How businesses are winning at the FIFA World Cup 2018

Several companies are working with football teams this year to improve their analytics.

Quite a lot has been made of Western firms leaving sponsorship at the FIFA World Cup 2018 behind to be replaced by Chinese companies.

Rather than household names like Visa and Budweiser, supporters will see TV adverts for Chinese scooters, Mongolian milk and smartphones.

Despite the change, a whole host of businesses continue to work with the football teams involved.

Here, we take a look at the firms doing business at the World Cup and how they are doing it.

STATSports, a sports GPS tracking company based in Newry, Northern Ireland, is helping Brazil coaches at the World Cup to analyse its players in more detail.

Their GPS system will monitor player metrics such as heart rate, acceleration and positioning so players can be in the best shape possible following training. The company, founded by Alan Clarke and Sean O’Connor, hinted it was looking for outside funding to support international expansion after it signed a billion pound five year deal with the US Soccer Federation earlier this year.

FIFA World Cup 2018 teams using STATSports technology.

  • Brazil
  • Germany
  • Portugal
  • Belgium
  • England
  • Poland
  • Denmark
  • Morocco

Another example is 12-year-old Australian based firm Catapult – currently listed on the Australian Stock Exchange-work with coaches and sports scientists from coaches such as Eqypt to help them better understand how hard their players are working in training and on the pitch. ‘You will see unprecedented fitness levels in players,’ Barry McNeill, a senior executive at Catapult recently told the Economist.

Egypt star Mohammed Salah sports Catapault gear

The below video goes into more detail on how the company quantifies ‘player load’- a key feature of the technology.

Sports science is not particularly new in football. Former England manager Sam Alladyce is generally accepted to be one of the first managers to embrace nutrition and the science of the game back in the early 2000’s. But the latest businesses on board now show that the beautiful game is embracing big data analytics like never before.

Of course, on the consumer side of the World Cup, betting sites, pubs, retailers that sell electronics and takeaways like Just Eat are all expected to do well over the next month.

Further reading on data analytics

Beyond big data: the evolution of predictive analytics

Michael Somerville

Michael Somerville

Michael was senior reporter for from 2018 to 2019.

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