Your source of information you can use along YOUR journey in the world of Sports Analytics. The intersection of sports, data and technology will be explored. Through interviews with experts and thought leaders, we’ll uncover how data science, artificial intelligence and analysis tools are being used for competitive advantage in sports. Industry trends and career opportunities will also be discussed.
011 - John Wirtz - Hudl Chief Product Officer and Co-Founder
39:24In this episode Hudl Chief Product Officer and Co-Founder, John Wirtz, discusses how their industry leading video and data analytics platform is helping over 160,000 teams worldwide improve and win. SUBSCRIBE Apple Google Spotify Stitcher iHeart TuneIn VALUE BOMBS Video is at the core for Hudl. The Value Hudl brings to market is in four categories; tools to help teams and organizations prepare for the next game, helping teams or players improve performance over time, helping teams and athletes promote themselves (i.e. recruiting highlights), building talent pipelines (helping teams find and evaluate talent). Hudl has global reach and works with 35 different sports. Hudl thinks of their products offering competitive advantage in three layers; video and data capture, analysis, communication and distribution. Hudl has invested heavily in Hudl Academy for helping user learn how to use Hudl for all supported sports (link provide below). Important for teams to have a defined and consistent process for building packages of desired information they want from Hudl. For those seeking career in sports analytics do these things. Get connected to a great organization or team and listen to the tough questions’ coaches are asking about opponent or themselves. Get connected into the sports analytics community (MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference). Building communications skills. RESOURCES MENTIONED Hudl Hudl Academy MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference SPONSORS Analytics4Coaches – Basketball Coach Training Courses Terry L Frederick - Sports Analytics Consulting & Career Coaching
010 – Dr. Darin White – Analytics of Sports Marketing and Sports Analytics Careers
37:34In this episode Dr. Darin White, Executive Director for Samford University’s Center for Sports Analytics, discusses the analytics of sports marketing and careers in sports analytics. SUBSCRIBE Apple Google Spotify Stitcher iHeart TuneIn VALUE BOMBS Major trend in the sports industry heard from sports team executives is that they need more students trained in sports business and analytics. Dr. White believes we are living in a world of “Data Explosion” similar to a time of the Industrial Revolution. 90% of the data created by the world has been created in the last 24 months! And continues to grow exponentially. In both business and sports. What questions to ask of the data is the big challenge and half the battle. There are four revenue streams in sports and need to know how they interact with each other. (Ticket sales & Gate Revenue, Licensing & Merchandising, Media Rights & Streaming, Sponsorship & Partnerships). Samford University Sports Analytics Center gives students real world experience working with sports teams and brands that need analytics work done. To drive revenue in sports the thing you really need to focus on is fan engagement and fan experience. Twitter is the main social media platform for sports. 50% of twitter traffic is sports related. Most sports executives and coaches are on Twitter. RESOURCES MENTIONED Samford University Center for Sports Analytics Workinsports.com – Industry sports analytics internships Teamworkonline.com – industry sports analytics internships Sports_Biz_Prof – Dr. Darin White’s Twitter Dr. Darin White LinkedIn SPONSORS Analytics4Coaches – Basketball Coach Training Courses Terry L Frederick - Sports Analytics Consulting & Career Coaching
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009 – CEO Troy Brazell and VP Benji Sloan of Optima Sports Analytics – Using Predictive Models to Draft the Right Players
35:44CEO Troy Brazell and Vice President of Optima Sports Analytics discuss how NFL and other professional sports teams are using predictive models to help teams draft the right players. SUBSCRIBE Apple Google Spotify Stitcher iHeart TuneIn VALUE BOMBS NFL teams and other professional sports franchises want to know the answer to a basic question when drafting players. Can the player play for the position or team system they are being drafting for? Optima Sports Analytics Predictive models look at individual player performance capability, which includes physical, technical, tactical, mental and emotional capacities or resources. And then makes assessment to help with draft accuracy to determine if a player can do the job and play at a high level. Sports teams are drowning in data but starving for intelligence. The challenge becomes which data points to use with data integrity being a primary factor to successful performance modeling. Optima Sports Analytics develops performance models to help build teams’ talent that fits, that works, has strong synergy and is built to perform within a team system and culture. Biggest challenges for more effectively using analytics for competitive advantage? Surprisingly, there are some NFL teams (in 2020) using Excel spreadsheets to make yes/no decisions on players. The opportunity exists to use predictive models for player selection, injury propensity, etc. RESOURCES MENTIONED Optima Sports Analytics Feeding America SPONSORS Analytics4Coaches – Basketball Analytics Training for Coaches Courses Online Terry L Frederick - Sports Analytics Consulting & Career Coaching
