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Super Bowl, Super Data

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With Super Bowl 50 played and the Denver Broncos enjoying their victory, today let’s take a look at the tech side of things. In particular, how big data and wearables are making an impact on football.  Bernard Marr breaks down the different ways football can use big data to gain new insights in a recent Forbes article:


Real-time data

From sensors in stadiums, helmets and pads, coaching staff can get access to real-time position data. Mr. Marr points out, “[data] can even help indicate when a player may have suffered a damaging hit to the head.”  NFL has given coaches access to tablets during the game to process data and plays.

Predicting Outcomes

Mr. Marr writes, “For the biggest football game of the year — and the biggest sporting event of any kind in the U.S. — you can bet that people are betting on their ability to predict the outcome of the game.”  As more data is collected people have moved to better computer algorithms for predicting game results. On the game side, big data and wearables can even help predict how weather conditions may affect a play.


A Super Bowl article that doesn’t mention advertising would not be considered complete. As the cost for a 30 second television ad spot continues to rise – Mr. Marr reports this year’s costs was $5 million per 30 second spot – marketers are turning to better data analytics and the increased abilities to use social data to make better use of their ad spend.

So next year when you tune into your favorite NFL team, remember big data is making an impact on the big game.