Tuesday 23 October 2018

Sports tech firm strikes €1.14bn US soccer deal

Sean O'Connor, co-founder of STATSports, fits a GPS Viper pod to a footballer.
Sean O'Connor, co-founder of STATSports, fits a GPS Viper pod to a footballer.

Mark Edwards

A NORTHERN Ireland-based sports analytics firm has secured a £1bn (€1.14bn) deal with the US Soccer Federation.

Newry-based STATSports uses a combination of GPS, accelerometers and magnetometers to allow coaches and athletes to measure the minutiae of their performance.

The US deal means its performance technology will be used by millions of players.

The technology was developed by entrepreneurs Alan Clarke and Sean O'Connor.

STATSports already supplies clubs in the English Premier League, including Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United, as well as in Brazil, Germany, Portugal and Belgium.

NFL, NHL, rugby union, NBA, track and field and hockey also use the company's APEX Team Series GPS units which provide real-time data to players and coaches to drive improved performance.

STATSports Group managing director Jarlath Quinn said: "Players, parents and coaches are looking for data that can really help them improve and the APEX Athlete series GPS units do just that.

"Our expectation is for millions of registered players in the US to be wearing these devices by 2022 and this will revolutionise the way young players train, recover and perform.

"This will be the world's largest data collection programme on athletes in any sport across both professional and recreational levels. The information is so rich it enables everyone to make better decisions on training and performance.

"Key performance indicators are emerging by position that will assist with developing national standards, player development initiatives, national team selections, in-game tactical considerations, reviewing training responses in real time and adjusting practices based on environmental change and conditions."

Ryan Mooney, US Soccer director of sport development, said: "This technology will drive our support, improve performance, and better monitor health and safety across all of our national teams and our nation's elite players in the development academy.

"By partnering with a world leader in wearable performance tracking, we will help drive and improve player environments through the exchange of data between clubs and US Soccer as players enter and leave national team camps."

Irish Independent

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