SAP Leonardo and Big Data in Sports

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January 4, 2019
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Technology matters for success in sports. Sports teams generate significant amounts data — player stats, performance test data, medical or scouting data, and more — and it’s difficult to fully take advantage of it.

Imagine the head coach or owner of a professional soccer team is facing a challenge. The team has good players but has not been doing as well as hoped. How could they continue to get better and learn from mistakes?

They could hire someone to look after player statistics, but this is costly and error-prone. Gathering data with existing staff does not solve the problem either, as it’s not the data itself but insights gleaned from the data that the team really needs. The insight requirements are multi-dimensional and cover topics like player practice and game strategies, recruiting, and health management.

SAP Leonardo for Sports & Entertainment Can Help

To help, SAP has introduced an industry innovation kit to make sense of the massive data needs facing a sports team.

With the kit coaches can gain a real-time holistic view of player and team performance. Real-time analysis helps coaches provide better advice to their players. Having one central system to manage all administrative, training, team management, scouting, and medical processes allows professional sports teams to harness Big Data to further improve performance.

How does the kit help users obtain performance insights? With the SAP Analytics Cloud solution, the kit can help monitor player performance and other critical data in real time. This can help coaches better understand how players are playing and where they need to improve. Whether it be shooting, passing, or penalty kicks, they will know exactly where each player’s strengths and weaknesses are.

The kit can also help estimate how long a player needs to recover after they have received an injury. Another benefit is the real-time portion of the kit, meaning that during a game, players can receive instant feedback on what they need to work on.

The kit can also offer more insight on the next match so coaches can be more strategic and prepared. A cloud deployment makes it easier for the entire coaching staff to collaborate in real time, building transparency and trust.

The team option for the SAP Leonardo industry innovation kit for Sports & Entertainment has both a gold and silver editions. The gold edition is made for teams in the first division associations, which have more staff and a heavier data load than second division teams, which could benefit from the silver edition.

The kit has a strong emphasis on soccer teams. Teams in Germany like Borussia Dortmund, VFB Stuttgart, Fortuna Dusseldorf, FC Basel, Norwich City, and Leicester City are using SAP solutions to help improve on the field.

As Sebastian Brunnert, industry solution manager at SAP, explains “We are using similar data monitoring technology in basketball clubs, handball clubs, and the skiing federation.” Although the main focus is soccer, similar products can aid in other sports as well. To learn more, watch this video:

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