The 2016 Euro Cup Championship kicks off today with France – the tournament hosts – taking on Romania. Defending World Cup champions Germany come into this tournament a heavy favourite and besides having great players such as goalkeeper Manual Neuer and mid-field sensations Thomas Muller and Bastian Schweinsteiger the squad is sporting SAP Sport One powered by the HANA Cloud Platform.
Back in 2014 the German National Team was the only side to employ data analytics for the World Cup and the same holds true for this tournament.
Lars Lamade, the Head of EMEA and APJ Global Sponsorships for SAP, is at the France tournament and told ITBusiness Sports Tech that this type of technology in the cloud using data gives the Germans and their coach Joachim Löw a competitive edge.
“We started developing Sports One a couple of years before the World Cup in Brazil and this is a tool for coaches to show tactical sequences against defenders and offensive players,” he said.
The difference from the 2014 World Cup and today’s Euro Cup is that SAP has made Sports One an easier to use tool that provides more insights.
Sports One for the Euro Cup has new applications such as:
- Opponent analysis tools, which reviews key player traits and behaviours and preferred formations;
- Penalty kick data visualizations, this tool help goalkeepers decide which way to dive depending on the penalty taker;
- Tactics tools, maybe the most important app in Sports One as it enables coaches to deliver more complex instructions dynamically and instantly to players before the game and during the half-time intermission; and
- Messaging tools for improved communications between players and coaches.
“The goalkeeper can now see which shooters take penalties and where they usually shoot if it’s left down, left up, in the middle, right down or right up. They can see the lead up to the shot. This tool makes goalkeepers more competitive as they can compare all penalty shot situations,” Lamade said.
For game tactics SAP has developed the Challenger tool to help coaches prepare their players for the next match.
Lamade added that the speed of Sports One has been greatly increased and the solution is now viewable on tablets. Players are able to click on an opponent’s player profile to see that person’s strengths and weaknesses. “It can show video sequences on the most typical way the striker will attack on goal from the right side of the pitch and the left side,” he said.
Lamade called Sports One more of a learning tool that saves time. In the past the German team coaches and staff had to work a lot harder to gather all the relevant material and then present it to the players.
“There is no special secret here. It’s just a tool to help them be more optimized especially with video. This is no sure thing. You can see every penalty kick ever taken on YouTube, but it will take lots of hours and hard work to process all that footage and then share it in a meaningful way. This now can be condensed in a way that better prepares the players,” Lamade said.
SAP Sports One on the HANA Cloud Platform can be used for any team in sports. However, Lamade said that for some of the smaller clubs it’s difficult to invest in technology over players. But the fact that this technology is now in the cloud makes it more affordable and accessible.