The Science of Sports How Football Scores with Decision Management Carole-Ann Matignon Vice President, Product Management ...
<ul><li>Sports Problems are YOUR Problems </li></ul><ul><li>ESPN and Ad Scheduling </li></ul><ul><li>The NFL and Game Sche...
$7B © 2009 Fair Isaac Corporation. Confidential.
A Match Made in Heaven: Pro football and TV <ul><li>A little history… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In 1935, Bert Bell proposed “r...
The Importance of Decision Management “ The NFL was catapulted to  its current success  through  smart management  and mar...
Blaze Advisor Solution  for Commercial Scheduling ESPN AutoSlot Josh Osborne Associate Director, Expert Systems ESPN, Inc.
About ESPN <ul><li>Founded in 1979 </li></ul><ul><li>Owned by Disney since 1996 (Disney also owns ABC) </li></ul><ul><li>T...
Advertising on ESPN Broadcast Networks <ul><li>A major source of ESPN revenue </li></ul><ul><li>Each network can air up to...
Business Problem <ul><li>In 1999-2000, ESPN was experiencing rapid growth </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Thousands of contracts, te...
Business Solution <ul><li>AutoSlot  </li></ul><ul><li>Developed in FICO™ Blaze Advisor ® </li></ul>February 9, 2010
<ul><li>Goal : An automated expert system to schedule commercials after they are purchased, based on the manual process </...
Application Structure (Part 1) <ul><li>Blaze Advisor application captured the expertise of ESPN’s commercial schedule coor...
Application Structure (Part 2) <ul><li>Not a traditional business-rules system, but rather an “expert system” that uses ru...
Development - Misc <ul><li>Team consisted of 1 Blaze Developer, 1 Manager / Tech Lead, 1-2 database programming developers...
Ongoing Maintenance <ul><li>Fundamental rules change very infrequently </li></ul><ul><li>Most changes are due to increased...
Business Benefits <ul><li>Scheduling is 100% automatic; Sales can review and make adjustments  </li></ul><ul><li>Inventory...
Benefits of Blaze Advisor in Building AutoSlot <ul><li>The inferencing and pattern-matching capabilities </li></ul><ul><li...
What Made It Work? <ul><li>Strong buy-in from management and staff, both from Ad Sales and IT —  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bel...
The NFL and Game Schedules © 2009 Fair Isaac Corporation. Confidential.
Challenges <ul><li>10 week manual process </li></ul><ul><li>32 teams—256 games </li></ul><ul><li>17-week schedule </li></u...
Goal <ul><li>Automate schedule creation </li></ul><ul><li>Better serve all parties </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Teams </li></ul><...
Must-Have Constraints <ul><li>T.V. packages </li></ul><ul><li>Stadium blocks </li></ul><ul><li>Shared markets (NY & Bay ar...
Nice-to-Have Constraints <ul><li>Home/Away spacing  (3/3, 2/6, 4/10) </li></ul><ul><li>Soft stadium blocks </li></ul><ul><...
Resulting Schedule
In the End…Touchdown? <ul><li>Xpress-MP can search through trillions of possible schedule options </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Op...
Solution Benefits <ul><li>Competitive fairness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Scheduling trends may have put a team at a disadvanta...
Decisioning Technology Adapted to the Problem Scheduling Problem Scheduling Problem Objective Function: All Solutions are ...
To Learn More Please join us for the next session in our FICO Webinar series: 5 Steps to Building your Pattern-based Strat...
THANK YOU November, 2009 Carole-Ann Matignon Contact # +1 703-532-6691 [email_address] Twitter.com/cmatignon Edmblog.com
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The Science Of Sports - Matignon - 2009

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Carole-Ann co-presented with Josh (ESPN) this dual view on scheduling problem faced and resolved in the Sports industry. Different technologies used for different purposes, with different objectives and context.
This landmark presentation was performed at InterACT 2009, Roadshow in Sao Paulo (Brazil), User Group in Chicago and Paris as well as Business Rules Forum 2009.

