Catapult teams with heavyweight for analytics

Melbourne-based player performance tech company Catapult has teamed with STATS, a week after their US partner was sold by Fox Sports and Associated Press.

The two, who are leaders in elite athlete analysis, will work streamline performance data, focussing initially focus on NBA and college basketball, but with plans for other sports later.

Teams use STATS to gather and analyse practice, training and game data, gaining insights into injury prevention. Game data from the SportVU player tracking technology will be integrated with training data gained via Catapult’s tracking monitors.

Catapult chief executive Shaun Holthouse says the “heavyweight” partnership will take player analysis to an unprecedented level: “We’ve owned this wearable technology in elite sport space for a while now, and our team is ruthless in pursuing new and better ways to enhance athlete performance and minimize the risk of injury.”

Working with STATS will enable player insights that have never been possible before. Catapult’s GNSS and LPS tracking devices are worn under players’ jerseys in practice and capture data such as heart rate, speed, distance, PlayerLoad, metabolic power, jumps and acceleration and deceleration forces.

SportVU uses six cameras and proprietary software to calibrate and measure both players and the ball in X and Y coordinates. The result is a continuous stream of ground-breaking statistics based around speed, distance, player separation and ball possession data that allows for more detailed and targeted analysis of players and teams.

STATS sports solutions senior vice president Brian Kopp says the US company learned a huge amount about the physical toll endured by an NBA player in its first full year of player tracking analytics: “By combining these data sets we can help minimise injuries and maximize performance.

“This is incredibly valuable. Teams are investing millions of dollars into their players and we can help keep their talent on the court.”

Catapult was born out of Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) and scientific research, inventing GPS tracking for team sports prior to the 2004 Athens Olympics. It now works with more than 400 elite teams and institutes around the world.

Privately owned, it has had Dallas Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban as an investor and advisor since last February. It has offices in Melbourne, Dallas and London.

STATS was bought by US venture capital company Vista Equity Partners from Fox Sport and US news agency Associated Press, in a deal completed last month.

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