ASHBURN, Va. -- The Washington Football Team has hired another new executive. Zaheer Benjamin is the new Vice President of Business Intelligence & Analytics.
The last part of Benjamin's new title is what should jump out to many football and WFT fans.
It's a first-ever position for the organization and Benjamin joins from Real Madrid to oversee the development and implementation of the team's business data and analytics.
Benjamin reports to team President Jason Wright, so this is not a football operations move … but it could translate to more focus on analytics throughout the entire organization in the near future.
Why? If there's a focus on the business side and trackable improvement made in marketing, brand performance and expansion along with commercial success - it likely will put even more spotlight on where we seem to be heading regarding data in all aspects.
“Creating the model franchise of the future means fundamentally rethinking how we incorporate data-driven decision-making into every level of the organization,” said Wright.
“Zaheer,” Wright continued, “brings the leadership experience and professional track record to serve as a partner to our commercial teams and business leaders across the organization, as well as to develop and manage the Washington Football Team’s data and analytics agenda, facilitate learning, and drive success across all of its business categories.”
Said Benjamin added: “How organizations leverage data and analytics to make informed decisions is a critical component of success on and off the field. I’m excited to work with Jason and the leadership team on ways we can leverage strategic data analysis to put the Washington Football franchise at the forefront of the global sports and entertainment landscape.”
Worth noting: After hardly mentioning data and analytics all year, coach Ron Rivera has referred to Pro Football Focus (PFF) several times this offseason. It's been a noticeable change.
The organization also promoted Connor Barringer to be a pro scout after being hired from PFF in 2019 and serving as a 'football strategy analyst' in his first two years with the organization.
The organization already tracks and charts player performance in analytics for health and other categories with Brett Nenaber, who is part of head athletic trainer Ryan Vermillion's staff.
It would seem as if there's at least one more spot that can be had to crunch all of the data and find any trends that they could possibly use or avoid.
Perhaps hiring Benjamin is the first step in hiring someone that will oversee all football analytics?
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He's held similar positions with Chelsea FC in the English Premier League and with the NBA’s Phoenix Suns, so it's not out of the question that someone Benjamin has worked with in previous stops could be joining the WFT at some point down the road. … all as part of a build-up to a new way to approach solutions.