Deutscher Fußball Bund (DFB) and DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga have taken an innovative approach to underscore their leading position in the field of match analytics and data capture. In November of 2017, the two partners staged the first international congress on sports analytics and performance analysis, providing a platform to discuss the latest developments in analytics processes, the use of positioning data, virtual reality and the controversy surrounding the concept of “transparent” players. All these issues rapidly gained importance in recent years and are set to become even more dominant in the future. After all, it is not only fans who get a kick out of the myriad of informative and entertaining statistics published on their favorite soccer stars – whole teams of coaches and scouts are already using analytical data to optimize the fitness of their players, make their technical and tactical training more efficient, and prepare for future opponents.
The two-day sports analytics congress was held in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, on November 29–30, 2017. For an attendance fee, participants were able to gain access to a select international group of high-caliber speakers including numerous scientists, university professors of high standing, and Joachim Löw, the coach of Germany’s national soccer team. As many as 200 attendees not only had the chance to hear from DFL experts and some of its member clubs, but also from guest speakers and specialists from top international clubs such as FC Barcelona, Arsenal FC and Manchester City FC.
The first day of the congress revolved around the latest analytical-process developments and refinements that had reached the market and their potential uses. Other key topics on day one included the concept of perception and the influence it can have in teaching game skills, as well as the opportunities opened up by virtual reality.
Day two of the congress focused on decisive action training and diagnostics and on the utilization of positioning data in the analytical process. It then concluded with a panel discussion between Germany’s national soccer coach and members of his team along with a sports director and an analyst from the Bundesliga.
Together with DFB Akademie, DFL has been raising the benchmark with this new project and underscoring its innovative strength in the generation, processing and utilization of match data.
“Data and performance analytics have made huge strides in recent years and our assumption is that this innovative field can only gain in importance going forward,” says Dr. Hendrik Weber, Head of Technology & Innovation at DFL. “By founding Sportec Solutions GmbH, we have already paved the way for DFL to play a central role in analytics worldwide. The congress in November offers us an opportunity to share our skills and expertise with others.”