Firms pitch future football technology


Football analytics company SciSports has won a competition to see their football innovations become a reality.

The firm, from the Netherlands, uses data to asses the quality and potential of football players around the world.

This statistics are then used by clubs, managers and the players themselves to help with recruitment and transfers.

The firm was among 10 start-ups who pitched to global sports and tech brands such as Uefa, Adidas, Amazon and Microsoft at the Hype Foundation event.

Other ideas included nano-technology in shirts to measure a player’s blood pressure and training aids to develop both professional and grassroots teams.

SciSports’ chef de mission, Giels Brouwer, will now go to Saturday’s Champions League final and attend a special workshop at Uefa headquarters in Switzerland.

He said he was “honoured” to win the competition after first coming up with the idea while playing computer game Football Manager.

“It’s a game where you can be a virtual manager and I was really addicted to it,” he said.

“When I was in college, I said to my room mate ‘we should to this with real data’ and that’s what we did.”

Cardiff University is partnering the Hype Foundation for the event at the university’s business school.

Amir Raveh, chief executive of Hype, said it attracted applications from about 800 start-ups from around the world.

“We’ve had a huge number of start-ups applying with great innovations including wearable tech, analytics, fan engagement and broadcasting,” he said

“It’s a fitting warm-up for the Uefa Champions League final.”

Bernd Wahler, a former chief marketing officer for Adidas and and ex-president of German club VfB Stuttgart, lead the judging panel.

“The quality of the start-ups is outstanding,” he said. “We all want to maintain the beauty of the fascinating game and at the same time welcome meaningful and exciting innovations.

“That’s what this event is all about – showing the world the future of football.”

A similar event ran for the 2016 Rio Olympics.