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The Football Association (FA) Enters a Tech Partnership with Google

Dave Reddin, the head of team strategy and performance for the FA (Football Association), recently revealed how he and his team are pursuing a new partnership with the Google Cloud. According to Reddin, the extensive collaboration will help football teams, particularly the England team, to gain a more competitive advantage through technology that provides a bespoke solution for measuring and tracking athlete performance.

In a press release about the new technology campaign, Reddin said that four or five years ago, he and his team began exploring the impact that technology could have on the Football groups of the modern era. The organization felt that the right technology might be able to help them access information about player performance and provide insights about athletes that the FA could never access before.

As data emerges as the most valuable asset that any business can have, the FA is far from the only group thinking about what they can do to access better data insights through the cloud. According to the Football Association, the group wanted to find a way that they could use technology to bring together the various dispersed elements of expertise that are now present across national teams.


Taking a Data-Driven Approach to Sports


The new deal that the Football Association has with Google Cloud will centralize all of the data the organization currently holds on footballers across all levels of the sport, in locations around the world. This data includes insights into coaching strategies, performance analysis, medical guidance, player insights, and more. The FA believes that combining that information into a single set of tools will help them to coach athletes more effectively.

According to Dave Reddin, when the FA began looking for a solution to their data management problems, they couldn't see anything on the market that specifically matched their needs. As such, they went about building a system of their own, which would give them the flexibility they needed to continue adding to their data strategy in the years to come. Working with a technology team from Google, the FA was able to implement a multi-year deal.

The partnership going forward will involve G-Suite being installed across the FA's offices as the number one collaboration software of choice. Additionally, the data collected from various training sessions and other environments will be migrated into Big Query and Google Compute Engine for analytics purposes.

Discussing the new collaboration with Google, the FA's team noted that they already have multiple terabytes of data within the Google Cloud that their analytics teams are struggling to use properly. The group wants to expand its analytics-driven approach by building a new proprietary tool on the Google Cloud Platform, which will be called the Player Profile System.

The Player Profile System or PPS will help coaches to measure training strategies, fitness, performance, and the form of FA players in all environments.


Making the Most of Digital Transformation


Importantly, the FA outlined that it's not attempting to create an algorithm that would replace the selection process of a trained human coach. Instead, the group wants to pull information together from different perspectives to better inform the decisions that sports leaders make. Dave Reddin noted that wearable technology in the football marketplace has already transformed the industry.

Across various environments in the sporting world, wearable fitness trackers and smartwatches have caused an explosion in the amount of data that's available for analysts to access. As with many markets going through a digital transformation process lately, the most exciting development for the FA has been the ability to transform masses of data into significant insights. Reddin believes that the group is already on the right track towards finding the data it needs to make significant changes to the way that athletes train and perform.

The support of the Google Cloud gives the FA the help and guidance it needs as it pursues its journey towards a new era in sport. According to Reddin, the FA team wants to be part of a true partnership with Google, where the search engine giant can provide in-depth suggestions and insights on the kind of technology the FA can use.

The Football Association believes that with the experience and guidance that Google can provide, they'll be able to progress faster towards their goal and create real advantages for their teams. Moving forward, the FA isn't the only group that believes that technology will play a huge part in the sporting arena. We're sure to see more organizations taking a similar route.