Baseball Analytics- Business & Game Day
Baseball Analytics- Business & Game Day “What’s been Cool to Watch over the Years is how the Role of analytics has increased. More and more people are focused on it and we’re capturing data that now before has ever had access to” -Bill Schlough, CIO of the San Francisco Giants
Transcript of : Baseball Analytics- Business & Game Day
Analytics definitely is a buzzword, and it has played a bigger and bigger role in our business in recent years, and I’d say we look at it in two areas. One is, is the business side, in terms of leveraging analytics to do a better job of serving our sponsors, or to a better job of catering to our fans, the sexy side for most folks is how do we leverage analytics to improve improve our performance on the field. So on the business side, it’s been a lot of fun to be involved in, specially in a ticketing world, a way back in 2000, when I first joined the Giants, we implemented a CRM system, a customer relationship management system that helped us capture more and more data about our fans to understand who our fans were, what they were doing. If you fast forward 15 years, it’s amazing the amount of data we capturing that system today. So if you’re a fan, and you resell your ticket through through the secondary market through StubHub, we’re able to track you know, whether you were successful and what prices were set, and it helps us in I had mentioned earlier dynamic pricing and helps us in determining where we set the market for our tickets in the primary market is leveraging those types of statistics and analytics that were able to capture through sources like StubHub or historical ticketing trends. So the ability for us to to vary our prices. And to cater to those season ticket holders. I think analytics plays a big role. On the baseball side, you know, again, we’ve had a lot of success on the field. And I feel like analytics has had a lot to do with that. We don’t talk a lot publicly about what we do in that space, because we don’t really see the upside in it. To be honest, you know, our goal at the end of the day, is to put a winning product on the field and continue to deliver championships to San Francisco. But what’s been cool to watch over the years is how, you know the role of analytics has really increased, we have more and more people focused on it. And we’re capturing data that that there’s never no one has ever had access to before in the past, you know, way back, you used to see somebody sitting behind home plate with a speed gun tracking the speed of image. And that’s how it used to be today, we’re tracking the speed of pitch with cameras. We’re tracking it at every point along the way from when it leaves the pitchers hand to where it crosses the plate. We’re tracking the ball off the bat, what is its launch angle? What is the speed off the bat, and maybe we’re making decisions and drawing conclusions about a player’s ability base based on the ball off the bat as opposed to how many home runs or RBIs or what their batting averages. And today even with this new what’s called Statcast technology, we’re able to track all the fielders as well, and, you know, players in the field, you know, how fast is an outfielder run? Or how fast as a base runner run around the bases? And do they take the most efficient route to a ball if it’s hit downfield. So were you able to use these statistics to kind of put ratings and numerical values on things we were never able to quantify in the past. So that’s, I’d say the biggest change for us and how analytics plays a big role in how we evaluate talent.
About Bill Schlough:
Bill Schlough currently serves as Senior Vice President & Chief Information Officer of the San Francisco Giants and Chairman of the Board of the San Jose Giants.
Since Schlough’s arrival in 1999, the Giants have been recognized as one of the most innovative teams in sports, playing a pioneering role in the world of HD video, mobile content, ticketing and payment systems. Wireless connectivity has been a primary focus since 2004 when AT&T Park became the first sports facility to provide free Wi-Fi to all fans. Schlough’s IT team has also implemented numerous proprietary analytic tools that helped secure three World Series titles over five years.
An Olympic enthusiast, Schlough is a board member of the Bay Area Sports Organizing Committee (BASOC) and served on the committees for San Francisco’s bids to host the 2012, 2016 and 2024 Olympic Games. His event experience includes assignments at the 1994 World Cup along with Olympics in Atlanta, Salt Lake and Torino, Italy. Previously, he worked as a consultant with Booz-Allen & Hamilton and Electronic Data Systems. More recently, Schlough served as Interim President of the Giants’ Class A San Jose affiliate and was appointed to the team’s board as chairman in 2012.
In addition to his Giants and Olympic activities, Schlough serves on boards for causes with a focus on education and athletics, including Junior Achievement and The Giant Race. He is also an avid supporter of the Giants Community Fund.
Schlough has been honored as Trace3’s 2016 CIO Outlier of the Year, InformationWeek’s 2012 IT Chief of the Year and is a member of Sports Business Journal’s 2010 “Forty Under 40” class of promising young executives in the sports industry. A San Francisco native and Ironman triathlete, Schlough holds a Mechanical Engineering degree from Duke University and an MBA from the Wharton School.
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