Artificial Intelligence In Sports: The GotPro Advantage
SoccerToday’s New Series: Examining the Power of Artificial Intelligence in Soccer
Want to increase your fan base, sell more tickets to a match, enhance player performance or optimize everything from camera angles to merchandising? Please, welcome Artificial Intelligence to the rescue.
Competitive Data Creating an Advantage
Artificial Intelligence (AI) provides a way of analyzing analytics and extrapolating data that would have been nearly impossible decades earlier. It is all about data-driven performance optimization and analyzing statistics that would make any human head explode. To reach unprecedented goals in today’s ultra-competitive world, a company needs sophisticated tools to weigh options and make decisions. Or in other words, AI.
“AI can significantly impact revenue and profit of leagues and clubs.”Walter Gisler, Head of Optimization at GotPro
The American sports industry generates billions of dollars in revenue every year and while the potential of AI is just gaining recognition — There is a new culture of analysis and it is already visible in many facets of our sports’ world. From helping coaches improve players’ technique, minimizing injuries and speeding up recovery to crunching big data to inform a club of the best nights for scheduling matches and so much more — AI is paving a new road to the future.
How will AI change the world of sports? What is the competitive edge? That’s what we wanted to know.
Thanks to technology, the average business collects an unexpectedly prolific amount of data. Most of it meaningless data, unless it is analyzed properly. With the power of AI, data can reveal glistening jewels that enable predicting with precision and decision making to become easy. Data-enabled learning becomes more than possible, it is accessible.
Richer Fan Experiences and Better Competitions Can Open the Door to Higher Profits
SoccerToday Asked GotPro’s Walter Gisler and Luis Calderon how AI benefits sports and specifically how GotPro unlocks information to give sports organizations a competitive edge.
Calderon, who has played soccer his entire life, has worked with GotSoccer since 2014 and became the Head of GotPro in 2017. Born in Peru, he is a graduate of McDaniel College where he triple-majored in Business Administration, Economics and Latin American Business Studies.
“AI brings significant value to the table and can make a big difference for the revenue and profit of leagues and clubs,” said Calderon
“AI is helping us bring significant added value to the business aspect of the industry through different processes that allow our clients to further understand the data they hold and the value it has or could have,” said Calderon. “We are talking from a competitive and commercial standpoint about the overall value of a schedule and or competition considering numerous variables like venues, broadcasting partners, ratings, fan engagement, finding unknown trends and their values, travel impacts and much more.”
What does this really mean?
The idea is to gain the strongest competitive position. To allow complex math variables to be analyzed, compared and contrasted quickly and easily to determine the best outcome. Far above what anyone can do in their heads or on a simple excel sheet, this type of big data analysis extracts information that otherwise would be too large or complicated. And, with the advent of cloud-based solutions — with everything online with easy, secure to access — was a game-changer.
One of the greatest benefits? The right AI gives businesses a way to gain and protect its long-term goals — and with AI, you can change a variable and review endless variations of its impact, determining the most beneficial dates and or times, for example, for international professional soccer matches or the best cost structure for fan gear and tickets.
GotPro has worked with numerous clients, including Major League Baseball (MLB). Major League Soccer (MLS) and Ligue 1 plus more than fifty other sports organizations, to bring added value to their business, educate them on what each piece of data represents and how the data can help them take their product to the next level in different aspects of the business.
Gisler, Head of Optimization at GotPro is a master mathematician. He believes, “The sports industry is accumulating a huge wealth of information and data.”
“Without analytics, data is useless.”Walter Gisler, Head of Optimization at GotPro
“Artificial intelligence makes it possible to make sense of data, show up patterns and correlations and what’s best, help take better decisions where human decision-makers will fail,” said Gisler.
“GotPro is using artificial intelligence to schedule matches at the best possible time and date, based on what we know from past seasons,” said Gisler. “Our scheduling algorithms are not only respecting basic constraints like fairness, respect home requests, simultaneous home bans among other criteria.”
“For each match, we know the number of attendants and we know how many people have followed the match on TV, & for how many minutes, among other stats,” said Gisler. “Moving matches to better dates or time slots can result in a significant increase in fan interest which then results in more profitable deals with broadcasters, advertisers and sponsors for the league and the clubs.”
The GotPro system can also learn from the schedules of previous seasons. The self learning models are designed to process the data without bias and learn from themselves and continue to evolve and improve as more data is provided to them.
“Through the models and our understanding of the different leagues we work with, we know which clients are driven by attendance or tv ratings, a mix or any other variable and we further analyze the results to deeper understand the data or discover new trends,” said Gisler.
“Without human manipulation, the models can remain objective and accurately represent the data and it’s value.”Walter Gisler, Head of Optimization at GotPro
How does this work? There are numerous variables that affect a schedule or multiple schedules from competing events, venue unavailability, TV partnerships, multiple broadcast rights, travel sequences or match strength sequences among many others. GotPro provides clients with numerous scheduling options that are strictly data-driven and then these results are reviewed taking into consideration the political aspect of each schedule.
“AI allows GotPro to adapt to the madness of multiple options within seconds, providing our clients with the most optimal solutions,” said Gisler. “The real benefit is that our system is able to adapt extremely fast to these changes to continue generating optimal solutions.”
As more and more streaming services develop and become big players in the sports world, the need for AI becomes more relevant. The complexity of maximizing the potential value of the engagement with the consumer when there are multiple streaming services, clubs, sponsors and other stakeholders become profound.
Programs like GotPro allow for more accurate decisions and a deeper reach into a significantly larger fan world. And, GotSoccer’s decades of traction and experience in the sport’s world certainly provides an edge compared to products from venture capitalists. With the high level of GotPro’s international clients base including Ligue 1 & 2 in France, Campeonato Brasileiro de Futebol in Brazil, Major League Baseball, Super Netball Australia, Major League Soccer (MLS), USL (2nd division professional soccer in the USA), Scottish Premier League (all 4 divisions), Welsh Premier League, Major League Rugby, Cricket Australia … the list goes on and on — the track record of success is clear.
With AI crunching big data and providing usable intel, success in the world of sports is becoming, finally, easier.
Next Up: Wearable tech as we continue to monitor how the soccer world evolves with AI.