Stats LLC for years has had a steady, successful business distributing scores and statistics to thousands of media outlets around the globe.
But Brian Kopp, head of Stats’ sports solutions group, was among those who felt the company could do much more, particularly in the fast-advancing area of motion tracking, in which players and the ball are monitored in real time.
That real-time data, in turn, has opened a vast new realm of sports analytics, radically altering how teams in many sports develop their rosters and expanding the content that fans receive.
Buttressed by Stats’ 2008 purchase of Tel Aviv-based optical tracking firm SportVU, Kopp has quickly built the company’s motion tracking business into an industry force. SportVU is now used by 15 NBA teams and a large number of European soccer clubs, and he is actively pushing the technology into other sports, including American football and hockey.
And Kopp was at the forefront of a more recent deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers in which SportVU data, almost always closely guarded by teams, is displayed for fans on the center-hung scoreboard at Quicken Loans Arena.
“We completely saw motion tracking as an important, disruptive force, and something that would bring about new layers of information,” Kopp said. “But just as important, this is something that completely fits into who we are as a company. This isn’t just something that sits aside our core business. It’s fundamentally part of our DNA.”