Competitive Advantages

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 2017 with speakers and topics to be announced.  For now, check out our content from last year:

2016 MIT SLOAN SPORTS ANALYTICS CONFERENCE Competitive Advantage

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We present an analytics based approach to winning daily fantasy sports hockey contests which have top heavy payoff structures (i.e. most of the winnings go to the top ranked entries). Our approach incorporates publicly available predictions on player and team performance into an integer program that computes optimal lineups. Using our algorithm, we were able to place in the top three in contests with thousands of participants multiple times. Our approach can easily be extended to other sports besides hockey, such as American football and baseball. Come learn how you can use our algorithm to beat the system in DFS!
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CRM is key to many business processes across a sports organization. It is both a consumer of data via integrated systems and creator of insights via staff usage. This session will discuss some examples and best practices around CRM’s role for sports teams and properties.
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IBM has over 25 years of experience working with the world’s largest tennis organizations and tournaments, including Wimbledon, USTA, US Open, French Open and Tennis Australia, leveraging advanced analytics to dramatically improve fan engagement and experience. Join Shannon Miller and John Kent from IBM who will take you through the details behind IBM’s Slamtracker application and the world of tennis analytics.
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With 1.59 billion monthly active users and 650 million people connected to a sports page, Facebook is the world’s largest stadium. And with an expanding network of products that includes Instagram, Oculus, WhatsApp and Messenger, there are a variety of ways the company is impacting the sports world – from athletes to teams to leagues to media and beyond.
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Home field advantage is no longer simply packing a stadium or arena with your best fans. It’s about engaging distinct groups of fans inside and outside the game venue, during winning and “rebuilding” seasons, 365 days a year. No two sports fans are alike, and sports organizations should be agile in adapting and evolving their offerings to address different fan segments. Based on learnings from Deloitte’s survey on fan engagement in sports, we have identified moves teams and leagues can make to connect and deepen their relationship with fans.
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The Kansas City Chiefs played their first NFL International game on November 1, 2015 at Wembley Stadium. Learn how the Chiefs approached marketing communicating their brand via technology and social media to build casual fans into Chiefs fans.
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Big Data has radically changed basketball over the last decade, altering the way teams play and how they find and develop players. While the smartest franchises have found edges in these areas, keeping your players healthy remains the biggest advantage of all. It’s also sustainable over time versus on-court or team-building strategies, where your concepts can’t remain hidden. Figuring out what data will be most helpful, how much teams should know about their employees, and who owns the information once it’s taken will be major talking points in the next collective bargaining agreement, major factors for the next wave of NBA championship contenders, and the main discussion of this presentation.
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Coaches are generally and justifiably skeptical about scientific information. This presentation will explain how the status quo in technique, training, skill learning, and injury prevention limits performance and how the application of science can produce faster swimming much sooner than by adhering to conventional wisdom.
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Sports analytics are more ubiquitous, more complex, and more powerful than ever. However, in many cases they still underwhelm us from a communicative standpoint. This discussion examines how the integration of visualization, cartography, and analyses can unlock insight and more richly characterize the nature of athletic performance.
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Join Nik Bonaddio, Keith Goldner, and JJ Zachariason from the numberFire team as they dig into the nuts and bolts of how to build a startup business out of analytics, taking the journey from statistical analysis to content to marketing and business development.
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We are all aware of the impact that GPS training has had on outdoor sports like football, soccer, and rugby. This presentation will cover the Next-Generation Indoor Arena Tracking system and video–centric reports generated by our tracking platform. These metrics are derived from thirteen direct measurements and is available for indoor use in arenas and practice facilities.
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This presentation will examine how Dunkin’ Donuts is leveraging Sports Partnerships and advanced analytics to help drive increased consumer engagement and loyalty for the DD Perks Loyalty Program.
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There is a burgeoning movement in pro sports focused on environmental sustainability – from facility operations to fan engagement. Omar Mitchell (MBA ’12) – the NHL’s first sustainability director – will discuss why the League is concerned about environmental issues and will highlight the business case for ‘going green’. He will also showcase the latest green technologies, products and services currently being deployed in NHL arenas that are helping to lower the League’s environmental impact.
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This is the third wave of enthusiasm around AI, a field of study that has been around for more than 60 years. AI 3.0 promises to get us closer to machines with human-like intelligence and change every aspect of our lives including the way we play, operate and consume sports. Is the promise of AI 3.0 real? In an AI 3.0 era where machines would form opinions and learn continuously, how would it impact the role of humans in the sports industry? By discussing use cases where AI can enrich analysis and create opportunities for competitive advantage - such as improving “situational awareness” and player performance sustainability - we will examine what makes AI 3.0 special and how sports organizations need to think about maximizing the potential opportunity.