008 – Butch Carter – NBA Player & Head Coach – Analytics4Coaches
56:40NBA player and Head Coach Butch Carter explains how his Analytics4Coaches model helps coaches win basketball games. SUBSCRIBE Apple Google Spotify Stitcher iHeart TuneIn VALUE BOMBS Coach Carter and Mike Ellis created an analytic model for winning basketball games based on a constant empirical number; half of games are won and half of games are lost. Every night it is a zero-sum business. There is one winner and one loser. The model worked so well in the 1999-2000 season that as head coach of the Toronto Raptors Coach Carter, broke a 54-year-old NBA record taking the team from less than 20 wins in 18 months to the playoffs. That record still stands today. The model breaks down winning basketball games down into a framework of 4 key analytics: #1 – Winning the 1st and 3rd quarter of games. In today’s NBA teams that win the 1st and 3rd quarter win 80% of regular season games and 85% of playoff games. Important to practice a certain way to have the best chance to win 1st and 3rd quarters in games which includes practicing half-time (to avoid coming out flat). #2 – Stopping scoring runs and/or creating scoring runs. #3 – Getting back on defense and matching up or the officials will let you lose the game. Official are a key component of the model and must be factored in. #4 – After timeout execution on both offense and defense. Use the 4 key analytics as framework to guide what information to pull out of analytics software (film clip packages); HUDL, Synergy, etc. Use these to guide practice plans. Coach Carter is big a believer in drafting the best talent, modifying that talent through player development and then coordinating with the players to make them understand the things they need to do to every night to win basketball games. Coach Carter runs the NBA Assistant Coach Training program. The coursework in the Analytics4Coaches is similar to what is taught to people training to be NBA assistant coaches. RESOURCES MENTIONED Analytics4Coaches – Analytics4Coaches Website Coach Carter – Coach Butch Carter email ([email protected]) "SprawlBall" – Book by Kirk Goldsberry (trivia question source) Feeding America – Terry’s Charity Interest SPONSORS Terry L Frederick - Sports Analytics Consulting
007 – Tyler Heaps – US Soccer Federation Director of Sporting Analytics
32:16In this episode, Tyler Heaps discusses how US Soccer uses analytics in all facets of the organization from player performance to coaching and game strategy. SUBSCRIBE Apple Google Spotify Stitcher iHeart TuneIn VALUE BOMBS Five key areas US Soccer is using analytics on a daily basis; Opposition and self-analysis, Player pool monitoring and tracking, Looking for bigger picture trends in the game, Physical health and injury, Live and in game use. Articulating through data how to help coaches think differently is something US Soccer prides themselves on doing very well. Relationships between general manager, coaches and sport scientists are very important to collaboratively make better processes for efficient game analysis, looking at the right relevant data and looking at bigger picture context. Given lack of people resources it’s important that analytics staff can act as “Jack of All Trades”. Challenge is for all staff to stay standardized on the same processes. Most important aspect for a career in sports analytics is about the relationships created and conversations with coaches. In order for anyone in analytics to be successful you have to be in with the coaching staff so that your work can be used. RESOURCES MENTIONED US Soccer Federation Soccer Analytics 101 – Trivia Question Source SPONSORS Terry L Frederick - Sports Analytics Consulting
006 - Jamie Hepner - How GPS Wearable Technology is Helping Athletes and Teams Win
35:37In this episode with Jamie Hepner, Director of Applied Sport Science at Catapult Sports, we discuss how GPS wearable technology and data is being used to improve athlete performance and enhance decision making by teams. SUBSCRIBE Apple Google Spotify Stitcher iHeart TuneIn VALUE BOMBS All the data and numbers are interesting, cool and in vogue but, “If it doesn’t change what you already do then it’s essentially a waste of time and money. ”Next steps of using data is to ask; What are the things we don’t know yet? Not to replace coaching but to enhance the coaching decision-making process to fundamentally gain a competitive advantage. Recent NFL draft limited access to players due to Covid-19 highlighted possible potential for the change in approach in how talent is identified. Future of sports analytics and use of Big Data is being driven by the market and more buy-in. Serious uptick in this thinking by sports teams has been seen in the last few years evidenced by heavy investment. In the next few years we will see more real time in game decisions being made based on live data. The use of Sports Analytics in the media will continue to grow. For a career in Sports Analytics, understanding where analytics fits in the bigger picture is absolutely important. Difference makers in the field will be the ones that are looking at questions we don’t know how to ask yet. RESOURCES MENTIONED Catapult Sports 15 Ways Analytics Has Changed Sports – Trivia Question Source SPONSORS Terry L Frederick - Sports Analytics Consulting & Career Coaching
005 - Dr Michael Leeds (Part 2)- Are Stadium Naming Rights Worth All That Money?
