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Intel, NFL Legend Jerry Rice and Others Team Up to "Look Inside the Huddle"

Wed, 08/28/2013 - 9:00am
Intel

Highlighting the Power of Big Data to Improve Football and Fantasy Experience

SANTA CLARA, CA – As Americans get ready for football, more than five million pieces of data from on-field sensors1, video feeds and other sources will be collected and analyzed to give teams and fantasy football players a competitive edge this season. It is the new big data reality for more than 225 million American football fans2 set to kick-off five months of thrilling match-ups and unexpected upsets that make up the excitement of a season.

In a discussion on the impact of technology and data analytics on football, Intel Corporation will be joined by a panel of experts in San Francisco today to highlight new technologies and tools helping to improve the fantasy football experience. The panel includes Boyd Davis, vice president and general manager of Intel's Datacenter Software Division, NFL* Hall of Famer Jerry Rice, John Pollard, general manager of the Sports Solutions Group at STATS*, Kevin Meers, co-president of the Harvard Sports Analysis Collective* and Josh Zerkle of Bleacher Report*.

"The rapid innovation in technology, data analytics and sports is transforming how organizations use real-time information to make smarter personnel decisions to improve player performance and even shifting how fans enjoy the game," said Davis. "As the amount of data produced during a football game continues to increase, Intel aims to make big data analytics more affordable, broadly available and easier to use to better unlock game intelligence and enrich the fan experience."

One example of innovation is applying data analytics to improve the fantasy football experience through advanced statistics and tools. Last week, SAP* was part of the launch of an innovative player comparison tool, a super-fast, cloud-based solution powered by Intel and SAP HANA* technologies that provides fantasy footballers with access to advanced analytics. The tool forecasts professional football statistics, guiding users to make game-day decisions by factoring in statistical performance and intangibles such as weather, injuries, game location, player rest and more. With the solution, fans can compare, analyze and customize comprehensive player data to make better, smarter and faster decisions on their fantasy football teams.

Fantasy Football Players: Data-Driven, Tech-Savvy and Gadget-Friendly
It is estimated that more than 25 million people will play fantasy football this season, generating $1.1 billion in revenue3. According to a new Intel study4 of fantasy football players, 75 percent of respondents demand real-time, detailed data to improve their playing experience. The study also revealed that female players are on the rise, making up 30 percent of fantasy football players with one in four playing for the first time. Technology is a driving factor for participation as 70 percent of respondents noted that new technologies have increased the amount of time they spend on fantasy football activities. As fantasy football players evaluate upcoming match-ups, 66 percent feel that websites or apps that offer projection tools and tips for managing their teams are critical for success.

Professional Sports: Using Technology and Data for Competitive Advantage
Like many companies, professional sports organizations are grappling with massive amounts of data from on-field sensors, video feeds, social media, and other sources. Intel technologies, such as Intel® Xeon® processors and the Intel® Distribution of Apache Hadoop*, provide the compute power needed to allow sports organizations to quickly access, manage and store all of this information.

STATS*, a leading sports technology, data and content company, uses Intel Xeon processor-based servers for real-time scores, historical sports information and turnkey fantasy sports platforms. This information is provided to media companies and professional sports leagues, and to teams for dynamic in-game broadcast presentations and virtual images, multimedia enhancements and game analysis and tactical coaching tools.

"In a quest to gain a strategic advantage by being more informed and efficient sports organizations are increasingly becoming data-driven," said John Pollard, general manager of the Sports Solutions Group at STATS. "The next area of innovation in big data we are working on with our team clients is visualization techniques for sports analytics. Data visualization will help personnel execs, coaches, and players derive optimal value from their information resources by providing an easy to understand picture around the numbers and uncover trends to provide coaches and managers with actionable information."

Intel® Graph Builder for Apache Hadoop* software, an open-source software tool that converts separate pieces of information into web-like graphs that can be used to help visualize relationships and patterns in data. These visualizations can help coaches explore the connections between a variety of game conditions and the team's performance. Using Intel Graph Builder, teams could determine how factors such as weather, time of day, travel schedules, team composition and the frequency of injuries could affect the likelihood of a win.

"The technology that is available to players and fans today is absolutely mind-blowing," said Jerry Rice, NFL Hall of Famer and three-time Super Bowl champion. "During my time on the field as well as my work as an analyst, I've seen firsthand the impact that technology has had on the sports fan, the athlete and the game. I can only imagine what it would have been like to play with these resources at my fingertips and am proud to be working with Intel, a brand whose innovative culture has enabled many of these developments to take place.

1 STATS LLC

2 CEA, Euromonitor, 2010

3 Ipsos study as reported by Adage (08/12/13)

4 Survey results based on Ipsos MediaCT study of 1,000 fantasy football players (August 2013)

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