Newry firm STATSports secures £1bn deal to 'revolutionise' US soccer
A NEWRY-based sports analytics company has secured a colossal £1 billion deal with the US Soccer Federation.
STATSports, which already counts Manchester United, the Irish rugby team and NFL franchises as clients, has struck a ground-breaking deal, which will see millions of
registered footballers wearing performance technology similar to that used by the game's top players within three years.
The partnership will result in the world's largest player data monitoring programme and is seen as a platform to identify future stars of the game in the US. It is also the first step towards giving footballers at all levels across America access to the performance technology used by the top professionals and teams around the world.
Worn in a vest and positioned between the shoulder blades, the APEX athlete monitoring devices quantify physical performance including, physical load and movement during training and matches. The units measure physical metrics including distance, speed, acceleration, deceleration, high-speed running, load and heart rate, with a typical training session producing millions of data points on a player, providing an unparalleled insight into their performance.
Founded in 2008 by Alan Clarke and Sean O'Connor, STATSports has changed the way sport is analysed, coached and viewed by combining cutting edge technology and sports science. The Newry firm now supplies clubs in the English Premier League, including Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur and the Brazil, Germany, Portugal, Belgium and England football associations. The GAA,IRFU, NFL, NHL and NBA also use the company's APEX units to help drive improved performance.
STATSports Group managing director Jarlath Quinn said the latest deal will help "revolutionise" American soccer.
“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."
US Soccer high performance director James Bunce said the technology will help develop "world class players" in the future.
"This project has the potential to collect data on a scale that has not been achieved before in any sport or organisation. This technology will support our mission to develop world class players through numerous avenues including benchmarking, injury prevention and talent identification."
US Soccer director of sport development Ryan Mooney added:
“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. Over time, this information will be used to research, support and educate the entire landscape."