on home HDTV mancaves or on the go with digital devices.

The NFL currently partners with Zebra Technologies for player tracking data captured in-stadium. Zebra receivers are installed throughout a stadium to communicate with shoulder pad radio-frequency identification (RFID) transmitters that gather exact location measurements, in real-time. Position, speed, and distance are a few registered categories compiled into a database. The new data can be distributed with new experiences constructed to it such as Sportradar API.

Sportradar plans to take the direct Zebra feed and connect it to play with the GSIS feed via their API platform that provides fast and seamless integration. The NFL‘s technology driven mandate wants to ensure the quality of the GSIS data is intact and widely distributed so Sportradar will step in with a custom data package that takes the manmade feed and connects it automatically creating a new data stream that can be shared and queried in real-time for score updates, stat driven performances and accurate play-by-play.

A players’ game-changing speed on a touchdown play is an opportunity to offer a deep dive breakdown for excited fans and broadcasters. The optimized Sportradar feed can decipher exactly what kind of action it was, for example whether a pass was completed and the if the player ran straight ahead or made significant cuts across the field, by gathering Zebra data and distributing it around the world in but a second.

Look for more NFL apps, connected devices and solutions to be developed over time by Sportradar.

Sportradar – driven by facts
I wanted to know more about how this partnership affects the fan experience. Harmuth felt the impact would be way more intense because of more data points. Their platform will help figure out when fans get excited and augment these times of the game with catchy visualization, predictions and stats. GSIS data presented before the game and especially after games when more stats are generated, has the potential to revolutionize gameday content with deeper sets of statistics. Ideally the initiative will help reshape the league and change how sponsors interact with fans. Increasing the production of richer data sets about what causes fan excitement will also assist Sportradar deliver better fan-friendly products.

I asked Ulrich about the new NASCAR partnership and how it relates to the NFL contract. He explained that NASCAR is not the magnitude the NFL deal but is a similar deal in terms of sensor data. They integrate with chip tracking data on the races cars and then normalize the data resulting in a data force. This combination of a play by force and a tracking force can be at times more tricky to produce.

New Sportradar US Facility
Sportradar US is headquartered in Minneapolis and recently opened a new 20,000 square foot state-of-the-art office ensuring top data redundancy. After the acquisition, Harmuth went to task growing revenue and then decided to build a new infrastructure with new offices for data capturing processes.

Harmuth said, “The facility is perfectly organized and dedicated to collecting, processing and monitoring data as well as upgrading client support, IT and development teams. It has more space and is a tech-like office space complete with light and glass design making it transparent to technology and fast driven business for 40 Data Entry people, 200 Developers, and Admin and Sales teams.”

The National Football League announced today a new multi-year agreement with Sportradar US to be its exclusive distributor of comprehensive statistics to digital outlets beginning in 2015.
The National Football League announced today a new multi-year agreement with Sportradar US to be its exclusive distributor of comprehensive statistics to digital outlets beginning in 2015.

Sports Techie, Ulrich is a newer NFL fan but has a US management team he leans of for guidance full of born American football fans in love with a particular team. He has seen the Vikings play and attended the last three Super Bowls. One of his Sales Managers hails from Boston and was over the top about the Patriots close win over the Seattle Seahawks.

This is a new category for the NFL and football but Sportradar has other programs in the testing phases with elite soccer teams. Since they cover some 300,000 events a year, they plan to cover the Rio 2016 Olympic games and Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup. Right now this new NFL tool is not sponsored by a vendor like Microsoft, Budweiser or Sports Techie but it could be.

Sportradar sells solutions to customers so if a specific social media need is required look to them for a technology driven answer. With 1,000 IT experienced employees, English is the required language for business not French.

Finally, I asked Harmuth if other US sports are in the pipeline like the NBA, NHL, MLB, MLS and UFC (MMA). He provided a diplomatic respond stating they will look at other opportunities if they make sense.

For me, it makes tremendous sense for the NFL to use sports tech as an innovative method to reach young fans, superfans and the casual fan with improved data surrounding fan excitement and big plays. Sportradar US is on the way to becoming a household name with the NFL global community of sponsors, families and friends.

Look for NBC, CBS and Fox Sports, ESPN and NFL Network to champion Sportrader US data sets.

See y’all later in Seattle, Atlanta and around the world.

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Tags: Sports Techie, sports technology, sports tech


One response to “NFL GSIS And Next Gen Stats New Distribution Partnership With Sportradar US”

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