Kansas City-based sports tech firm ShotTracker deployed their technology for the 80th National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Division I Men’s National Championship Basketball Tournament, which ran March 17 through March 21.
Co-founder and COO of ShotTracker Davyeon Ross said participating in the tournament was a great learning experience for the firm.
“We received great feedback and ideas from players, coaches and fans about what they were looking for and how they would consume the data,” Ross said. “We learned a lot about the process of running a tournament, which is critical for our business”
This opportunity came via a partnership with the New York video company Keemotion. Together, the tech was used throughout the six-day tournament in 31 games to deliver automated, real-time stats to fans.
Ross said that not only was it fun to participate in the tournament, but it means that 32 teams from around the country were exposed to ShotTracker’s technology.
“This was a big deal for ShotTracker.” Ross said “As a team, we proved our level of execution and our ability to deliver. It was exciting, scary, historical and it was humbling to have such an incredible group of people assisting us in bringing the event to fruition.”
The product, ShotTracker TEAM is worn by a team to capture statistics in real time. The firm previously partnered with sporting equipment giant Spalding to implant sensors into basketballs that interact with sensors on a player’s shoes and the rafters above the court. The tech offers coaches more insight into player performance, including box stats, shooting charts, line-up comparisons and player efficiency ratings.
Pair that with Keemotion — an automated video platform that produces live content for broadcasters and coaches — and the product offers instant replay for referees as well as social media highlights.
“The NAIA is an organization of firsts. It was the first to provide championships for both men and women and the first tournament to host African-American student-athletes,” said Ross. “Both ShotTracker and Keemotion are on the cutting edge of sports technology, so we value partners that want to be first.”
Ross said the NAIA selection committee used ShotTracker’s data and analytics to decide the All-Tournament teams.
“The real-time nature and accessibility of the statistical data was well received,” Ross said. “Coaches and athletes couldn’t believe how real-time and accurate our technology was.”
Ross said that in the year ahead, the firm is excited to line up other partnerships with tournament organizers.
In addition to the ShotTracker Team device, the firm touts a wearable device for an individual basketball player. The device has three pieces — a wrist sensor, net sensor and mobile app — that track shot attempts, makes and misses.
In October, ShotTracker announced that basketball legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson and former NBA Commissioner David Stern led a $5 million round. The firm has raised over $10 million to date and was listed as one of Startland News’ top startups to watch in 2017.
Watch a video of ShotTracker’s technology below: