Kicking Goals: SAP in Sport

Posted on August 2014 By Speller International
Speller International Sap In Sport Soccer 1

It’s always exciting to be on the winning team, even if you’re not on the field, which was why it was so cool to see SAP partnering with the victorious German football team during the World Cup (they won, in case you didn’t see it). The German team’s coaches used a special technology called SAP Match Insights to record and analyse data points showing how to improve both individual and team performance. Judging by the outcome of the World Cup, it looks like it works pretty well.

While this partnership between SAP and the German football team shone a spotlight on SAP’s relationship with sports, it is nothing new – and it isn’t limited to football either. According to the SAP Sponsorships site:

SAP is proud to be associated with professional tennis, golf, baseball, basketball, football, F1, sailing, soccer and ice hockey. Our partnerships with world-class teams provide opportunities for SAP to demonstrate real-time analytic software in action, enhancing the experience for participants and re-imagining it for fans. Our ambassadors demonstrate commitment to excellence, perfection, and sustainability – but that’s no surprise. These are the very same values that SAP upholds in helping companies run better.

When you put it like that, application in the sports arena (pun intended) seems like a natural – and clever – extension of SAP technology. So where and how else is SAP kicking goals in sport? Let’s take a look.

Women’s Tennis
In August 2013, SAP announced a new relationship with the Women’s Tennis Association, set to span many years – and the globe. The technology SAP has offered the WTA will help players to analyse their own game as well as identify potential weaknesses in opponents’ games.

5O5 Schooner Race
SAP and the 5O5 class have collaborated for many years, with SAP developing solutions to help competing skippers, crews, race organisers, spectators and online fans follow the race and get live information on what was happening out on the water.

NBA Basketball
Powered by SAP HANA® offers fans access to unlimited official NBA statistics including every box score in NBA History. allows users to interact and analyse official league, team, and player statistics in real-time via an intuitive, highly visual interface. In addition, content from can be easily shared with others via social networks Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

Formula 1® Racing
SAP HANA® also turbo-charges McLaren’s F1® team, boosting both the speed and depth of their telemetry technology, which allows teams to look at much larger data sets and ask more complex questions. This real-time analysis of car sensor data can be run against both historical data and predictive models, helping the team to make immediate proactive corrections, avoid costly dangerous incidents and win the race. With instant analysis of what is happening to the car while the race is on, the driver and engineers can work together to ensure a winning result.

Ice Hockey
SAP’s Business ByDesign helps Sharks Sports & Entertainment (SSE), the company that manages the San Jose Sharks franchise, to run better. SSE’s implementation of SAP Business ByDesign was the first of its kind in the North American sports and entertainment industry and has proven to be a winning formula.

Using 120 years worth of New York Yankees statistics SAP has partnered with the Yankees to create dashboards that give baseball fans deeper insights into that data and help both analyse and visualise it. By using SAP analytics solutions, fans, players and coaches can find trends, compare performances and use models that can look at history to predict future performance. SAP is also a proud sponsor of the team.

Horseback Riding
The SAP Equestrian Analytics Platform is a co-innovation prototype with CHIO Aachen (biggest equestrian sports event of the year) which allows fans and riders to visualise the action on the cross-country course of the Eventing discipline based on a 2D viewer, a leader board and an interactive competitor chart providing insights into individual routes, speed data, time gaps, and heart-rates of competitors.

NFL Football
SAP, working with the National Football League (NFL), has launched an online analytics dashboard to provide fans with player insights regarding the selection of the 2014 Fantasy Player of the Year.

Earlier this year SAP and the Kolkata Knight Riders announced that customised SAP HANA® based platform would be created to help the team optimise their performance and enhance the fan experience. SAP Auction Analytics, SAP Game Analytics, and SAP Lumira enabled KKR to evaluate players during the auction, derive post-game analytics following each of the team’s games, and drive fan engagement respectively, during the Pepsi IPL 2014.

So you see? SAP isn’t just for work, and it definitely isn’t just for football, either. Any game, any discipline, whether it be team sports, individual events, series or one off events, there is a way SAP can turn past data into future predictions. Seems like being part of a SAP team just took on a whole new meaning.