• In #TECTalksFootball

    Technology, The World Cup and The future sport experience

    From dedicated player apps and semi-automated offsides to new streaming platforms and air conditioned stadia, the 2022 FIFA World Cup is undoubtedly the most technologically advanced sports tournament to date. A raft innovations on and off the pitch will shape the experiences of players, media and fans all around the world, creating a new standard for the industry.

    Here’s our take on some of the digital developments that have and will impact the stakeholder experience of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and what they mean for the future experience of sport.

  • In #TECTalksFootball

    Winning with data: How football gets a competitive edge in the boardroom & on the field

    With £180m spent in the 2022 Premier League January transfer window alone, the sums involved in modern football are astronomical, and the margin for error is acute. If a board makes the wrong decision, it could have a long-lasting impact on the club’s finances and performance. The process is further complicated due to various clauses and bonuses involved. Across any squad, there will be multiple types of performance-related incentives, agent fees, and signing on bonuses that need to be accounted for.    

    The challenge  

    With the stakes so high, any modern football club needs to model the impacts of different player performance scenarios could have on the overall budget. The challenge is that there is no single source of truth to access this data, let alone process the wide variety of potential scenarios. This makes the modelling process extremely time-consuming and resource-heavy, and herein lies the fine line between success and failure.   

    To solve this challenge, TEC: Agency was appointed to build an intelligence platform for a leading Premier League Club. The goal was to create a bespoke software solution that gives an overview of all player-related financial activity and enables them to efficiently manage all aspects of player’s contracts, including the myriad of performance-related clauses. Another key feature focussed on player scouting and acquisition, to model scenarios around financial profiles and the potential impact on the overall wage bill.  

    Creating value by modelling the economic impact of contracts   

    There is more to the solution than merely digitizing player contracts. To add value and provide a competitive edge the solution proactively understands the potential financial impact of individual contract conditions. For instance, a player’s bonus could change depending on the duration they spent on the field in a game, for example, 30 or 90 minutes. What is the impact if this is a Premiership or a Champions League match? 

    Our analysis of operational and financial processes revealed that the best solution was to build a live rules engine that continually evaluates contract bonus targets against player match statistics. The engine was designed to process more than 30 types of contract clauses along with fixture data other financial data resources and by connecting to the wider budgeting module. We were able to build a platform that demonstrates the ability to forecast the complete economic impact of a player’s transfer or contract renewal.  

    The platform was also built to contain a simulation area that encapsulated the previously mentioned modules so that the player’s or club’s achievements could be checked. Also, this allowed boardroom people to test multiple scenarios, such as the financial impact of a future transfer or loan deal.  

    The final result       

    The platform empowered the Premier League club to quickly make financial predictions and decisions based on contract conditions and performance outcomes.  The data also allows them to make better-informed decisions about scouting and managing transfer-related costs like taxes and agent’s fees. It also improved management efficiency by eliminating the manual and time-consuming tasks of checking each contract individually. The intelligence platform is so successful it is now used by over 40 football clubs worldwide.   

    If you want to find out more, please contact Kevin Bain.

  • In #TECTalksFootball

    Can West Ham really make the top 4?

    It’s no understatement to say that West Ham is massively over-achieving this season and is fighting for a top 4 finish for the first time ever but can they maintain it?

    Compared to last season West Ham have 21 more points than this stage last season and are 14 positions higher and have one of the biggest turnarounds in Premier League history.

    The first reason why is recruitment in the summer and January window and how big an impact the signings had.

    In the summer David Moyes signed two Czech players, Tomas Soucek and Vladimir Coufal, both from Slavia Prague.

    Soucek was signed for just over 20 million Euros on a permanent basis after being on loan the previous season. It is fair to see he is one of the most underrated players in the league with 8 goals from centre midfield and consistently playing well.

    Coufal was signed for 5 million Euros and is being utilised as a wing-back. Creativity going forward and reliability in defence are just two reasons why he is one of the bargains of the season.

    Algerian winger Said Benrahma was signed on loan with an option to buy in the summer and in January that clause was activated for just over 20 million Euros after an impressive six months with the Hammers. Jesse Lingard was signed on loan from Manchester United and after 6 games, has scored 4 goals all from open play and provided 1 assist. Jesse didn’t play any football in the first half of the season but he is on top of his game right now and he has exclaimed many times how happy he is to be playing football with a smile on his face once again.

    The last couple of times West Ham were in Europe it didn’t go too well. After finishing fifth in the season before, they were put into Europa League qualifying. In the third qualifying round, they knocked out Slovenian side Domzale 4-2 on aggregate to take their place in the final qualifying round.

    As fate would have it they would meet Romanian side Astra Giurgiu who triumphed last time the sides met in Europe beating the Hammer 4-3. 

    This time around, West Ham had the chance to take revenge. However, once again Astra Giurgiu was victorious winning 2-1 on aggregate and West Ham haven’t played competitive European football since. 

    The difference in performances and results this season has been remarkable. West Ham is picking up more points against teams outside the traditional top six which proving to be a key driver behind their success. 

    With 12 matches left West Ham have some favourable games before the end of the season. If the players highlighted can keep up their good form, we could see West Ham in European football for the first time since 2016.

    Cal Bain