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ESPN Expands Its Partnership with STATS to Provide Live Optical Tracking for ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament

March 8, 2018

CHICAGO– March 8, 2018 –ESPN expanded its relationship with STATS, the leader in sports data and intelligence, to receive STATS SportVU® real-time optical tracking to support ESPN’s coverage of the New York Life ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Taking place from March 6-10, 2018, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY, the New York Life ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament features five of the top 25 teams in the country (per Mar. 5 AP rankings), with more ACC teams likely to be selected for the upcoming NCAA Tournament.

“This is a truly exciting time, not only for the extension of this relationship, but because this type of live player tracking in a broadcast has never been done,” said Carl Mergele, Chief Executive Officer at STATS. “Using a powerful collaboration between STATS and ESPN, we will now be able to provide ESPN and its viewers with optical tracking statistics that have never been shared live before.”

Using STATS SportVU cameras installed in the Barclays Center, STATS will collect real-time player tracking data and share it with ESPN to provide deeper, more meaningful stories for the broadcast.

“We look forward to working with STATS to quantify performance and provide insights in new ways for one of the biggest college basketball tournaments of the year,” said Jeff Bennett, Vice President of Stats & Information at ESPN.  “Every movement of the players and the ball will be captured and aid in our storytelling of this 14-game event.”

STATS SportVU—which was recently validated through a STATS-commissioned independent study by the Technical University of Munich—is available for soccer and basketball. It delivers tracking data through an independent camera installation that extracts and processes coordinates of players and the ball. Backed by STATS’ award-winning artificial intelligence and data science team and engineers, the installation will offer ESPN and their viewers advanced analytics to better measure and analyze player performance, as well as team formations and tactics.

“Through our work with ESPN, we have been able to develop new products and capabilities to tell deeper stories that fans want,” said Patrick Lucey, Director of Artificial Intelligence and Data Science at STATS. “We are thrilled to debut this capability on the big stage for the New York Life ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament.”

STATS and ESPN will consider wider use of STATS SportVU for future live broadcasts following the ACC Tournament partnership.