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  • Page In 1935, former Philadelphia Eagles owner and football commissioner Bert Bell proposed “reversed draft”. Bell understood that having permanent champions would undercut fan interest and future earnings. Because of the draft, attendance doubled and revenues increased He introduced scheduling parity. Bell sat down at his suburban Philadelphia home, and used dominoes and a game board to devise a scheduling model that established a competitive balance among the teams He allowed the 1958 NFL championship game to be broadcast, which quickly vaulted professional football into public consciousness. At the time, no one really understood the event’s impact on America’s sports fans Pete Rozelle, Bell’s successor, laid the foundation for the NFL’s economic success. The AFL signed in1960 a TV contract with ABC that guaranteed each of its eight teams around $170,000 per year for five years. In 1962, CBS and the NFL signed a national TV contract—two years for $4.65 million, with all NFL teams sharing the revenue. Today, including agreements with CBS, NBC, ESPN, Fox and DirecTV, the NFL gets $3.75 billion a year
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  • The Science Of Sports - Matignon - 2009

    1. 1. The Science of Sports How Football Scores with Decision Management Carole-Ann Matignon Vice President, Product Management FICO November, 2009 Carlos Serrano-Morales Vice President, Product Development FICO
    2. 2. <ul><li>Sports Problems are YOUR Problems </li></ul><ul><li>ESPN and Ad Scheduling </li></ul><ul><li>The NFL and Game Schedules </li></ul>© 2009 Fair Isaac Corporation. Confidential. Agenda
    3. 3. $7B © 2009 Fair Isaac Corporation. Confidential.
    4. 4. A Match Made in Heaven: Pro football and TV <ul><li>A little history… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In 1935, Bert Bell proposed “reversed draft”—attendance doubled and revenues increased </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>He introduced scheduling parity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>He allowed the 1958 NFL championship game to be broadcast </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Today, including agreements with CBS, NBC, ESPN, Fox and DirecTV, the NFL gets $7 billion a year </li></ul>
    5. 5. The Importance of Decision Management “ The NFL was catapulted to its current success through smart management and marketing.” Tailgating, Sacks, and Salary Caps How the NFL Became the Most Successful Sports League in History by Mark Yost © 2009 Fair Isaac Corporation. Confidential.
    6. 6. Blaze Advisor Solution for Commercial Scheduling ESPN AutoSlot Josh Osborne Associate Director, Expert Systems ESPN, Inc.
    7. 7. About ESPN <ul><li>Founded in 1979 </li></ul><ul><li>Owned by Disney since 1996 (Disney also owns ABC) </li></ul><ul><li>Televise sports events, news, documentaries, and related programming </li></ul><ul><li>Many live events </li></ul><ul><li>6 domestic networks in over 90M US households, 32 international networks </li></ul><ul><li>Web site, magazine, radio, mobile, many other media platforms </li></ul>February 9, 2010
    8. 8. Advertising on ESPN Broadcast Networks <ul><li>A major source of ESPN revenue </li></ul><ul><li>Each network can air up to 150,000 advertisements annually </li></ul><ul><li>Companies put large investment into advertising, and manage that investment carefully </li></ul><ul><li>Complex negotiations take place regarding advertiser budgets and targeted demographics for their products, to yield a combination of: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Number & length of commercials to air </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mix of programming </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Combination of calendar, day, time, and other parameters </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ 34 ads in the 6PM SportsCenter, April 12 — June 25, M-TH” </li></ul><ul><li>AutoSlot comes in to schedule the commercials into programs </li></ul>February 9, 2010
    9. 9. Business Problem <ul><li>In 1999-2000, ESPN was experiencing rapid growth </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Thousands of contracts, tens of thousands of commercials </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>There was a backup of 3 or more months worth of orders to schedule </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Many orders were negotiated and written without accurate view of inventory, causing more overhead </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multiple networks added in previous 5 years </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recent networks had increased advertising opportunities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Growth of internet & other cable outlets </li></ul></ul><ul><li>ESPN offers unique challenges in TV industry, such as large portion of live programming, and frequent schedule changes </li></ul>February 9, 2010
    10. 10. Business Solution <ul><li>AutoSlot </li></ul><ul><li>Developed in FICO™ Blaze Advisor ® </li></ul>February 9, 2010
    11. 11. <ul><li>Goal : An automated expert system to schedule commercials after they are purchased, based on the manual process </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Guiding principle: “Fair and Equal Rotation”, which is an industry standard </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Best possible separation and distribution across all aspects of calendar: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Good rotation gives best mix of viewers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Manage inventory to preserve what can be sold </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Handle special advertising requests: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>In-program sponsorship </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Be single advertiser of a product </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Buying time in designated programs, and rotating around that </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Manage restrictions: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Orders have dates, times, and other restrictions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Product type constraints: airing too many competitors in same program </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide explanations for anything that could not book </li></ul></ul>February 9, 2010
