Competitive Advantage

Competitive Advantage presentations feature experts from leagues, teams, and industry providing insight on how new applications of data analytics are shaping and transforming the sports business. Our speakers share and show details on analytic tools, technologies and strategies used in their organizations.

We are planning a wide variety of Competitive Advantages for 2018.

2017 MIT SLOAN SPORTS ANALYTICS CONFERENCE Competitive Advantage

Description

This discussion will focus on two main concepts: First, when you aggregate and analyze data, you must make sure the results and decisions are related all the way to the players for maximum effect. Second, data collection and analysis should focus on true in-game/practice events. For example, running 40 yard dash drills with a stop watch makes you a better track athlete, and running routes in practice/games makes you a better football player.

Speakers
Description

In spite of its advances in other industries, automation has never really caught on in sports as many tasks are still manually performed. Keemotion and ShotTracker aim to change that with a marriage of two automated technologies that deliver every game to your fingertips, allowing users to watch and analyze games in a more accessible fashion. This session will focus on the impact of these technologies in analyzing the NAIA.

Speakers
Description

In addition to their on-court and on-field activities, professional sports teams engage in a wide array of activities in their local communities. Teams spend large portions of their time in hospitals, community centers, schools, and fundraising activities on behalf of those in underserved communities. The number of smiles, new friendships, and changed lives we observe after each of these events makes us confident that most or all of those activities have a huge impact on the people touched by professional sports teams’ community activities. However, we are unaware of any published studies quantifying the impact of teams’ efforts in the community. Step Your Game Up, presented by the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation and the Pagliuca family, and in partnership with the Lawrence, MA school system, seeks to; (a) positively impact the lives of many more children than a player could meaningfully interact with during an afternoon, (b) have a measurable and statistically robust impact, and (c) be scalable to other non-Celtics contexts. Using widely-accepted guidelines, we identified children most at risk of failing in school. We then created a program that provided these at-risk students with incentives, in the form of game tickets and other Celtics-related experiences, to improve both grades and attendance. While the program does not seem to affect attendance, significantly positive effects (both statistically and substantively) were found on participants’ grades in multiple subjects, even when controlling for various confounding factors. During this presentation we will introduce the program, describe the statistical evidence for its impact, and consider the possibilities for other teams to use this type of program.

Speakers
Description

Redefining basketball player development by creating a systematic, organized, and progressive philosophy that integrates technology and testing to accelerate player learning and performance.

Speakers
Description

Tommy John surgery has become increasingly common at all levels of baseball in recent years, from high school to college and the professional leagues. This session will discuss ways in which Major League Baseball has sought to understand the causes of this trends and changes that have been made to reduce arm injuries in the near and long-term.

Speakers
Description

Traditional methods of scouting hockey, have, in many ways, produced great results. Hockey is a chaotic game steeped in nuance and predicting amateur performance years down the road takes an innate understanding of how the game is played in certain areas, and how that play translates to the professional ranks. The amateur scout of any NHL hockey team has one of the hardest jobs in the game. Night after night he travels across continents to see young players and make almost instantaneous judgements about their future capabilities. Amazingly, and with great credit to the scouting profession, these judgements are often right. However, when they’re not, teams struggle for years. Therefore, given the inherently high risk nature of amateur scouting, Florida Panthers management asked the question: How can we minimize our amateur prospects decision making risk to the best of our ability given known variables, and narrow the focus of our amateur scouts to focus on only those individuals with certain high upside profiles? Our answer, of course, is blending the traditional methods of scouting with a few simple statistical models created by our prospect analysts. Given these profiles, and the historical data that backs them up, we feel confident that when it’s time for us to choose between players, we have the fullest picture possible and that we make the absolute best bet.

Speakers
Description

The Philadelphia 76ers have embarked on a varied and diversified investment strategy to capitalize on their unique position in the sports, media, and entertainment landscape. This has resulted in investments made, with a partner such as StubHub, to become the first professional sports team in the “Big Four” leagues to have a jersey patch sponsor and to revolutionize how we think of modern sports ticketing. Additionally, this strategy has seen the Sixers become the first professional sports team in North America to invest in and operate an eSports franchise. Come learn more about what unites these investments.

Speakers
Description

Mike is the Director of Canada’s largest sports accelerator program, Zone Startups Sports + Media. Mike connects portfolio companies to customers and stakeholders in the industry, and provides additional distribution channels for its companies’ products and services. He will review how he scouts technology according to the business priorities of professional leagues, teams, and corporate partners, including the program’s founding partner Rogers, owner of the Toronto Blue Jays and part-owner of the Maple Leafs, Raptors, and Toronto Football Club. Mike will discuss significant recent developments in sports technology, where the Canadian ecosystem is heading over the next year, and how technology will continue to change the sports and media landscape.

Speakers
Description

With digital and social media at the epicenter of fandom, listen in as Nicoletta discusses how the Chargers digital department uses data and analytics to drive content creation and maximize fan engagement. Over the last four years, the Chargers have had both winning and losing seasons – yet, digital engagement has only continued to grow steadily. This session will provide insights about how to deliver what fans crave no matter what is happening on the field of play.

