ORTEC Consulting supports Vancouver Whitecaps FC

07 August 2015 Consultancy.uk

Vancouver Whitecaps FC has partnered with Ortec Sports to improve the performance and efficiency of the team’s matches and training sessions. The sport analytics arm of Ortec Consulting Group will use a range of information to generate objective insights to aid the team’s management in decision-making.

Ortec Sports is an analytics company that leverages publically available information on sporting events to produce a wide range of metrics for interested parties including coaches, scouts, players and fans. Among others, video data is used to effectively measure teams and players to create objective profiles, with the information used to improve the revenues and effectivity in the sport in question. The company is active in 12 countries and employs more than 150 analysts including mathematicians, sports economists and past (Olympic) sports people. The company is a component of the wider Ortec Consulting Group which was founded in 1981.

The Vancouver Whitecaps FC are an in Vancouver, British Columbia, situated Major League Soccer (MLS) team that graduated into the highest tier of the sport in North America in 2010.

ORTEC Consulting supports Vancouver Whitecaps FC

The deal between Ortec Sports and the Vancouver Whitecaps FC will see the Ortec deliver a wide range of analytics to the team and its management. The information will be used to improve the effectiveness of the team’s matches and training sessions. Whitecaps FC’s sister team – Whitecaps FC 2 – in the United Soccer League will also use the analytic approach.

“We are excited to officially partner and strengthen our relationship with Ortec Sports,” comments Daniel Stenz, Head of Analysis and Scouting at Whitecaps FC. “We have been working with Ortec Sports since the start of the season as they continue their growth with their recent expansion into North America football. The statistical data Ortec Sports provides on teams and players has helped to give us objective insights and is a great resource in our decision-making.

Sporting analytics
The Vancouver Whitecaps FC are not the first team to use the techniques offered by Ortec Sports, AFC Ajax, Feyenoord Rotterdam, and PSV Eindhoven of the Dutch Eredivisie use the technology, as well as having supplied the performance matrix for Sochi 2014 Olympics together with the University of Groningen.

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Despite industry disruption televised sport still draws audiences

24 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

Despite the disruption wrought on most areas of traditional broadcasting by streaming challengers, sports remains a major draw for audiences of television networks. This is particularly true of viewers who bet money on sporting events, with those that have skin in the game considerably more likely to follow the event on a television screen.

Arguably the true opiate of the masses, for centuries organised sports have been a major draw for hordes of fanatical spectators, from the grand coliseums of Ancient Rome to the more understated greens of local cricket grounds. The advent of television in the 20th century took this to a new level, allowing for widespread visual access to major sporting events, and sowing the seeds of a multi-billion industry in the process. Yet while watching sport remains a key pastime for many, changing consumer preferences and new technologies are affecting the traditional sport distribution channel of TV.

To better understand trends in the sporting broadcast market, Deloitte recently released an article titled ‘Does TV Sports have a Future?’ as part of its wider ‘Technology, Media, and Telecommunications Predictions 2019’ report into telecommunications trends. The conclusions in the piece are based on the firm’s own survey of 1,062 US-based respondents.

More men than women watch sport

Traditional television has in recent years begun to lose out to streaming and on demand services, resulting in a generation that is watching considerably less television. The shift in consumer sentiment has caused traditional TV companies consternation as well as shifts in business models. The average Millennial now watches 42% fewer minutes per week of TV in 2018 than they did in 2010. Yet not all areas of the traditional television market have been as hard hit by the shift, and sport is one of them. This contradicts previous studies which may have suggested that Millennials were abandoning ‘old’ media for their sport viewing.

One reason for this could well be sports betting, which means that many of the people watching the event are keen to see how their punt is faring, in play. According to Deloitte, 78% of male sport viewers, and 64% of their female counterparts would be more likely to tune in to a live event if they had bet on it.

The study found that sport gambling remains a key fixture in the gambling industry as a whole in the UK. In the United Kingdom in 2017, sports betting had £14 billion in turnover. In the four Nordic countries, meanwhile legal gambling of all kinds was an approximate €6 billion industry in 2015. In the US, meanwhile, the industry as a whole is worth around a quarter of a trillion dollars – with sports betting figuring at around 40% of that total. The industry is projected to see growth of 9% over the coming three years.

Betting on sports is associated with watching sports on TV for more than five hours on a typical weekday

However, while the gambling industry does indeed seem to have some impact on television engagement, it would be dangerous to overstate this as a positive, and such a conclusion might also put the cart before the horse. Deloitte’s study found that ‘super-superfans’ – those who watched more than five hours on a typical weekday – were more likely to gamble than average viewers.

Of those who watch more than five hours of sport per day, only 4% do not bet. Of those, 2% do not currently bet, or have never bet, respectively. Again, it could be asserted that these people are engaging with televised sport, and thus keeping the advertising-based industry afloat, due to the betting they participate in. However, it could equally be argued that they are exhibiting compulsive behaviour in spending such a large amount of time viewing sport in the first place – behaviour which would leave them as easy prey for gambling firms, who can now milk them for profit.

But where is all this set to lead? According author Duncan Stewart, the potential profitability of this model means it is likely to be exported from the UK in the coming years.

Steward concluded, “As a thought experiment, one can imagine a 30-year-old American man in the year 2025… watching a football game on the TV set, smartphone in hand. He can bet on the match at any point, modify his wager, buy back a losing wager, bet on the outcome of individual plays or individual stats such as the number of passing yards by the quarterback—all in real time, and all tailored to him. Ads could be served that are customised for him, informed by his betting and attention, and watching would have to be 100% live. The broadcaster or betting site could not only charge more for ads seen by such an involved viewer, but even have a share in (or own outright) the profits from the betting/video stream … at margins much higher than the usual for TV broadcasting. To an American, this sounds like science fiction, but in the United Kingdom, these solutions (or variations of them) are available today.”