Premier League using Oracle to provide performance data

By Kate Birch
The Premier League kicks off a new era of football with the adoption of Oracle Cloud to help power advanced data analytics and give fans a better game...

With the aim of giving football fans both a deeper understanding and a more exciting and engaged experience of the game, the UK’s Premier League is utilising Oracle’s data and analytics and machine learning technologies to deliver ground-breaking statistics and insight in real-time to its global audience.

The Premier League is available to watch in 880 million homes in 188 countries and research shows fans are interested in the integration of match data and analysis and insights achieved will help deliver more data-rich stories about matches.

Marking a significant merger of technology and sport, and set to give fans worldwide “a game-changing new experience”, this partnership will allows fans to access a range of match information instantly both while watching on their TVs from home or if checking the latest scores on their mobile phones.

“The margins for error in the Premier League are very small, so the data is crucial to discovering the meaningful moments and stories of each match. It’s those stories that unite fans and ignite their passions for the game,” says Ariel Kelman, VP and CMO for Oracle. 

How exactly will Oracle power such insights?

With the utilisation of Match Insights – Powered by Oracle Cloud, the Premier League will be able to offer advanced player performance data and statistics during the broadcast of games, as well as across the League’s social channels.

Machine learning models will be developed to generate immediate results based on live data streams, real-time tracking data, and facts collected on each of the League’s players and from thousands of previous matches. 

Match Insights will include the following:

  • Average Formation This tracks the positions of all players when their team is in and out of possession. The model highlights differences in how teams organise themselves when attacking and defending. During the match, fans will see how teams react to their opposition’s tactics, helping viewers to understand the strategies behind different styles of play.
  • Live Win Probability This statistic enlarges the story of a team’s performance by calculating the chance a team has in securing a win or draw by simulating the remainder of the match 100,000 times. The model is based on four years of match data and takes into account if a team is home or away, the current score, penalties, players on the pitch, red cards and time left.
  • Momentum Tracker This measures the likelihood of the team in possession scoring a goal in the next 10 seconds. The results are based on data from thousands of historical games and the last five events in the current possession. The model incorporates the outcomes of passes, dribbles in possession, tackles and the locations on the pitch where they take place.

  American NFL uses AWS since 2018

The Premier League isn't the only sports league worldwide to merge with technology to enage fans. In 2018, the NFL, which has 180 million fans worldwide, realised it too needed a more advanced system to collect data and make sense of it, revealing insights about game dynamics for both fans and plays. And so they partnered with AWS to help leverage the power of its data via analytics and machine learning.

Powered by machine learning tool Amazon SageMaker, NFL’s Next Gen Stats program uses sophisticated tracking and technology collected via RFID devices in the shoulder pads of every player and embedded at each of its stadiums. These devices capture data about which players are on the field at a given moment, their location within inches, and the speed and direction in which they move. This treasure trove of data represents a tremendous resource for the league’s 32 teams, multiple media partners and approximately 180 million fans worldwide 

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