The 2018 Hall of Fame Classic will be remembered as a landmark event in the data-charged sports revolution. Held at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.—ShotTracker’s backyard—the tournament marked the first time in NCAA history that DI teams were given access to technology on the bench.
As the test run for a potential game-altering rule change, the Hall of Fame Classic revolutionized the sport for more than just coaches and players. ESPN’s broadcast team and fans following along on their phones were able to access more than 70 real-time stats and analytics, shot charts, zone maps, and more though ShotTracker’s apps.
The coaching staffs of Nebraska, Missouri State, USC and tournament champ Texas Tech were able to swap clipboards for iPads. They used ShotTracker’s Team App to identify their opponents’ strengths and weaknesses and generate potentially game-winning strategies. The coaches took advantage of real-time shot charts to pinpoint the spots on the court where their players were most effective. As a result, players were able to visualize, trust and act on their coaches’ instructions like never before.
“ShotTracker allowed our staff to make in-game adjustments, give instantaneous feedback, and show our team during huddles and halftime what they needed to focus on,” explained Gregory Eaton, Nebraska’s director of basketball operations.
USC coaches, as an example, encouraged their players to move the ball more by pointing to a 0.6 differential in points per possession when they made between four and six passes, as opposed to zero to three passes.
Off the court, the data had a significant impact, too. In the Apple Store, ShotTracker’s Fan App went from un-ranked to No. 68 in the sports app category over the course of just two days, racking up 30,000 impressions in the process. Installs for iOS and Android increased by a factor of 10, with users averaging three to four minutes in the app per session. This demonstrated that fans are hungry for live stats that go beyond the box score and offer detailed analytics and real-time shot charts.
The Hall of Fame Classic represented another nationally televised opportunity for ShotTracker’s to prove its game-enhancing broadcast integration capabilities. Fans who tuned into ESPN saw the action on the court in a whole new way, with insight-packed graphics and real-time shooting percentages woven into the broadcast.
ShotTracker also paved the way for improved color commentary. At one point, ESPN’s broadcast team overheard Texas Tech Head Coach Chris Beard instructing his players to force one of USC’s forwards to the left. Thanks to ShotTracker, ESPN was able to show fans the USC player’s first half zone map—the very same data that Coach Beard was using—which was littered with made shots to the right. By integrating live data into the broadcast, ShotTracker enabled every fan watching at home (and not just contest-winners) to feel like they were sitting courtside.
At the 2018 Hall of Fame Classic, ShotTracker demonstrated how live stats and analytics can both improve the competition on the court while simultaneously making for a better television broadcast and enhancing the fan experience both inside and outside of the arena. Many professional sports leagues already have technology deals in place that give coaches and players access to real-time insights throughout the game. Thanks to this test run by ShotTracker and the National Association of Basketball Coaches, college coaches may soon have similar tools at their disposal for every game.
“Having the guardians of the game buy into what we’re doing has been very humbling and inspiring,” ShotTracker COO Davyeon Ross told the Kansas City Business Journal. “This is going to open up the doors because we’ve shown people what can be done.”
Read more: sporttechie.com