Podcast recap: Unlocking the value of live sports data

10.07.20

by Editorial Staff

Yet to catch our latest podcast exploring the growing importance of sports data? Experts shine a light on the Bundesliga as they talk digital transformation and the future of sports innovation. Read on for our summary with relevant timecodes

10.07.20

by Editorial Staff

Yet to catch our latest podcast exploring the growing importance of sports data? Experts shine a light on the Bundesliga as they talk digital transformation and the future of sports innovation. Read on for our summary with relevant timecodes

Data.

Fans and sports properties alike know how important it is to the beautiful game. But how will its use evolve in the years ahead? How can it help clubs today respond to the challenges of live play within a world impacted by COVID?

In our latest Field to Fan podcast episode, Unlocking the True Value of Live Sports Data, our host Jason Bradwell is joined by Andreas Heyden, CEO at DFL Digital Sports GmbH & EVP Digital Innovations DFL Group, and Christian Holzer, Managing Director at Deltatre AG and Sportec Solutions, a joint venture between the DFL and Deltatre.

Topics on the agenda include digital transformation and their lessons learned, the Bundelisga becoming its own media house, data and sports betting, and the future of sports innovation.

Read on for snippets of their conversation and listen to the full podcast below.

On driving innovation at the DFL

Andreas [3:38]: “We want to have a football which is as close to the fans as our clubs are close to the fans.”

On what Sportec Solutions brings to the Bundesliga

Christian [4:48]: “One of the main drivers for that joint venture was the target to have the full value chain under control, from the very first data point on the pitch up to the delivery of that data into various applications.”

On Bundesliga becoming its own media house

Andreas [7:09]: We sum it up in the “glass to glass” strategy. So our business model is we take a game that is played by clubs from the glass of a camera lens and we try to create the most compelling product in the highest quality...towards the glass of the camera lens or the TV set of the customer. Having this full value chain, this full protection set-up in mind and always taking the perspective of the fan who receives it has a great effect on our business.”

On the future of data in betting

Andreas [10:48]: “In our business models, we have two ways to sell data; either through wholesale partners or direct and there are also rights categories around betting.”

Christian [11:05]: “Especially when it comes to match data, there are new areas that we can discover with new technologies. That’s again the part of innovation...we are looking into every day, especially in terms of artificial intelligence and machine learning – those new technologies are enabling us to look beyond the standard statistics... We can basically try to simulate the outcome of the game before it actually takes place based on match data.”

On lessons learned when bringing in a new digital sports ecosystem

Andreas [16:15]: “The first rule for me would be never bet against automation. Any kind of work that could be done to a certain degree either as a complete piece of work or at the pre-production stage, machines are maybe not more creative than humans, but they are more efficient.”

Andreas [17:55]: “Go cloud-native, do it fast, start small, get teams onto it, give them freedoms to do many, many small projects to enable bigger change... and invest in human capital.”

On the role of technology in Bundesliga’s restart

Andreas [20:30]: “It was less a technological solution; it was more a process orientated solution... What we do see in technology is that companies... are developing software-based solutions to help clubs to maintain social distance so there were technical solutions deployed that give a little alarm or feedback if you’re too close to somebody else, etc.”

Christian [22:35]: “We delivered the algorithms to determine how close players are getting... This was one little puzzle piece in the whole picture... If there would be a critical situation, we could follow up with a detailed analysis of which player had contact with which player so we can determine the likelihood of being infected by using match data.”

On the future of sport innovation

Andreas [31:43]: “To sum it up, technology-wise everything from 5G, AR and AI are in my focus for the next 2-3 years.”

Christian [32:15]: “One big topic for sure is the development of new insights, new KPIs that are helping us to turn that data lake into meaningful information and discover new information and new insights... On the technology side of the data, we have a heavy focus on automizing the data-gathering process and all the steps behind that”

Listen to the full, 43-minute podcast below.

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