Man City launch ‘hackathon’ in search for new insights into player performance

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June 24 – Marketed as a ‘hackathon’ Manchester City is opening its doors and its player data to students and experts in technology, data and digital product design to come up with new innovations that will provide new insights on player performance.

The ‘hackers’ will be turned loose on exclusive data sets from ten of the Premier League fixtures Man City played during the 2015/16 season. The hackers then have three days to develop their prototypes.

Taking place July 29-31 at the City Football Academy, the club’s training and youth development facility, participants will use OptaPro and ChyronHego data to develop new ideas and insights about player and team performance.

The hackers will compete for a cash prize and ‘money can’t buy’ experiences. Winners will have the opportunity to develop their prototyoes with Manchester City. Students entrants could win internships at the Club. The club is providing two nights free accommodation and meals to the tech whizz kids.

The club already has developed its own Analytics projected and the hackathon is seen as a way of expanding on that work, searching for new creative directions and solutions.

Ben Mackriell, Head of OptaPro, said:“The application of advanced analytics within professional football has progressed significantly over the past 18 months and is an area where OptaPro has strived to help teams begin to understand its value… Having worked alongside them in the ground-breaking MCFC Analytics project, #HackMCFC is the perfect evolution of this. The event offers an exciting opportunity for participants to generate innovative data-driven insights from what is an extremely detailed dataset.”

The solutions would not be kept to Manchester City alone but are seen as being applicable to its sister clubs. Edward Sulley, Head of Research and Innovation for City Football Services, Man City’s ownership group, said: “At Manchester City, we proactively strive to be at the forefront of innovative technologies that can help enhance our performance on and off the pitch. This vision is shared by our sister clubs New York City FC, Melbourne City FC and Yokohama F-Marinos, who are all supported by City Football Services, a unique part of the wider City Football Group business model that allows us to share innovative IP and insights across all four of our clubs.

“This Hackathon enables us to engage fans of both sport and technology in this process, and the support of the Premier League means we can provide them with a unique opportunity to access exclusive data they can use to develop creative ideas. We look forward to working with the participants and seeing what ground-breaking technologies they can bring to the table that could potentially benefit all four clubs across the City Football Group.”

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