Seattle Seahawks use machine learning to boost team and facility operations

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The NFL’s Seattle Seahawks are looking to get a leg-up on the competition through the use of computer data, which it will use to improve not only gameday strategy and team operations but also facility management.

The Seahawks selected Amazon’s Web Services (AWS) to provide cloud storage, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, to offer deep analysis of game footage to inform game strategy, improve operational efficiencies, and accelerate decision-making to advance team performance game-to-game.

The Seahawks are building a data lake on Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) that will combine team stats and NFL data, such as Next Gen Stats player tracking, player health and wellness data, and scouting information to provide deeper visibility into player capabilities, as well as give the coaching staff a single, real-time view of player and team performance. By applying AWS analytics services to the data, the Seahawks will be able to quickly uncover insights to better evaluate talent and develop game plans that take advantage of the team’s strengths. From its vast amount of player, team, and business data, the Seahawks will discover actionable outcomes.

“We strive to be a consistent championship-caliber team on and off the field, which includes equipping our football operations with the best tools possible to win,” said Chuck Arnold, president, Seattle Seahawks and First & Goal Inc. “We are thrilled to collaborate with AWS and their unmatched analytics services to leverage the power of data and make an instant impact on our team.”

Working with the Amazon ML Solutions Lab (AWS’s Machine Learning Professional Services program), the Seahawks are building new capabilities that will drive deeper analysis and insights into video footage. By applying AWS ML services to practice, regular season, and playoff video footage – including NFL Coaches Film that gives coaches, scouts, and game officials a bird’s-eye view of all 22 players on the field – the Seahawks are creating a cloud-based video analytics platform.

The system will use Amazon Rekognition, a deep learning image and video analysis service, to identify and track players, and give the organization a better understanding of their opponents’ defensive and offensive strategies. Using Amazon SageMaker, a fully managed service to build, train, and deploy ML models, the Seahawks can analyze the number of hurries, knockdowns, and sacks, to predict how specific quarterbacks will perform under pressure, as well as which defensive players will exert pressure based on the depth of throws and distance gained by a receiver after catching a pass. These new capabilities will deliver recommendations to the Seahawks coaches in preparation for practice and games to help them make better data-driven decisions.

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James has been Editor of Stadia since 2018 having worked at magazines and websites around the world for the past 10 years covering everything from technology to motoring and more. He also edits Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International.

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