Speakers
Description

This session discusses how to design your consumer strategy using data-driven technology and putting the right people in the right places to get the best results.

Speakers
Description

The sub-2 hour marathon project has assembled an international scientific and professional team to pursue one of the most significant barriers in the history of human performance. The project’s evidence-based approach to performance advancement was formulated as a clean-sport model that could be used by virtually any professional sport: individual or team.

Speakers
Description

Recreational and medicinal marijuana use is becoming more accepted across the country. How will those changing attitudes affect NFL players looking to manage their pain?

Speakers
Description

Every team wants to sell more tickets and build deeper connections with fans. In this presentation, the Orlando Magic will share how analytics combined with innovative products and overselling strategies have powered ticket sales to new heights. The presentation will also show how the Magic is using analytics and automation to personalize the mobile experience for every Magic fan.

Speakers
Description

The US Olympic Committee (USOC) is tasked with allocating resources, both financial and service, across all Olympic National Governing Bodies. The discussion will focus on how the USOC uses data analysis to inform these decisions. In particular, it will look at how resources are being applied to directly impact medal count at the Olympic Games and determine what an effective return on investment looks like. The discussion will highlight specific, data driven initiatives which are supported by the USOC, with the aim of maximizing Team USA athlete performance at the Games. Emphasis will be placed on the USOC’s work and partnership with USA Track and Field.

Speakers
Description

The Ivy League is using data gathered through its epidemiology study of concussion injuries to determine changes that can be made to reduce the incidence of concussion for all of its sports teams. The presentation will include examples of the trends we have identified and consequent interventions we have in place as we look to prevent the collisions that lead to concussions.

Speakers
Description

In 2013, the NFL implemented a new psychological test called the NFL Player Assessment Test (NFL-PAT) which measures a wide range of competencies required for success as a player including intelligence as well as personality and motivational factors (e.g., drive, stress tolerance, team orientation). All players attending the National Invitational Combine in Indianapolis from 2013-2016 have been administered the test in order to provide psychological scores to all NFL clubs for use when drafting players. A three-year validation study has recently been completed that demonstrates that the NFL-PAT test scores significantly correlate with player performance outcomes. This presentation reviews the results of the study and discusses how psychological tests like the NFL-PAT can provide additional critical data that can be used in sports analytics to predict performance outcomes.

Speakers
Description

There is a historically strong correlation between salary spend and finishing position in the Premier League. Without the resources to “Pay More”, can a club “Pay Smart” and gain an edge by allocating its available funds more efficiently? This session will look at the key aims in structuring player pay, break down the contract structures currently used across the Premier League, highlight a number of the most egregious inefficiencies, and set out recommendations as to how a new approach can be implemented.

Speakers
Description

How do you truly measure a player’s on-field performance? Neil Hornsby and Cris Collinworth discuss how the grading of players on every play of every game has provided teams, media, and fans a competitive advantage. Dive into how each play is analyzed and graded and why NFL and College teams see it as a game-changer.

Speakers
Description

As everyone pitches game changing technology, the opinion of the actual athlete continues to be forgotten and often ignored. We will be discussing the winners and losers in this space as well as the instances and use cases that have actually influenced an athlete’s on-field decision process.

Speakers
Description

Stephen Smith will discuss the latest advances in using machine learning and AI to statistically quantify injury risk and establish an individualized framework to reduce injuries. Using some of the latest research from the company, Stephen will share new insights on development and recovery strategies and demonstrate quantitatively the impact that injury risk management has on performance, proving that sport science is more than a marginal gain.

Speakers
Description

With its new national television contract, the NBA has never been in better financial shape. On the heels of this new TV deal, the NBA and its players union negotiated a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), ensuring labor peace until at least 2023. Salary cap expert Larry Coon explores the most significant changes in the NBA’s new CBA and their expected impact on the league.

Speakers
Description

Behind the scenes, the NBA game is comprised of an intricate web of decision points or “levers,” all designed to maximize the quality of the core basketball product. From in-game aspects like game rules and format to competitive considerations like scheduling, playoff structure, and draft lottery, each lever of the ecosystem is interconnected and even small changes can have significant ripple effects. This presentation will discuss these complex interactions and give a look under the hood on how the NBA uses analytics to make key strategic decisions related to its core product.

Speakers
Description

A century old Boston institution turns to the modern day techniques of Big Data in an effort to best fulfill its mission in an increasingly competitive environment.

Speakers
Description

As the volume of data generated by business systems continues to grow, teams must address three key challenges: how do they aggregate disparate data systems, how can they analyze and visualize key metrics, and finally, how do they best use this data to drive revenue. In this talk, Karlis Kezbers from the Oklahoma City Thunder and Adam Grow from KORE Software will discuss how the Thunder took an integrated approach to connect these challenges and unified CRM, data warehousing, and data visualization to develop a singular view of their business.

