It’s March 2022, meaning it’s somehow nearly four years since StatsBomb evolved from a football analytics blog and consultancy into a data company. A lot has happened since then – StatsBomb Conferences, free data releases, many new customers, and two additional data product releases, to name four. But today, we’re mostly going to look to what’s coming next.
Our football (er… soccer?) data remains the best available in the industry and the data of choice to the world’s elite teams and organisations. We’re well aware of the bias of round numbers here, but that didn’t stop the feeling of gratification when we on-boarded our 100th customer in 2021, three years after first launching StatsBomb data. Likewise, acquiring well over half of the English Premier League and the significant majority of Major League Soccer teams as StatsBomb clients felt like recognition of what we set out to achieve and are still driving towards: to be the world’s best sports data company.
But, by serving only one sport, we are not achieving that objective. Which brings us to the other football…
StatsBomb American football data is here.
We’ve known for a while that we were going to branch out into a second (and third) sport, and American football quickly became the obvious choice. Our American football data and IQ platform have been over a year in the making, and we followed near enough the same formula that brought us success with our soccer data to get there. To create the most empowering dataset possible – deeper, objective and more contextual than available before – we knew we would have to understand exactly how our future customers work and the pain points they’re experiencing right now working with existing data.
Ted (Knutson, StatsBomb CEO) took this upon himself and spent six months inside a College football team on a day-to-day basis, trying to make decisions with existing data. That, combined with our external research, gave us precious insight into what a world-class dataset would look like, and has enabled us to design and create just that. We changed the industry when we launched our soccer data, and we’re about to do it again with our American football data.
Unfortunately we can’t talk about it any more than that for now. The product is getting its first outing at the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference on March 4th-5th, but glimpses have been seen in the wild recently too…
What if… and I am just spitballing here…
I started to leak new @StatsBomb American Football data and IQ stuff BEFORE tomorrow? pic.twitter.com/49CGR39vjo
— Ted Knutson (@mixedknuts) February 22, 2022
… and there’s also plenty of detail on our new American football & IQ product page. We promise we’ll talk you through the design and creation in full soon enough.
With the prospect of becoming a multi-sport data company now a reality, it felt like a good excuse to give StatsBomb a makeover.
A lot of the motivation to refresh the brand stemmed from realising where StatsBomb now sits in the sports data and analytics industry:
- We provide the best sports data, used by elite teams around the world
- We offer the best customer support
- We hire people who care and want to create the best sports data on the planet
- We develop the next generation of analysts by providing free data and comprehensive education tools
- We make a concerted and genuine effort to close the gender gap in the sport by making access to our data and products available free of charge to professional women’s soccer teams in the top leagues in Europe and the US
We are Data Champions.
This isn’t a puff-chested claim to be something that we’re not already. The ethos has led to us recently being named by the Financial Times as one of the fastest-growing companies in Europe. We walk the walk, and that permits us to occasionally talk the talk.
But you may also take it as a promise. The analytics community remains central to our ethos as a company. So now let’s talk about the area of our new website created specifically to serve you in that community.
The Hub houses everything we’ve created to date and is a foundation for what is to come.
It houses our football analytics articles – over 1000 of them stretching back to 2013 when Ted published the first analytics piece on the StatsBomb domain. It hosts our courses, which continue to get rave reviews as the best educational resources you can find in this topic area. It has all of our free datasets, which now span over 1000 matches and includes the Lionel Messi Data Biography (which remains one of the coolest things we’ve ever done) and the free StatsBomb 360 data (which continues to drive new research and innovation in the space).
This is what has come before, and it’s our promise that we’ll continue to make these resources available — and create even more. There’ll be more analytics articles, more free data, and one day there’ll be more courses too. We’ll also be making sure we do more to raise the visibility of the best football analytics content created by the community. Professionals continue to read StatsBomb; we’ll be doing our best to point them towards the upcoming talent in the community, should we not hire them ourselves first. Speaking of which, check out our latest vacancies. There’s plenty of them.
Also, The Hub is still in development to some degree. We have our own ideas about what it could become, but it’s worth mentioning now that we’ll be seeking your thoughts and ideas on how best you feel you can be supported as amateur and aspiring football analysts too, so bear that in mind.
Nearly nine years after the StatsBomb website first launched and almost four since we launched our soccer data, championing the sports data and analytics industry remains central to everything we do. The industry is now far more mature than when we started, but there’s still a hell of a lot for us to explore. We look forward to exploring it with you.