- Posted by Tamara Dutina
- On June 1, 2020
- 0 Comments
- AI, aws, aws ai, bundesliga, machine learning
Every sports fan will confirm that nothing replaces the zest of a live spectacle at the stadium. But the latest, unmatched combination of technology which provides advanced game statistics to a TV viewer, might make the home watching experience a whole lot more exciting.
Just ask Germany’s Bundesliga football spectators.
Match Facts – the rise of data-led football fan experiences
On May 26th, during the match between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munchen, Bundesliga and Amazon Web Services debuted the new statistics of the live game. The TV broadcast, aired in over 200 countries, featured two Match Facts – Average Positions and Expected Goals (xGoals), based on the unprecedented combination of AWS infrastructure and AI.
The first one, Average Positions, provides a detailed insight into a team’s tactics on the field. After tracking a player’s average location on the field, Average Position analyses the data and displays the expected behaviour in real-time. The combination of analytics and machine learning aims to help the viewer understand every (sudden) change of the team’s tactics. Germany’s football league intends to incorporate this new AWS perk into all future matches of this and the upcoming season.
xGoals, on the other hand, is the true state state-of-the-art AWS service made to assess the probability of a goal being scored in each situation. The calculation is using Amazon SageMaker to predict the prospect of a goal when the shooting is happening from any position on the field. According to the officials, the machine learning model combined the analysis of 40,000 historical shots with various specifics such as the distance, angle, number of defenders and the position of the goalkeeper. This feature will remain exclusive, planned only for highlight matches in the Bundesliga.
The innovation we witnessed last week was announced earlier this year. And, according to AWS, it’s just the beginning of the game-changing (pun intended) experience for the true fans. Watching your favourite match will become even more captivating. “These two new statistics are just the beginning of what we’ll be able to deliver for football fans as we look forward to unlocking new ways to better educate, engage, and entertain viewers around the world”, stated Andy Isherwood, Amazon’s Vice President and Managing Director EMEA.
Cloud and sports, a match made in heaven
It was really a matter of time when the flirting between cloud technologies and live sports will evolve into something groundbreaking. World’s biggest football clubs have been testing the waters aka cloud potentials with the world’s biggest cloud providers; however, mostly playing it safe and leveraging the storage and performance capabilities.
It is widely known that FC Liverpool’s website successfully provides match info, betting, shopping and membership services thanks to AWS.
Microsoft and FC Real Madrid teamed up to create a global digital sports platform, focused on club’s fans and their need for information and rich content. With 97% of Real Madrid’s fans being outside Spain, the sports giant needed a sophisticated and global solution to deliver the best fan experience for 500 million people worldwide. The fan engagement and video platform, much like the consumer app, also rely on advanced analytics and a whole array of Azure cloud services to ensure a prosperous digital future for the Royal club.
Immersing the spectator
These certainly are some exciting times, for both sports fans and cloud engineers. The Bundesliga example might be just the beginning; it has been said that cloud-based services like these can be tested in Japan, too.
It’s not just the innovative aspect that raises the bar; great tech achievements just for the sake of novelty are great. But utilizing them to provide a truly immersing experience in the era of information overload – that’s the real art. The smart leverage of cloud’s endless possibilities to enrich and personalize fan’s experience, which AWS and Bundesliga demonstrated, is ovation worthy and leaving us asking for more.