15:28In this interview with Dr. Michael Leeds we discuss his research on the value of stadium naming rights. SUBSCRIBE Apple Google Spotify Stitcher iHeart TuneIn VALUE BOMBS Dr. Michael Leeds conducted research to see if naming rights lead to company profits. 54 major league stadiums that had naming rights deals spanning baseball, football, basketball and hockey were studied with the following findings: Vast majority (40+) didn’t show any statistically significant increase in value Only 2 or 3 showed a positive return RESOURCES MENTIONED A stadium by any other name: the value of naming rights – Dr. Leeds Article Other Articles by Dr. Leeds Catapult Sports SPONSORS Terry L Frederick - Sports Analytics Consulting & Career Coaching
004 – Mike DeBartolo – Assistant GM World Champion Washington Nationals - Using Analytics to Win.
29:38In this episode Mike DeBartolo discusses how the Washington Nationals use analytics to help them win. SUBSCRIBE Apple Google Spotify Stitcher iHeart TuneIn VALUE BOMBS Major league baseball analytics has evolved over the last 5-10 years to using many more data sources of information in areas of advanced scouting for game preparation, individual player improvement, player development and injury prevention. GM Mike Rizzo has been clear that the foundation of the Washington Nationals organization is scouting and player development. At the same time analytics are used in all facets of decision making; roster building, projected player performance, player trade market value. Sports Analytics career opportunities will continue to grow and will become more specialized; data analysts, data engineers, web developers, analysis tools, programming. The Washington Nationals tend to be a bottom up organization analytically. Analytics needs are player driven. The team leadership is receptive to what the players want and ask for but at the same time the front office is also providing analytic ideas, thoughts and recommendations to players and coaches. A big part of staying ahead in analytics is how best to convey the message and to get things adopted. Hiring recent ex-players who are open minded, good communicators and more persuasive to getting players to adopt something is key. When seeking a career in sports analytics a discriminator in the competitive hiring landscape is that teams are looking for people with the skills and ideas to help make the team better. RESOURCES MENTIONED Feeding America - Terry's Charity Interest SPONSORS Terry L Frederick - Sports Analytics Consulting & Career Coaching
003 - Ryan Ansel - How The #1 Ranked Division III Men's Basketball Team Uses Analytics
30:01In this episode Swarthmore College Men’s Basketball Assistant Coach, Ryan Ansel, discusses the following topics: How a winning D3 Basketball team uses analytics while being resource and time challenged. The explosion of sports analytics use across all sports at Davidson College. How a basketball shooting app with AI is being used as part of a virtual basketball training program. How to prepare for a career and find opportunities in sports analytics SUBSCRIBE Apple Google Spotify Stitcher iHeart TuneIn VALUE BOMBS Davidson college “Cat Stats” group explodes to over 70 Students doing sports analytics for sports teams. Just one example at the college level on the growth of sports analytics. Boil analytics data down to a few key things to give to players. Keep it simple. Don’t want players overthinking in games. One thing Swarthmore Basketball has done very well that contributes to their success is translating opponent analytics data for use by the scout team in practices to prepare for opponents. Very important at Division 3 level where practice time is very limited. Available time and resources (money and people) are biggest challenges for using and leveraging analytics at the lower levels; college and high school. When starting out in pursuit of career in sports analytics find a program or place where you can add value. Volunteer to gain experience and start building your network. RESOURCES MENTIONED HomeCourt App - Basketball Shooting App Ryan Ansel Basketball - Basketball Training Services Access2Success - Coach Ryan's Charity Interest Feeding America - Terry's Charity Interest SPONSORS Terry L Frederick - Sports Analytics Consulting & Career Coaching
002 - Dr. Michael Leeds - History of Sports Economics and impact on Sports Analytics
27:36Interview with Dr. Michael Leeds, Professor of Sports Economics at Temple University, exploring the history of sports economics and how it relates to sports analytics. Topics include: What are the most important things a sports organization can do to leverage sports analytics? What are the opportunities in the Sports Analytics market in the next few years? How not to overwhelm players with too much data.