Technology and sports, while not altogether a new thing has so far remained a relatively small trend. However, during the World Cup 2014, SAP and the German team made a big bang and took football to the next level.
The SAP Match Insights solution for football that ran on the HANA platform facilitated the analysis of training, preparation and tournaments. It also gave coaches the unprecedented ability to process vast amounts of data to find and assess key situations in each match to improve player and team performance.
Now come 2016, SAP and DFB are looking to take it to the next level at the European Championship with new technology from SAP. For the upcoming European Championship, SAP has helped DFB create a game plan which includes the development of two new prototype technologies exclusively for DFB and powered by the SAP HANA Cloud Platform.
“Digitalization affects our entire economy and society, and is also entering the world of sports. SAP and DFB teamed up to spearhead this digital transformation and to take football to the next level,” said Bernd Leukert, Member of the Executive Board, SAP. “With SAP Challenger Insights and the penalty insights function for SAP Sports One, we are putting the power of real-time data and information directly into the hands of coaches and players.”
HANA Cloud to provide unique tactical insight
The first, SAP Challenger Insights, helps the team prepare for each of their European Championship matches by providing data driven insights surrounding an opponent’s offensive and defensive tendencies, formations, and more. Accessed through the SAP HANA Cloud Platform, coaches can review the opposing team’s tactical characteristics and create an assumed match plan. The data is available through iPads that DFB players have in their lockers prior to a match or during halftime and delivers the assumed game plan of the opposing team so the team can familiarize themselves with opponent tendencies and reference past video replays.
Secondly, the Penalty Insights Function in SAP Sports One, a new functionality, powered by the SAP HANA Cloud Platform, provides goalkeepers and goalkeeping coaches with insights into the tactical behavior related to penalty kicks of all teams and players competing in the tournament. The team can search the top five or more players most likely to take penalty kicks, the areas of the goal they usually aim at, specific shot characteristics such as the player’s run, and also watch corresponding video clips in real time.
“Together with SAP, we have created a match plan that puts the power of real-time data and information into our hands and helps us gain a competitive edge,” said Oliver Bierhoff, Manager of the German National Football team and SAP ambassador.
Additionally, building off the success of the Football World Championships in 2014, SAP made extensive enhancements to previously released technologies that played a significant role in the German National Team’s success resulting in their 4th Championship.
Given the stunning success of their prior co-operative efforts, there is no doubt that many will be eager to see how much farther technology can raise the bar in this sport that has captured the hearts of millions of fans worldwide.