    12. 12. Application Structure (Part 1) <ul><li>Blaze Advisor application captured the expertise of ESPN’s commercial schedule coordinators </li></ul><ul><li>Production in October 2000 </li></ul><ul><li>Runs as background process (Unix) </li></ul><ul><li>Connects to transactional database (Oracle), which feeds on-air </li></ul><ul><li>Java is used for Object Model, DB communication, email, reporting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Creating “virtual grid” to represent Program / Ad Inventory Calendar </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Leverages database procedures used by online system, reusing existing logic from manual process </li></ul>February 9, 2010
    13. 13. Application Structure (Part 2) <ul><li>Not a traditional business-rules system, but rather an “expert system” that uses rules-based technology to solve the algorithm for scheduling </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rules aren’t “policy”, but navigate the scheduling process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Challenge of rules is in their complexity, not volume, (roughly 100 rules) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Heavy use of Pattern-Matching, Forward Chaining </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The ESPN Object Model is inherited into usage for ABC application; different Blaze Advisor program off of this model. </li></ul>February 9, 2010
    14. 14. Development - Misc <ul><li>Team consisted of 1 Blaze Developer, 1 Manager / Tech Lead, 1-2 database programming developers, 1 full-time business expert </li></ul><ul><li>In production in 10 months </li></ul><ul><li>Looking for other applications with integration with online systems </li></ul>February 9, 2010
    15. 15. Ongoing Maintenance <ul><li>Fundamental rules change very infrequently </li></ul><ul><li>Most changes are due to increased complexity and sophistication of orders </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Partially due to improved customer satisfaction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cross-network selling (ESPN — ESPN2), Cross-platform selling (.com, magazine) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Changes to fine-tune algorithm, from business </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Structural changes — GUI, DB, Rules </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Separation of slotting algorithm from database, online, and procedural logic increases agility to changing marketplace </li></ul>February 9, 2010
    16. 16. Business Benefits <ul><li>Scheduling is 100% automatic; Sales can review and make adjustments </li></ul><ul><li>Inventory picture is accurate in real-time, increasing opportunity, customer service, and revenue </li></ul><ul><li>Rotation is applied consistently 100% </li></ul><ul><li>Sales Operations can focus on 10 - 20% of cases that require extra attention </li></ul><ul><li>Long-term focus could include advanced pricing models, and cross-platform planning </li></ul><ul><li>Since product went live </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ESPNU, ESPN Deportes were launched </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ABC Family, 10 Disney-owned ABC Stations, ESPN International (Brazil, Mexico) now use AutoSlot </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In 2008 alone, scheduled over 650,000 commercials for ESPN Networks, 1.9 M for ABC Stations </li></ul>February 9, 2010
    17. 17. Benefits of Blaze Advisor in Building AutoSlot <ul><li>The inferencing and pattern-matching capabilities </li></ul><ul><li>Separation of complex relationships and database communication separated in Java allows Blaze Advisor to focus on the algorithm </li></ul><ul><li>Managing all objects in memory: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus is less on “how did we get here?”, but “what is this logic doing?” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ for each” loops </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>pattern definition “ an eligible Program is any Program such that availableSeconds > 30” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Special rules: “if at least 2 Programs such that…”, “if every” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Handy in determining explanations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Some rules are complex, but the rules-based technology manages them in a way where the focus is on their individual accuracy </li></ul>February 9, 2010
    18. 18. What Made It Work? <ul><li>Strong buy-in from management and staff, both from Ad Sales and IT — </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Believed in the solution, defined a clear objective </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Full-time resource commitment from the business to provide expertise and feedback </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Great technical support from Application Development (interacting with online system and database), as well as Infrastructure (UNIX, DB needs, etc) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A strong object model to represent the business entities and manage relationships independent from the database. </li></ul><ul><li>Focusing on the distinguishing features of Blaze Advisor </li></ul><ul><li>Gradual production implementation — especially important as a “behind-the-scenes” process that automates something previously done manually. </li></ul>February 9, 2010
    19. 19. The NFL and Game Schedules © 2009 Fair Isaac Corporation. Confidential.