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Qlik’s software can link multiple data sources across an entire sports organization, providing impactful context in a visually compelling way to help you make even better decisions for use cases like: Personnel, Sales & Marketing as well as much greater Financial insight across all departments.
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In today’s fragmented media environment, sports content across TV, web and social channels is increasing at a dramatic rate. At the same time, the technologies and approaches for measuring sponsorship value within that content have largely rem`ained the same – an analog industry in an increasingly digital world. To meet this challenge, Nervve has devised a truly unique solution for visual searches of video and imagery at scale. By leveraging machine learning, the technology discovers hidden data in any visual medium while enabling the attribution that brands and properties need to understand the earned media value of their partnerships. Nervve Co-founder and CEO Tom Slowe will share key insights around Nervve’s unique approach to visual search and how it enables a degree of speed, consistency and accuracy to support sponsorship measurement efforts.
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Opposition analysis in soccer has traditionally been the product of video review, advance scouting, and discussions with former members of the teams being faced. A study of detailed match data can complement these tools by revealing the opposing team’s strengths and weaknesses in fairly objective fashion. According to the data, Leicester City climbed to the top of the Premier League using tactics that were rather novel this season but relatively simple as well. A review of their early matches suggested a variety of ways to stop their attacks and break down their defense; teams that followed these approaches had more success against the Foxes.
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Sports performance measurement and analytics requires the knowledge to assess different physical and psychological constructs between sports as well among different player positions. NFL and NBA examples will be included along with the findings from a pilot study on ATP tour tennis players.
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The emergence of digital platforms, especially mobile phones, has distributed many industries, including many in media. In all of these examples, the operators of the digital platforms, such as Netflix, Uber, Airbnb, Amazon (to name a few) gain a unique ability to influence customers and control markets in powerful ways. That ability is made possible because of the data collected through the digital platform and the analytics enabled. Today, most fans watch sporting events through cable or streaming events that involve a digital platform partner. That digital partner has the ability to measure and even influence the customer. Sports are becoming increasingly digital and with digital comes large amounts of data. Who owns or controls that data? Secondary ticket vendors are a key example of disruption through data in the sports industry. This presentation will examine opportunities and strategies for sports enterprise to leverage digital assets and analytics to grow.
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Highly engaged fans are at the center of successful sports leagues. In this session you will learn how the NFL is finding the right fans, giving them the best experience, in the moment they want it most. This session will explore an engagement strategy to tie fan insights together across CRM data, DMP data and Web log data in order to drive a better Fan experience. Learn how audience intelligence is then activated for personalized email campaigns, targeted media buys and mobile messaging to enhance the NFL Fan experience.
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This presentation will cover how VERT is working to connect wearables from user to viewer: Step 1: Develop accurate & interesting athletic measurements like Jump height and G-Force; Step 2: Develop a wearable broadcast architecture and deliver real-time player performance to Fans; Step 3: Leverage fan engagement using wearable broadcast architecture with social event integration for sponsors; Step 4: Provide coaches and players real-time data for injury prevention, motivation and performance. Step 5: learn about VERT wearable technology for athletes.
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Learn how Fortune 100 companies like Coca-Cola and American Express define success and leverage client entertainment to grow their businesses by optimizing and measuring the impact of their sports and entertainment tickets.
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Professors Notowidigdo and Stavins provide state-of-the-art analysis of ticket-pricing strategies for professional sports franchises. For nearly ten years they have provided analysis and advice on ticket pricing strategy for the Boston Red Sox, and within the last three years have assisted the Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Dodgers, Miami Marlins, Minnesota Twins, Oakland Athletics, Pittsburgh Pirates, San Diego Padres, and St. Louis Cardinals, as well as teams in the NFL and the NBA. Their quantitative analyses are based upon the best fundamentals, and their proprietary models enable them to provide actionable results and practical strategies to meet and exceed revenue and attendance targets. The methodologies they have developed are applicable to any and all professional sports. Their participation in the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference is in cooperation with Charles River Associates.
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Creating an NBA schedule requires a difficult balance of considerations, including player health & wellness, basketball quality, business, broadcast, and building availability. Combinatorics calculations show that the number of possible ways to schedule the NBA’s 1,230 regular season games over a period of 170 days is significantly larger than the number of atoms in the universe, so finding the best possible schedule is an intricate and exciting mathematical challenge. In this talk, Evan Wasch will discuss the past, present, and future of NBA scheduling, touching on both the quantitative and qualitative aspects of the process.
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In this session you are the NFL General Manager or Power Five Athletic Director pressed by coaches to take the “must have” leap into Virtual Reality. And you will get “the talk” about realities of VR that they never will -- but should. You may make the leap, or you may not. But, unlike many GMs and ADs, you will decide based on cost/benefit analysis of competitive advantage and not “Wow!” factor.
