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Stats’ AI solution gives winning insights to soccer teams

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Lumenalta helped Stats Perform supercharge their soccer data with artificial intelligence, giving players, analysts, and coaches the on-field advantage.

About

As soccer clubs strive for the edge over opponents, many have turned to advanced analytics to bring fresh insight to game data — enhancing and accelerating match preparation from the boots on the field up to the clubhouse.

Stats, the leader in sports data management, has been tracking soccer data since 1999. To create more utility for players, analysts, and coaches, they partnered with Lumenalta to build an AI-enabled, multi-device solution that supercharged their data and unlocked real-time insights.

Using machine learning, the dedicated team of data scientists, developers, designers, and product analysts created a comprehensive solution that leveraged computer vision and live video classification algorithms to document player behaviors on the pitch.

When paired with a custom-built insights platform, Stats was able to provide real-time insights that informed sideline decision making during the game, and game preparation from strategic discussions to player feedback.

5
Hours saved per game so matches can be watched back immediately
1B+
Unique event and tracking data points
500+
Matches covered annually

Challenge

When underdog Croatia began game preparation before facing off against England in the 2018 World Cup semi-finals, time was not on their side as games were just four or five days apart. In case you missed it: Croatia won 2:1, but lost to France in the finals.

“In situations like that, you can’t spend five hours coding up a match, which is what analysts tend to do,” says Dr. Patrick Lucey, vice president of AI at Stats Perform, in an interview with Bleacher Report. “They would also want to watch the previous five matches England had played, and that can take about 24 hours in terms of human annotation time. That stuff is kind of silly, and this is what technology is for.” 

Stats saw an opportunity to develop an interconnected suite of tools to give soccer coaches immediate insights to share with their players.

Solution

“With an aggressive product development timeline, we needed a partner who had advanced mobile and machine-learning capabilities and could also match our pace,” says Darryl Lewis, former CTO of Stats Perform.

They partnered with Lumenalta to serve all aspects of game insights, creating an interactive mobile experience to support player-coaching and feedback, an analytics engine that powered in-game insights for coaches, and a native Apple pen application that made interacting with the data as easy as drawing on a clipboard.

Stats Perform AI solution example of data flow from real game

“Using [Lumenalta]’s short cycle, agile delivery approach we were able to easily work with their top talent. In less than six months, we released a category-defining solution.”

Darryl Lewis, former CTO, Stats Perform

Through the platform, coaches get the ability to quickly analyze a team’s performance and give feedback on their weaknesses. The platform learns new plays and collects historical data based on previous videos so that analytics on specific plays, teams, or players can be shared with players on the team.

Stats Perform AI solution example of soccer player data

“Using these tools, we can segment part of the videos, and at the click of a button you have all this analysis,” says Lucey. “What it does is tie objective analysis with video.”

Results

Now when coaches and analysts are dissecting matches, they’re saving five hours of coding time. With this new tool, computers do the heavy lifting so it can be watched back at the click of a button.

Stats Perform video and data examples that show insights

When it comes to the World Cup, five hours is precious time spent in between games studying your opponents’ strengths and weaknesses. During the regular season, Stats’ users have gained immense efficiencies in their analysis and decision making before, during, and after matches.

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