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StatsBomb CEO Update, May 2021

By Ted Knutson | May 24, 2021 | Main

Marketing has been bugging me to write something about the company as a whole, and given we’re approaching summer already, I guess it’s time to update people on StatsBomb’s progress. 

First things first…

We are hiring.
I know it seems like we post things on social media about hiring a lot, and that is because we are almost always hiring new people. That’s what happens when companies triple in size every year like we have. We’re a great place to work, sitting at the intersection of sports*, data, and technology. We’re also flexible around working arrangements and qualifications for talented people. Join us!

https://statsbomb.com/careers/

* Multiple sports. Soccer/football + American Football this year. Next year…?

StatsBomb Conference 2021

I teased the tiniest bit of info around this in the last week, but now I will reveal a bit more…

Our conference is one of my favourite things in the entire calendar. (And I'm not just saying that because it falls near my birthday.) Feedback on our first conference in 2019 was that it was one of the best conferences people had ever attended. Credit for that goes to a lot of people - from the organisers in our team, to the A/V people who broadcast it to the world, and especially to the speakers who unequivocally brought their ‘A’ games to the stage.

As it’s a StatsBomb conference, the focus remains on research and ideas people are excited about, which we think is a formula that yields great presentations.

Concrete details on the confirmed speaker lineup will appear on social media in the coming weeks, but they already include:

  • A sitting General Manager of an NBA team
  • Director of Research at a League - and Champions League - winning club.

There are also at least four other analytics people at Champions League level clubs making sure they have permission to speak at the event before we confirm them, but I’m extremely excited about October already.

Research Data
Another reason for excitement will be the data that is on offer for participants in the research paper competition. We’re going to offer two different options:

  1. 190 games of StatsBomb Data AND StatsBomb 360 Data from the 2020-21 German Bundesliga or Spain’s La Liga. (It will be all league matches for the top 10 teams in either league.)
  2. A smaller subset of games (40-60) of StatsBomb base Data, 360, AND tracking data from REDACTED.

More details about the research paper contest will be released in June, but this should be enough info to get the ideas flowing.

Tickets
Unlike a conference like Sloan where thousands of people attend every year, our event is not huge. We’ll have the following ticket allocations:

  • 300-350 General Admission at £250 + VAT
  • 50-100 Student tickets at 50% discount

There will also be customer tickets (allocated first), and staff/speaker tickets as well. The wiggle in student allocations is largely around vaccine timelines for that group. I just wanted to let everyone know what the structure will look like ahead of time, so you can be prepared when we start announcing ticket sales on social media. 

NOTE: There is extreme complexity around vaccinations, venue restrictions, and international travel right now. We are doing our best to navigate this in a sensible way, but obviously most of these elements are also not within our control. Our mandate is to provide a safe, happy environment for attendees to enjoy.

Streaming
Part of the conference will be broadcast live. Most of the talks will also be released on YouTube in the weeks after the event completes. All of the research papers will be published to the world. If you want more details, you’ll need to wait until October.

Sponsors
We will also be selling a small allocation of external sponsor slots to interested companies. Contact conference@statsbomb.com for more details.

360 Data
360 Data for the 2020-21 Premier League season will be done this week. La Liga is scheduled to finish a week later, and the rest of the Big 5 will complete in June. Expect to see more visualisations and analysis from us on the new data set as we begin to wrap our heads around what is possible (and useful) in contextual event data.

This data set is so cool, and our entire team is excited to have access to multiple full seasons now and see what we can do.

Live


The Live Data event launch is booked for August 12th. It will happen online, so no need to worry about tickets for that. We have some partnership work with current customers happening in the meantime, but by August we’ll have a fantastic visual, interactive product to display along with the exceptional data.

If you are a team or business interested in obtaining our Live data before the new season begins, send an email to ted@statsbomb.com and I will personally route you to the correct person.

Set Pieces
There is a shortage of qualified, smart set piece coaches in the world. USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter mentioned as much during our panel at Sloan this year.

Our online Set Pieces course will once again be made available in early July. It will be made available for online purchase for one month and then it will disappear into the ether once more, possibly for good. I’m likely to go back to only teaching this course in person, or via agreements with certain FAs.

Don't complain to me about the price we charge. I actively recommend talented people for set piece roles across football multiple times a month right now. Every PL team will have a slot for this type of coach/analyst soon and they will make six figures a year because they help teams score goals.

Eventually the best set piece people will be fought over like the best head coaches are right now.

Do the work, and the jobs will be waiting for you.

Continued Thank Yous
Collecting great data is hard. Even if you get every detail on 99% of events correct, with 3,400 events per match, that still means there are 34 that aren’t quite right. Feedback from our customers and fans helps fill that remaining gap, and we’re glad you are as passionate about seeing perfect data on your favourite teams on FBRef as we are about producing it.

As a company we have been very lucky to not only survive, but to continue growing through the COVID-19 pandemic. Revenue was up nearly 25% in the first quarter of 2021 alone, and we added so many new customers that we now need to hire more people to support them. This is very much a virtuous cycle, and it would not have happened without belief and support from our customers, and also the fans that have supported the blog and now the company.

Enjoy your summer, everyone. And especially… enjoy the Euros.

Ted Knutson
CEO, StatsBomb
@mixedknuts
Ted@statsbomb.com

Article by Ted Knutson