    20. 20. Challenges <ul><li>10 week manual process </li></ul><ul><li>32 teams—256 games </li></ul><ul><li>17-week schedule </li></ul><ul><li>Tried to automate with sub-optimal results </li></ul>
    21. 21. Goal <ul><li>Automate schedule creation </li></ul><ul><li>Better serve all parties </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Teams </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fans </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>TV Network </li></ul></ul>
    22. 22. Must-Have Constraints <ul><li>T.V. packages </li></ul><ul><li>Stadium blocks </li></ul><ul><li>Shared markets (NY & Bay area) </li></ul><ul><li>Long road trips </li></ul><ul><li>Prime-time appearances/spacing </li></ul>
    23. 23. Nice-to-Have Constraints <ul><li>Home/Away spacing (3/3, 2/6, 4/10) </li></ul><ul><li>Soft stadium blocks </li></ul><ul><li>MNF road games </li></ul><ul><li>Divisional game spacing </li></ul><ul><li>Early/late games </li></ul><ul><li>Specific game positioning </li></ul>
    24. 24. Resulting Schedule
    25. 25. In the End…Touchdown? <ul><li>Xpress-MP can search through trillions of possible schedule options </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Optimization penalizes solutions when constraints are violated </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identifying feasible and optimal solutions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In the shortest timeframe </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Optimal Planning Solutions provides out-of-the-box </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Constraints for venue availability and date preference, home/away spacing, opponent structure and spacing, travel limitations, shared market behavior, network/television appearances </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Constraints may be global, or limited to specific teams, matchups, parts of the season, etc. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>League-specific heuristics to solve in a reasonable amount of time </li></ul></ul><ul><li>NFL can now explore alternatives and see the opportunity cost </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Set Cincinnati and Cleveland on Day 5 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Or not! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Optimal schedule for the year in question, and taking previous years in consideration </li></ul>
    26. 26. Solution Benefits <ul><li>Competitive fairness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Scheduling trends may have put a team at a disadvantage </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Objective view </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Quality schedules increase in TV rights payments by the networks </li></ul></ul><ul><li>And as a result: greater satisfaction for everyone </li></ul>“ We work so much smarter , so much more efficiently ” Michael North NFL director of broadcast planning and scheduling
    27. 27. Decisioning Technology Adapted to the Problem Scheduling Problem Scheduling Problem Objective Function: All Solutions are Equal Objective Function: Some Solutions are Better than Others Culture: Need to Build Trust into New System Mirror existing Processes Culture: Looking to Improve Quality of Resulting Schedule Solution: Business Rules Solution: Optimization
    28. 28. To Learn More Please join us for the next session in our FICO Webinar series: 5 Steps to Building your Pattern-based Strategies November 18, 9AM and 12PM EST To register or learn more, visit the Decision Management Community: decisions.fico.com © 2009 Fair Isaac Corporation. Confidential.
    29. 29. THANK YOU November, 2009 Carole-Ann Matignon Contact # +1 703-532-6691 [email_address] Twitter.com/cmatignon Edmblog.com

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