STATS at SPORTEL: Three lessons from the 2015 convention


STATS recently attended SPORTEL Monaco, the global sports media industry’s premier annual conference. By bringing together market leaders from the sports media, commerce and events sectors, SPORTEL showcases the latest developments from the industry and is an important forum for discussion around key themes in sports media.

Exhibiting at SPORTEL for a ninth consecutive year, STATS has long been at the forefront of the sports media industry and always welcomes the opportunity to connect with contemporary businesses in a rapidly developing market. Seeking to share knowledge and learn from the experiences of others, STATS recognizes the importance of exploring key industry themes in a collaborative environment and making its voice heard on subjects such as digital services, broadcast rights and user engagement.

The primary focus of the discussions at SPORTEL was on the different ways to incorporate digital media into the more traditional sports experience. By providing in-depth sports data and content to media organizations worldwide, STATS is ideally positioned to facilitate the creation of engaging digital experiences. STATS is helping to lead the development of the sports media industry as it continues to evolve and grow by giving broadcasters and brands the tools to stand out from the crowd and present advanced, multi-platform sports content.

Below are three lessons STATS representatives took away from the presentations they saw and the discussions they had with other industry influencers during their time at SPORTEL:

Creating an Immersive Digital Experience

Advertising opportunities are increasingly driven by digital media services. As sports federations, leagues and broadcasters compete for audience share in a diverse market, the ability to deliver engaging digital experiences and social content is critical for organizations seeking to differentiate their service offering.

Providing Fans Advanced Content

The sports media industry is home to a growing number of technology startups designed to deliver advanced end-user content. Providing cutting-edge services such as 3D data visualization and virtual reality experiences, these businesses are transforming the digital landscape in sports media and driving the demand for increasingly fast and accurate data feeds.

Broadcast Rights

Broadcast rights were the major topic of conversation at SPORTEL. As rights holders demonstrate a proclivity to sell to the highest bidder with less consideration for the end consumer, broadcasters are having to deliver advanced, multi-platform digital services to generate additional revenue in order to derive value from their investments.

By: Chris Mann

Engaging with Fans in the Smartphone Era


Fans are smarter than ever before, resulting in an increased appetite from sports fans for information. Push messaging has become an integral proponent of the mobile application strategy, playing a huge role as sport embraces the digital age. That said, there is a fine line between engagement and annoyance for users.

Consumer EngagementIMG_0195

Sports fans are hungry for real-time content, making push notifications and the sports industry the perfect combination. For live sport apps, the initial component for push messaging is obvious: notifications based around the score line. Whether a run is scored in baseball or a goal in soccer, push messages allow fans to get real-time score updates delivered straight to their smartphones. This, of course, allows the consumer to track the progress of not just their own teams but also their rivals. However, pushing real-time scores may not lead to further engagement, as they could provide all the information that the consumer requires at that point – especially if the app does not include information that the notification contains.

The demand from the user for information and insights provides the opportunity to push more than the score line. From injury updates to starting lineups, news to video, and insights to statistics, the push message should act as a tool to entice the fan – taking the user from a notification to engagement with the app itself. There is a wealth of potential opportunities to push notifications to the user; however, this can be off-putting to some, and this is where customization to allow the user to choose their preferred content is important.

Customization Is Key

There is a fine line between engagement and annoyance for users of push notifications, which is where customization becomes vital. Overuse of push notifications could result in infuriation more than engagement, leading to users removing the app. Allowing the consumer to pick the type of content they want to view, from as little to as much as the user would want, gives the user the control of what they want from the notification service.

IMG_0198Technology that profiles user interests, such as favorite teams/players and what content a user wishes to be notified of (like score lines, statistics, and video) can further empower the app, as this will allow the manufacturer to understand exactly what provides the most interest to users of the app – and content can then be built around this data. The addition of location services, including a check-in service if at the stadium, could provide further opportunities for notifications, as fans going to matches could have more interest in real-time information sent directly to their devices, such as team news and football statistics, or even the weather on match day, than those watching from home.

With the increased appetite from fans for information, push notifications are perfect for sports, and allowing the user to customize notifications to detail what they receive provides the manufacturer of the app the opportunity to load up on content for further engagement.

By: Jimmy Coverdale

Visualizing the Field: Advanced Insights for College Football


Since the first college football players lined up on the field, coaches have been trying to uncover and exploit an opponent’s weakness. Today, the goal is the same but coaches now have access to advanced analytics to provide valuable insight on their opponents. One of the tools STATS provides to help coaching staffs gain an advantage are statistical maps that display data mapped on the football field. X-Info maps, created at both the team and player level, help coaches quickly grasp an opponent’s tendencies.

Let’s look at Leonard Fournette. No coach is going to be excited to see LSU and their Heisman-caliber running back on the schedule, but a quick glance at STATS’ statistical rushing map for Fournette gives some ideas about how to defend him. The field is represented in thirds (Left, Middle and Right) with a total column that compares Fournette’s numbers to the league. Immediately, the yellow, less-impressive right side of the field pops out. Beyond a lower total number of carries, Fournette is also averaging fewer yards per carry, and fewer yards before and after contact, when he rushes to the right.


Compare this to LSU’s team rushing map, and you’ll see that the team as a whole is not worse when rushing to the right. As a team, LSU averages nearly the same yards per carry to the left and right.


Our X-Info maps can also help you prepare for an air attack like TCU’s so you can isolate individual players and game plan accordingly. Let’s take Josh Docston, FBS’ leading receiver in total yards and second-leading wideout in touchdowns and receptions. One look at Docston’s receiving map and we can see which direction to roll your coverage. All of Docston’s deep catches and touchdowns are coming on the right side of the field. The total column also gives defensive coordinators a quick reference on how to compare this threat to other receivers.


Here in the Sports Solutions Group, we keep our college coaches supplied with all the tools they need to plan for Saturday!

By: James Ellis

Rio Olympics 2016 – The Summer of Record Breaking Digital Sports Coverage


Thousands of athletes are training for the Olympics so they can qualify to compete in Rio next summer in front of millions of fans. Fans all over the world consume Olympic content on TV, the web, mobile phones and social media. The Olympics has become the largest social and digital media sporting event. The London 2012 summer Olympics break social media engagement records and Rio 2016 is expected to continue breaking social and digital records.

Check out the infographic below (or click here to download the PDF) to learn more about digital and social media engagement at the 2016 Olympics.