Speakers
Description

Golf is both one of the simplest sports and one of the hardest to forecast: favorites only wind up winning majors around 10% of the time. But with enough data, simple scorecards contain enough clues about weather, hazards, and rapidly evolving evaluations of players’ skill, yielding much more accurate predictions as tournaments proceed. This presentation will peer into the innards of the Economist Advantage in Golf Likelihood Estimator, a dynamic Monte Carlo-based model trained on a dataset of 450,000 holes, which yields live-updating probabilities for each potential score by each player on each remaining hole in a tournament, as well as their corresponding odds of victory.

Speakers
Description

There is a dearth of affirmative action policies designed to impact executive level hiring. The National Football League’s (NFL) “Rooney Rule” is the exception. The Rooney Rule requires NFL teams to interview at least one minority candidate for any head coaching vacancy. Using an econometric approach, I present evidence that the Rooney Rule had a significant, positive impact on the likelihood that a minority candidate would fill an NFL head coaching vacancy. The Rooney Rule could serve as a case study for other types of firms wishing to enact “soft” affirmative action policies to impact executive hiring.

Speakers
Description

Building the foundation to take sports and technology to new heights requires bringing together diverse companies and partners to capitalize on technology innovations. In this session hear how Intel is driving diversity in thought and advancements in technology to change the future of sports by optimizing athletic performance, drawing pivotal insights, and creating unique experiences that help teams and fans win.

Speakers
Description

How do you teach a computer to see? While this may seem farfetched to some, computer vision technology enables machines to recognize images, logos, and people in videos or images. We examine how teaching a computer to “see” enabled Adam’s company to collect more data more quickly and more accurately than ever before to determine when, where, and how long Pepsi’s logo appeared on-screen during Dallas Cowboys games this past season.

Speakers
Description

Over the past fifty years, transformative advances in technology have occurred. As a result, attending a sporting event is no longer about the sightlines, seat widths, or concessions. The sports industry is moving toward a new model in which the stadium is a technological and commercial platform. While the platform concept requires an organizational and operational mindset shift for teams and stadium operators, sports organizations that embrace it in stadium design, construction, and operation will be in the vanguard of offering their fans the best experience in the stadium of the future.

Speakers
Description

The session will provide an overview of British Cycling’s Olympic programmes. Topics for discussion will include: insight into how we use data to think in multiple timeframes, details on our approach and metrics used to forecast athlete potential, and reflections on the use of ‘objective’ data to forecast future performance.

Speakers
Description

Air travel for games and competition is a norm for elite athletes and often involves crossing multiple time zones. For athletes, coaches and teams looking to maximize performance, understanding jet lag and using strategies to combat the deleterious effects of jet lag is critical for top performance.

Speakers
Description

Data in sports is exploding in volume, velocity, and variety creating new opportunities to gain a competitive advantage. The challenge is quickly converting a mountain of raw data into manageable insights that can be acted on. This session will demonstrate 3 innovative solutions that teams and leagues deployed to overcome this challenge for their Coaches, Players, and Business.

Speakers
Description

The increase in the volume of three pointers over recent years has brought about a sea change in the way the game is played at all levels. This talk details the causes and implication of this shift, with a focus on identifying the responses to this phenomenon which are based in fact, and which are simply myths.

Speakers
Description

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has become core to corporate business strategy — doing good is also good business. This discussion will discuss CSR strategy development, how to measure its impact, and why measuring impact is critical to the growth of CSR.

Speakers
Description

This will be a case study of the 2015 Chiefs season schedule where we will outline the findings from using a paid social media plan to sell and track ticket sales for peak on peak primetime games.

Speakers
Description

Statistical analysis in volleyball was widely used for live decisions during matches as early as the 80s, and over the years volleyball has become one of the most followed sports in the Olympic Games and in the world due to its dynamic, explosive, and fast paced nature. Due to its structure, volleyball lends itself to thorough predictive analysis and is seen by many as a true team sport since by rule no player can dominate control of the ball. With work performed for Team USA who received nine Olympic medals in the past three Olympic Games, this presentation will give a practical look at the development of standard and advanced metrics and charts used by these successful teams to evaluate overall technical performances and fundamentals for themselves and their opponents.

Speakers
Description

Draymond Green waits for Curry to come off the Durant screen then hits him for a three-point shot, so who gets the credit? And who on defense gets the blame? Basketball and football analytics is already doing this – now you can find out how.

Speakers
Description

The sports industry is undergoing a period of significant change, and the explosion of data is revolutionizing how sports organizations operate today. The ability to access and manage this advantageous information and derive critical insights is limited. In this session, Intel experts will discuss how the digitization of sports, from data capture and aggregation to analytics and prediction, is enabling athletes, coaches, teams and leagues to win.

Speakers
Description

The presenters will give an exclusive insight to their winning methodology, which lead to unprecedented success. Their “SPICE” chess team has won six consecutive men’s Division I Final Four National Championships, and will be going for the seventh in three weeks. In the past 4.5 years students from Webster University chess team won 2 World Championships, 4 World Open Championships, and 43 National Championships, which is more than all other collegiate chess programs combined.

Speakers