Oracle announced as new Premier League signing

Oracle has partnered with Premier League football as its official cloud provider to deliver football match statistics, live, during games. Machine learning models will be developed to generate immediate results based on live data streams, real-time tracking data, and facts collected on each of the League’s players and from thousands of previous matches.

With the arrival of the pandemic putting an end to spectator sport for a year, fans are undoubtably looking forward to the 2021/ 22 season kicking off. To help bolster the excitement surrounding games, Oracle will deliver new in-match statistics that provide a deeper understanding of the live action on the pitch to a global audience of billions each season. Fine margins in top level sport means that teams (and players) are looking for ways to edge ahead of their competitors, as well as to give the fans insights into information that effectively creates personal sentiment out of data. Research has suggested that fans are interested in the integration of match data, player statistics and the like and these insights will help tell more stories about Premier League matches, providing fans a data-rich experience. Fans will be able to access a range of match information instantly, whether they are watching from home or checking scores on their mobile devices, thereby making the information far more accessible to the fans.

The sharing of real time match statistics is not new to sport, although data collection and analysis thereof is far more advanced than when it first made its appearance. In 2001, Hawk-Eye Innovations completely transformed the world of sport with its development of Hawk-Eye – the tracking system with a camera and speed gun – that was first used as a broadcast tool to analyse decisions in cricket. The system made its debut at a cricket Test match between Pakistan and England at Lord’s Cricket Ground, on 21 April the same year. It was first used in Tennis in the 2006 US Open and eventually The Football Association introduced Hawk-Eye during the 2013/ 2014 Premier League season and the later rounds of the 2013/ 2014 Football League Cup.

Since then, the technology has matured, and the way data is ingested has evolved dramatically. Oracle seems determined to keep adding sporting brands to their list of partnerships, after announcing their partnership with Red Bull Honda F1 team back in March.

“Match Insights – Powered by Oracle Cloud” will include a live win probability, a momentum tracker, and a tool to identify team formations, with machine learning models generating immediate results based on live data streams, real-time tracking data, and facts collected on players and from thousands of previous matches.

Match Insights – Powered by Oracle Cloud will include:

  • Average Formation: the positions of all players when their team is in and out of possession.  The model highlights differences in how teams organise themselves when attacking and defending. During the match, fans will see how teams react to their opposition’s tactics, helping viewers to understand the strategies behind different styles of play.
  • Live Win Probability: this statistic tells the story of a team’s performance by calculating the chance of a team securing a win or draw by simulating the remainder of the match 100,000 times.
  • Momentum Tracker: this measures the likelihood of the team in possession scoring a goal in the next 10 seconds. The results are based on data from thousands of historical games and the last five events in the current possession. The model incorporates the outcomes of passes, dribbles in possession, tackles and the locations on the pitch where they take place.

As one of the industry’s most trusted names in cloud computing, Oracle brings more than four decades of knowledge, experience and innovation to the sports field and with the addition of insights we can expect, the upcoming football season is going be one of the most exciting yet. 

Ariel Kelman, Oracle executive vice president and chief marketing officer, said: “Combining Oracle’s machine learning expertise with the Premier League’s wealth of football data is a significant merger of technology and sport. The margins for error in the Premier League are very small, so the data is crucial to discovering the meaningful moments and stories of each match. It’s those stories that unite fans and ignite their passions for the game.”