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Soccer has been one of the slower major sports to attract advanced statistical obsession from its fans. But thanks to player tracking technology and advanced algorithms, MLS sponsor Audi is trying to change that mentality.
Audi and MLS have announced the creation of the Audi Player Index in March, but fans have not been able to follow player ratings going up or down in real-time, during a game—until now.
“We launched the Audi Player Index to bring our focus on innovation to MLS in the form of real-time statistics,” Loren Angelo, Audi of America’s director of marketing, said in a statement. “As part of our commitment to growing the sport of soccer in the United States, we are thrilled to see fans using this technology to engage in MLS games to heighten their experience.”
The statistics are accessible in a few different ways. Anybody can access the information with the MLS App or via the MLS Match Center online.
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Opening up the Audi Player Index section of the MLS App, you are immediately greeted by a number of different stats sheets and accompanying videos. Following the conclusion of every week of MLS action, players are ranked according to their cumulative score via data from Opta Sports. The Audi Player Index lists the top 20 players of each week, with regards to their positive effect on the team’s match.
Opta Sports provides each player’s scores based on any number of factors in a game. For example, the most influential play that a forward could possibly make would be to score a goal from outside of the box, giving him 545 points.
In addition to this, Opta Sports uses player-tracking technology to bring another layer of statistics into account. With this, they are able to bring something like positional awareness into the world of statistical ratings.
This certainly one of the more innovative marketing campaigns from a league sponsor throughout the sporting world.