The world’s biggest sports market loves Kinexon’s precision Technology
Boston – Kinexon participated at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference from March 11 to March 12. The conference is one of the most prestigious events in the sports analytics industry. Kinexon fascinated sports-savvy attendants with its innovative technology that allows centimeter-accurate tracking of athletes in real-time.
The MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference provides a high-profile platform to discuss the latest news and trends in sports analytics. Therefore, many experts and sports analytics enthusiasts from all over the world are drawn to Boston. This year, the conference celebrated its 10 years anniversary with almost 4,000 attendants from 130 teams and leagues as well as 320 academic institutions. Since MIT Sloan started in 2006 the attendance numbers increase every year, demonstrating the rising importance of sports analytics.
The conference featured many highly interesting speakers. Key takeaways:
- According to ABC/ESPNreporter and former NBA coach Jeff Van Gundy, data intelligence is still undervalued in basketball.
- Baseball statistics pioneer Bill James argues that the analytics mindset needs to focus on what player can do, not what they can’t do
- In a panel, Zach Lowe (ESPN), former Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau and former NBA player Brian Scalabrine came to the conclusion that injury prevention is a very hot topic at the moment – which can be addressed with real-time tracking data.
A major focus in sports analytics is currently set around sophisticated and well-defined data analyses. Those complex statistics only provide value if they are calculated based on highly accurate and reliable raw data. No matter how sophisticated analyses are, when the underlying data is not reliable, coaches and players could draw wrong conclusions.
Thus, Kinexon Sports & Media got invited to Boston to present its unrivaled tracking technology in front of industry leaders and decision makers in the US sports industry. CEO Maximilian Schmidt explained why reliable and precise data is essential for sports analytics: “For tactical analyses, accuracy is key since even small deviations will give a wrong picture of the players’ positions, and hence, their tactical behavior.” He showed an interesting example from the German Bundesliga: Many coaches are convinced that only tactical and technical aspects of the game really make a difference in today’s professional sports – as all players are on an (almost) equally high physical level. Moreover, he showed the audience a fascinating video about the famous victory of Hannes Reichelt in the 2015 Hahnenkamm run in Kitzbühel. Statistics such as acceleration, G-force, and jump distance were integrated with digital overlays to the video giving an impressive outlook how live data can bring spectators closer to the game – adding a new layer in live entertainment. Again, it became apparent that only precise data could deliver such results. At the end of his speech Maximilian Schmidt explained the company’s vision: “Imagine Big Sports Data to become accessible to non-professional team sports. We envision equipping all playing fields, venues and pitches to track players all around the world and give them and their coaches’ instant feedback on their performance.”
Apart from the speech, Kinexon also got invited to present its technology at a startup tradeshow. Kinexon did a live demonstration of its technology and equipped visitors as well as a handball with its sensors to showcase the accuracy of the Kinexon system. Small receivers positioned around the booth collected the signals from the sensors and transmitted the data to a tablet processing the information. Positions and movements were displayed in real-time on a screen. The audience was astonished by the precise and accurate positions tracked by Kinexon’s system. A NBA representative stated: “The system is amazing. I have never seen a system measuring data as accurate as Kinexon’s system does. Of course, we had to arrange a training session immediately!”
During the two days, the Kinexon booth was highly frequented. Not only due to the fact that Kinexon enables highly precise position and movement tracking but also because the Kinexon system tracks positions indoors. Since GPS does only work outdoors, gaining insightful data has been difficult for sports like ice hockey or basketball. As one representative of the NCAA put it: “This is the solution we have waited for!”
Michael Ziegler, Head of Marketing & Sales at Kinexon Sports & Media was more than satisfied with Kinexon’s presence in Boston: “The MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference is the ideal place to demonstrate Kinexon’s cutting-edge technology to potential US customers.” And as Kinexon will open an office in New York in July, the timing of the conference was perfect: “The feedback we received encourages us to push our solution to the US market this summer. We are looking forward to revolutionize sports analytics with our highly precise tracking solution.”