Information Technology (IT) is used by Sports Management professionals such as Coaches and Scouts in the National Football League to:
Track an athletes performance
Track information on opposing teams and players
Store game files
Sell Tickets and Merchandise
The Search for Players
Scouts use The Online Player Database (OPD) to gather information on prospective players that attend SCOUT CAMP without leaving their office.
The web site used is interactive.
The database is available 24 hours a day.
It provides full-color body portraits and streaming video.
Video clips of top rated players can be customized.
The database is designed to be user friendly with a simple search format.
Search for Players ( continued)
Players’ workouts are filmed and the videos are edited using the latest digital video technology and uploaded to networks for future analysis.
The videos can be viewed by users of all bandwidths from those using dial-up connections (not recommended), to users that have broadband access (recommended).
The OPD is password protected and can only be accessed by individuals associated with professional football sports teams.
Teams and Technology
Coaches use tools such as the OPD and information stored on their teams databases to make decisions about prospective players.
Coaches, Scouts and Players use PDA’s, laptops and desktop PC’s to input and extract data.
Each NFL team utilizes complex computer networks that are wired, wireless or both, to communicate with other coaches, players and administrative personnel.
Teams and Technology (continued)
The Washington Redskins created a Mobile Flash application to offer team news via Web-enabled cell phones and PDAs .
The Chicago Bears installed USB which required an authentication key and a login PIN number.
The Denver Broncos installed flat panel touch screens with high speed network access for the fans.
The Carolina Panthers installed a 100mbps network with Frame Relay links to other teams.
Teams and Technology (continued)
The New England Patriots installed a voice and data network in its new stadium.
The network included Nortel Passport switches and a gigabit backbone.
The network also consisted of 2000 ports at 100mbps that linked 80 luxury suites.
Players and Technology
Players use data on teams databases to monitor their own stats to determine where they need to improve.
Players have access to stats on the internet that are maintained by the National Football League and other sports media organizations such as ESPN.
Intranets keep players and alumni connected.
Distance learning allows athletes to try and learn things other than football as they travel and relocate frequently.
Players and Technology (continued)
Over the last few years, an increasing number of players have fallen victim to heat exhaustion. The Minnesota Vikings, considered using a radio pill connected to a wireless network to monitor players’ body temperature.
The NFL uses information technology to market their teams and the league.
Use e-commerce to market and sell their merchandise.
The NFL has 75 million supporters and gets 14m unique visitors to its website per month during football season.
The NFL uses a web interface to access a Customer Relations Management (CRM) relational database used to target specific groups of fans.
The database contains lots of information about fan behavior gathered over many years for marketing purposes.
NFL and Mobile Access
Fans pay for mobile access to games and the NFL draft using Sprint/Nextel video phones
NFL Mobile Features: The latest news and analysis with LIVE streaming NFL Network.
The fastest wireless play-by-plays and NFL video highlights from all of the games.
24 hour access to the latest official NFL stats, news, injury reports and status changes.
NFL and Mobile Access (continued)
NFL Mobile is included as part of Sprint's Simply Everything unlimited pricing plan.
Plan combines unlimited use of voice, messaging and extensive data services like Sprint TV and Sprint Music for $99.99 per month.
A Broadband cellular network that is web enabled and uses Mobile Flash applications is needed to implement this technology.
Redskins first to use Mobile Flash technology.
Identity Theft Issues
Identity theft is a big problem in the NFL and throughout the rest of professional sports industry.
Identity theft victims:
Ty Law (NFL) -- $10,000
Danny Wuerffel (NFL) -- $16,000
Michael Bennet (NFL) -- personal documents used to obtain credit cards.
Tiger Woods - $50,000
Lakers owner Jerry Buss -- Attempt was made to use his $161,000 tax refund check
Identity Theft Issues (continued)
JOE MALOOF, SACRAMENTO KINGS CO-OWNER -- $52,000
JOHN MARZANO, MAJOR LEAGUE CATCHER (1987-98) -- Attempt to use his ID to get job
Steve Smith – (NBA) $81,000
Portable computers used for scouting contain lots of personal information about potential players.
It is imperative that computers connected to wireless networks use encryption software such as WPA or WPA2 to secure data.
To prevent data from being accessed on portable computers that are lost or stolen, biometric devices should be used for logging into the computer.
Security professionals recommend removal of the following personal information from all documents to help combat identity theft:
Date of Birth
Social security Number
Driver's License Number
This case study illustrates that Information Technology is being used effectively in the National Football League. Most if not all of the NFL teams have the resources to take advantage of all of the latest innovations to try to gain a competitive advantage on their opponents during the off-season and during the season when the games played. Due to the sheer volume of data being processed, IT related services are becoming increasingly valuable to the industry. This study also proves that additional technological resources can be used to effectively protect teams proprietary data and players personal data to help fight identity theft.
Management Information Systems (Post and Anderson)
Technology Innovations and the NFL http://dealarchitect.typepad.com/deal_architect/2005/08/technology_inno.html
IBM, NFL Team on Digital Media Deal
Case Study: NFL Network: America's Game Website and CMS http://www.phase2technology.com/caseStudy_nfl.php