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Student-athletes are presented with challenges on and off the field. These pressures can lead to under-recovery, misguided stress, and ultimately suboptimal performance on the field. The Baylor University Applied Performance department works in conjunction with other departments within the university to monitor and manage the stressors that weigh on the student-athlete. Through technologies designed to measure loading and physiological response, performance plans can be created to accommodate individual athlete needs. This presentation will outline inner workings of the Baylor University Applied Performance Department and explore how metrics derived from the Catapult GPS system aid in the development of appropriate training, practice, and regeneration prescription.
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Most sports-related entities today collect, use, store and disseminate a large amount of data from their customers, employees, members and others. These entities are exposed to substantial risks as they relate to data breaches and misuse, which may include government penalties, litigation, and damage to customer relationships, reputation and goodwill. As the number of breaches increase and new regulations are developed and implemented, every general counsel, privacy officer, IT leader, risk manager, compliance officer, and outside counsel working in this field needs to understand the potential damage that may be cause, and learn how to be proactive in having the appropriate compliance program and risk management practices in place.
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Behind every sport and every event, there is an army of people hungry for data. This session explores how to effectively collect, analyze, and measure what happens before, during and after each event. Better yet, we discuss how to effectively do this for events that happen once a month or once a week, when it’s often difficult to develop patterns and learn, when there aren’t enough data points to measure against. This presentation goes through a number of scenarios from over 10 years of experience in the industry, and reveals an approach to successfully showing results.
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This presentation will focus on the National Basketball Association’s efforts to analyze the demographics, actions and survey responses of its most loyal fans, as spearheaded by the league’s Team Marketing & Business Operations (TMBO) department. By matching account-level independent variables and associated Member behaviors across multiple seasons, TMBO’s Strategy & Analytics group has been able to build a series of analytical tools to help NBA teams anticipate Member renewal decisions, estimate customer lifetime value and allocate Membership Service resources more efficiently. This session will provide an overview of these methodologies and highlight TMBO’s future plans in this area.
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Building a leading sports science capability can seem daunting as organizations try to manage investments in sports physiology and psychology, advanced technologies like wearables and motion tracking systems, as well as a plethora of data science solutions. In this talk, Principal Lead and Director of Sports Analytics at Booz Allen Hamilton Ray Hensberger will discuss use cases of how professional teams are using sports science capabilities, as well as leading edge opportunities to leverage sports science capabilities and leading edge opportunities to gain a competitive advantage.
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The traditional sports marketing mantra for decades was “Butts in seats”. Cross platform analytics has changed the game by enabling marketing teams to identify and monetize traditionally anonymous fans. We will walk through how analytics can play a critical role in modern marketing across teams’ mobile platforms.
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This presentation will show how a declining price multi-unit auction can be used to set optimal prices for event tickets. A novel feature of this system is that everyone in the same section pays the same price (“uniform pricing”). This presentation will posit that uniform pricing does not decrease revenue compared to discriminatory pricing, is less strategically complex for buyers and allows cleaner demand estimation and hence more informed pricing. There will also be case discussion of the use of this system at Northwestern University.
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The hacking of the Houston Astros’ “Ground Control” database and accompanying theft of scouting data by a St. Louis Cardinals employee in 2015 was both stunning and predictable at the time same. As professional sports teams increasingly invest in analytics to gain competitive advantages, the quality of those analytics improves and gives rise to valuable trade secrets. Even when using the best network security systems, sports teams, like every other kind of company, are vulnerable to hacking. This dynamic means there are strong incentives to access other teams’ analytics and, through hacking, the means to do so. Computer skills are not always needed to obtain such information: teams may also hire other teams’ officials to acquire crucial knowledge. Michael McCann and Roger Ford, who both teach at the University of New Hampshire School of Law and write about sports and technology law, will discuss these challenges. They will also explore how teams can use legal instruments--namely through privacy, intellectual property, and employment laws--to minimize risk.
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The presentation will outline the importance of reliable, aggregated data and highlight case studies of how organizations across the globe use the Sparta solution to identify and predict injury risk, fatigue status, and talent identification for player acquisition.
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Where should teams and venues draw the line between what fans say they want and what should actually be done to enhance the fan experience? In an era of stagnant attendance, ubiquitous HD home viewing, and growing second screen engagement, that is an increasingly important question. In Wasserman and Navigate’s Fan Experience Study, these industry-leading agencies explore the in-venue experience to unlock what matters to fans, along with which levers help properties create and sustain value for attendees. Conducted among 8,500 U.S. Sports fans, the study details how leagues, teams and venues are currently performing in 20 of the largest DMAs in North America, ranks them relative to each other, and provides customized, actionable insights on the challenges and opportunities that sports properties should be addressing.
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