Journey to cutting-edge sports analytics: Digitalizing the sports ecosystem

 

In our last blog post we showed how Wisehockey entered international markets in the form of the KHL All-Stars event. Wisehockey provided the multinational KHL with an awaited data analytics solution.

Now we focus on what Wisehockey offers to service providers: in this case, betting and the Finnish government-owned betting agency Veikkaus.

Smart puck to playoffs

After the busy winter of 2018–19, it was time to focus on the spring and the most important moment for Finnish ice hockey: the Liiga playoffs. The Wisehockey system was already installed to four Liiga arenas.

All four arenas and five teams using the Wisehockey system participated in the playoffs. This marked another milestone for Finnish ice hockey and Wisehockey: these were the first playoffs in history to use a smart puck.

This is how the deciding goal of the Finnish Liiga championship for HPK looked like from Wisehockey’s perspective.

Two league-wide projects

A lot was happening for Wisehockey in the summer of 2019: both Liiga and the KHL decided to implement the Wisehockey platform for all games of the upcoming season. The Wisehockey system was going to be installed in every KHL and Liiga arena from Habarovsk to Helsinki.

Wisehockey was the first in the world to digitalize entire ice hockey leagues.

The schedule was tight. Wisehockey’s partner DMTel carried out the installations for the KHL, and the Wisehockey team packed up the van and started a “road trip” through the Finnish Liiga arenas.

Installing professionally

“Every installation is unique because venues are different. We attach locators to ceiling structures, install cameras, set up the server and the network. Integration with arena clock is necessary to get match clock time, clock status and penalties. Installing the system takes 1–2 days per rink,” says Tomi Siitonen, Design Engineer at Wisehockey.

Here are a couple of pictures of what goes on before the smart puck hits the ice!

Wisehockey staff setting up the locators
Wisehockey staff setting up the locators
Installing locators to ceiling structures
Installing locators to ceiling structures

Digitalizing sports services

The world of sports has a need for digitalization, and the pace is quick. The sports ecosystem includes many operators, from sports teams to different service providers. Some of the major sports service providers are legal sports gambling operators.

Betting has been a part of sports for decades now, and it has seen many changes. However, it still requires a lot of manual effort. Hundreds of people count the odds for sports events and manually go through thousands of matches.

The betting portfolio also has not changed much for years. Different betting options have seen little to no change, even though the digitalization of betting is ongoing.

A case of betting

Veikkaus, the Finnish government-owned betting agency and a longtime partner of Wisehockey, is a prime example of how betting agencies can truly digitalize themselves for the demanding 21st century.

It is simpler than you might think. Wisehockey has proven its platform as trustworthy, reliable and robust. These are important factors for many reasons.

  • With the data collected and analyzed by Wisehockey, you can quantify game events on the ice and pick new betting options from them, including the fastest skater, hardest shot, the player with the longest skated distance, etc.
  • The raw data that comes in must be analyzed the same way every time. An automated system does consistent calculations better than humans.
  • The fully automated platform makes the overall process a lot faster because no people are required to watch and evaluate the games. This also engages the fans doing the betting, since the process is almost instantaneous: you can offer more opportunities here and now rather than sometime tomorrow.
Wisehockey data enables new betting services
Wisehockey data enables completely new betting services

The old way of calculating odds and mapping events manually is quickly coming to its end. Betting companies are finding new ways to engage with sports fans.

Wisehockey is at the forefront of this development. Wisehockey not only benefits the betting side of sports, but also provides tools for increasing fan engagement that is becoming more and more important.

 

This is the third part of a series of posts. Join us on the journey through the story of fully automated real-time sports analytics!

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3