IBM Technology to Help Toronto Raptors Select Players
As part of the grand opening of the Toronto Raptors’ BioSteel Centre Wednesday, tech company IBM and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) introduced a solution called IBM Sports Insights Central. The solution is designed to transform the Raptors’ talent evaluation processes by reimagining data through cognitive and analytics technology.
IBM Sports Insights Central was developed with input from the Toronto Raptors to provide a comprehensive platform to view, organize and surface relevant data important in evaluating individual and team performance. The platform extends beyond current roster players to include all NBA players and NBA prospects.
The solution was designed by IBM Interactive Experience, a leading digital agency, and is powered by IBM Watson cognitive business technology built on the IBM BlueMix cloud development platform.
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The solution also incorporates cloud services developed by IBM Research. These include IBM Watson Tradeoff analytics, which assess possible roster combinations against a variety of criteria, and IBM Watson Personality Insights, which includes linguistic analytics to understand player personality and social characteristics that align with the organizational culture. IBM Watson Alchemy API technology can further help analyze public news sources to round out player profiles.
Sports teams, like other industries and businesses, grapple with time consuming manual operational processes to gather and share relevant insights to team, player and prospect data for player evaluation and acquisition. This struggle, according to IBM, becomes especially difficult in time sensitive situations like the moments leading up to the annual draft.
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Through these improved analytics and visual insights, IBM Sports Insights Central helps management create player personnel assessments that automatically quantify financial and performance impact on current status of the team.
Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) is a leading sports and entertainment company that owns the Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL), the Toronto Raptors (NBA), the Toronto Marlies (AHL), Toronto FC (MLS), Toronto FC II, Raptors 905 (NBA D-League), Air Canada Centre, Maple Leaf Square and three digital channels — Leafs TV, NBA TV Canada and GOLTV Canada.
MLSE has also invested in four of Toronto’s sports facilities — Ricoh Coliseum, home of the Marlies, BMO Field, home of Toronto FC, Lamport Stadium, and the MasterCard Centre for Hockey Excellence, the practice facility for the Maple Leafs and Marlies. MLSE operates and manages events at Ricoh Coliseum and BMO Field.