Blog Sports

Sports Data Campus, KINEXON, and Sevilla FC Team Up to Improve Football Analytics

Author: Dr. Guilherme de Sousa Pinheiro

Sports technology is redefining many of the games we all love, including football. Analytics software is being studied and is ushering in a new era of sports. Thanks, in large part, to the Sports Data Campus, Sevilla FC, and ball tracking technology.

Display of the smart football with the KINEXON Tracking technology.

Sports are supposed to be fun, but at KINEXON, we take sports analytics seriously. We always want to make sure that we’re providing the fastest, most reliable data to the organizations we’re working with. But we can’t do this alone. 

We often partner with teams who will test innovations for us. This was the case with our ball tracking technology. We not only wanted to test it, but we wanted to ensure that the information it provides is moving the game of football forward. 

It took a 3‑legged collaboration to get it done, but the results are inspiring.

The Challenge – Improve Football Analytics

Football analytics can be collected by either player tracking or ball tracking with sensors and equipment set up around the field.

KINEXON is a FIFA Preferred Provider Live Player and Ball Tracking and is one of the world’s leading technology providers of live tracking and data analysis in professional sports. This makes us the ideal partner for any project like this one. But we had to find others willing to work with us. 

The Sports Data Campus is an advanced football analytics learning center backed by the UCAM. It’s a learning facility that offers programs designed to educate and shape talents in advanced analytics in football, big data and sports technologies It’s on a mission to drive innovation, boost our understanding of data processing in football, and shape the future of the sports data industry. 

We thought that that we could use their help on this project, seeing that these students and educators are as passionate about football analytics as we are. We (KINEXON) felt that collaborating with Sports Data Campus on this project would bolster innovation and deepen the understanding of football data processing. But we needed to find a team that would share our joint passion for advancing football analytics.

The Solution - Teamwork with KINEXON and Sevilla FC

The Sevilla FC stadium where the club helped create better ball tracking technology by allowing sensors to be placed in the ball.

To achieve our goal, the Sports Data Campus and KINEXON joined forces with Sevilla FC, one of Europe’s esteemed football clubs. Sevilla FC opened its doors to us, allowing us to install our advanced Local Positioning System at the club’s facilities to keep track of where players and the ball are in real-time. We implemented player and ball tracking during training sessions and matches. 

KINEXON is the only company that’s added sensor technology directly into official footballs. This new advancement lets us track the ball’s location and movement in real-time, with incredible accuracy — right down to the centimeter. We use a Local Positioning System with UWB technology, which tracks both the players and the ball as they move. The information that is collected provides coaches and analysts with detailed data about gameplay and tactics. 

This high-tech tool generates an enormous amount of rich, high-quality data.

The Winning Goal - Advancements in Football Analytics

When a goal hits the back of the net during a soccer game it accounts for a point for one of the teams.

Six master theses were born out of this partnership, that dove deep into the nitty-gritty of football analytics. These theses explored critical aspects of football analytics, including: 

  • The impact of ball possession 
  • Tactical spatial strategies 
  • Playing positions
  • Acceleration and deceleration patterns in elite youth football 

But it didn’t stop there. The students also investigated metrics like: 

  • Dribble occurrences
  • Pass quality as a performance indicator 
  • Player profiling using ball tracking data 
  • Physical and technical demands profile between matches and training sessions, 
  • Evaluating a team’s defensive behavior through tracking and event data 

What’s more, the data we collected helped Sevilla FC’s coaches understand player performance like never before. It’s like having an X‑ray vision into each player’s strengths and areas to work on. This data-driven approach not only improved on-field performances but also contributed massively to football analytics as a whole.

The Results Inspire New Technology

Football tracking is done by placing a sensor in the ball, which can help referees confirm calls and provide fans with detailed shot information during games.

The master theses produced by the students brought new perspectives and breakthroughs to the field of ball tracking, fostering scientific innovation and pushing the boundaries of knowledge in sports data analytics. 

And the collaborative work of the Sports Data Campus, KINEXON, and Sevilla FC significantly contributed to advancements in football analytics and sports data science. It pushed the boundaries of knowledge and spurred further research and exploration in the sports industry. 

But the climax of this partnership was the unveiling of the Connected Ball Technology” at the Sport Data Forum in March 2023. This innovation, a product of collaboration between KINEXON, adidas, and FIFA, promises to revolutionize everything from player performance to training methods, refereeing, and even the fan experience. 

Players and coaches can use sensors in the ball to check their performance and make quick decisions during a game. These sensors can measure things like how fast the ball is going, how it spins, and where it’s headed. This helps them see how different ways of kicking can change how the ball moves. 

By using Ultra Wide Band and Inertial Measurement tech, connected ball technology gives match officials real-time data— from the ball. This helps them make better decisions during the game. They can see details about every time the ball is touched. It even helps quickly and accurately figure out things like offsides. 

And with tracking sensors in match balls for the very first time, now, teams, TV broadcasters, and social media groups can get lots of data from the ball. This includes shot speeds, how closely players control it, and even the speed and accuracy of dribbles and passes.

Sports Data Campus Students Also Benefit

This is the logo of the innovation center from the sports club FC Sevilla

Students at Sports Data Campus also benefited from the venture. They got to use cutting-edge sports technology and analyze real-world sports data from pro football teams. 

It’s like a backstage pass into the world of professional football and football analytics, which prepares them to be top-notch professionals in the industry.

The Hat-Trick - Education, Technology, and Sports

A soccer ball equipped with a ball tracking sensor is used in a game to provide players, coaches, referees, and fans with detailed information about shots and the location of the ball.

The joint venture between Sports Data Campus, KINEXON, and Sevilla FC is a masterstroke in football analytics. It allowed students to get practical experience with top-tier tech, while Sevilla FC capitalized on data insights to enhance performance. 

This combination of education, technology, and sports is setting the stage for a future where data and analytics become the cornerstone of decision-making in football. The successful partnership between the Sports Data Campus, KINEXON, and Sevilla FC exemplifies the power of collaboration in driving advancements in football analytics.

KINEXON Player and Ball Tracking Options

KINEXON is a sports analytics company that is considered to be the world leader in player and ball tracking technology.

As I mentioned before, KINEXON is a FIFA Preferred Provider Live Player and Ball Tracking. Our company is one of the world’s leading technology providers of live tracking and sports analytics. 

Our latest technology is the GPS-based player tracking system KINEXON PERFORM GPS Pro.” Released in 2023, it’s the best in its class. It gathers three times more real-time data than other similar systems. For the first time, it offers live access to all important performance data. Plus, it syncs live with the Amazon AWS Cloud, allowing for quicker and more adaptable data analysis. 

We are also developing women-specific requirements. This approach is already being used to develop menstrual cycle-syncing workouts for women athletes.

And whether it’s the iBall” by Derbystar/​SELECT or balls from other makers, KINEXON’s ball tracking can be integrated into any football or handball. 

We have plenty of information available if you’d like to learn more about our GPS, LPS, and IMU player tracking devices, that have been scientifically proven to deliver results.

And if you’re interested in ball tracking, you can also watch our recorded demonstration on how ball tracking works, watch our webinar on ball tracking tactics, or download the ball tracking brochure at the bottom of this page. 

Download: Ball Tracking Brochure

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