Data in Sport part 2, Ian K Partilla GumGum Sports – Cut the Cliches

Following on from last week’s episode from Sport Accord, Episode 13 was also recorded at the event. And in our second part of data in sport, we turn our attention to AI as we enlist the help of Ian K. Partilla, head of global revenue at GumGum Sports.

The focus of our chat was around the opportunities in sponsorship and digital media. 

In this episode we discuss: 

  • his role at GumGum
  • the opportunities for sports teams in how they categorise their digital and social assets
  • the role of ad-tech in sports
  • what the future of the technology could mean for brands.

Ian K. Partilla started his career in 1998 at the ESPN X Games before joining Disney and ESPN Media Networks focusing on the emerging sports streaming business.  

Five years at NBC Sports Ventures saw him take up VP roles in partnerships and sponsor strategy. 

In February 2018 Ian joined GumGum Sports  an Artificial Intelligence company that leverages computer vision technology to help brands, agencies and rights holders identify the full media value of sports sponsorships. 

He says that by analysing live TV broadcasts, social media and digital streaming, GumGum Sports provides accurate, timely, and comprehensive media valuations. 

Here’s this week’s episode, please let us know your thoughts below:

Cut the Cliches – Episode Four – Jalaluddin Shaik

When we’re not reading about new technology, it’s fair to say that our head of communications is probably watching sport. And while the AFL/NRL seasons are heading towards their entertaining conclusions, our weekends will soon be revived with the NFL and a summer of cricket. Oh and of course the EPL, sorry, Premier League is also back.

But behind the soap opera-like twists every week, are the coaching teams developing tactics to counter their latest opponents. Studying the game footage takes hours and days of dedication, but there are machine learning technologies which are looking to identify trends across vast data sets (or game film).

Sydney-based GameFace.AI is one of those businesses. Created by sports nut Jalaluddin Shaik, the startup has pivoted from movie analytics and is pioneering a new genre of sports assistance. His background is in AV technologies, having already designed and built large-scale audio and video platforms. Shaik also led engineering teams at Fortune500 companies, such as Intel, Apple, Denon, and Spotify. Now with an entrepreneurial focus, Shaik’s interest lies in applying artificial intelligence to analyse videos.

We caught up with him, prior to the rebrand from FlixSense, at Hub William St in Sydney to hear more about:

– the difference between AI and machine learning
– how FlixSense started what the rebrand means for the direction of the business
– what types of sporting codes is he working with
– how technology is changing the sports we see on TV
– and what effect it’s having at the lower levels of sport
– what’s next for GameFace and sports analytics in general

Next week we speak with Ben Beath, MD at Loud & Clear about the role of digital agencies.

See you then.

A brief summary from IAB Sports in Digital Media event

Earlier in the week I attended IAB Australia’s first foray into the sports world. Discussing sports in digital media we had Nine Entertainment, Nielsen and Seven West Media at host Telstra.

First up. Big news for rugby league supporters. The announcement of a new app from Channel Nine and the NRL. What does this mean? In short, viewers will have “greater access to what players go through”. Live stats, powered by Catapult Sports, to accompany the game. And what a game to debut in. Launch will be Game I of the State of Origin series. To find out more Mumbrella spoke to those behind the project.

The wearable GPS technology, once considered the realm of just coaches, will provide fans analysis, like distances covered, while the match is happening. Time-syncing will allow you to go back and find out the heart rate of players like Mitchell Pearce while in the tackle. We can’t wait. Let’s just hope the ‘Datatainment’ description for the product doesn’t catch on.

Sam Brennan went on to explain how Nine segments its audience into 30 profiles, “an important tool for customers to optimise campaigns”. One for the media agency planners. While mainly used to better understand behaviour patterns, this also “influences our content pipeline” said Brennan.

Not to be outdone, Seven had its own nuggets to take away. CDO Clive Dickens said the organisation is focused on growing ‘Total Video’ audiences, (SVOD, streaming with the main slice still being linear TV). Which-50 explains what that means in greater detail.

One of the surprising stats was that Seven’s streaming of the Melbourne Cup achieved more traffic at race time, than the rest of the internet combined! Admittedly this was just on Telstra’s network. But still impressive. And for him it’s about growing all audiences, reaching those which might not traditionally have tuned in had it not been for digital. “Powerful stories raise all of the boats” as illustrated when Dickens added that while digital represented only 3% of Seven’s total audience for the Olympics, that still equates to two week’s worth of Home & Away viewers.

Thanks very much to IAB Australia for having us along.