This afternoon, executives from the NHL® and SAP announced a new partnership focused on utilizing technology to reimagine the way hockey fans enjoy the game they love. Taking place (appropriately) on NHL® Innovation Day at the-state-of-the-art Levi’s® Stadium, leaders from the NHL® and SAP held a press conference giving attendees a glimpse into what the future of hockey may look like.
NBC Sports lead NHL® analyst, Eddie Olczyk, served as the event’s emcee and was welcomed as SAP’s newest ambassador. Before turning the microphone over to NHL® Commissioner Gary Bettman, Olczyk mentioned a few of the ways he’s planning on working with SAP to deliver statistical insights to fans.
Bettman then took the podium to officially announce the partnership and introduced a newly revamped NHL.com/Stats experience designed to simplify the way hockey fans analyze their favorite NHL® teams and players. He explained that it is the league’s commitment to its fans that will continue to push the NHL® to find new ways of leveraging emerging technology.
NHL COO John Collins also reinforced the importance of utilizing technology to reach the next generation of sports fans, adding “This is a game-changer in terms of the digital record of everything happening on the ice.” He then hinted at a few additional opportunities the NHL® and SAP are exploring to bring hockey fans closer than ever to their favorite teams and players, including being able to compare players from any era.
Following a brief media Q&A session, SAP’s new Chief Technology Officer, Quentin Clark, took the stage to provide some background info on the SAP technology used to drive the engine of the NHL’s® new fan experience efforts, including the role of the SAP HANA® platform. "With the new NHL stats platform, we are going to deliver real-time insight at the player and team level that has never been seen before in hockey. Together with the NHL, we will continue to look for new opportunities to help innovate and improve the game, as the next generation of hockey begins," said Clark.
The power of that technology was then put on display for all attendees to see as Chris Foster, NHL® Director for Digital Business Development, and Anthony Jakubiak, SAP’s lead designer, unveiled the redesigned stats site and highlighted a few of the new key features that are set to be rolled out in the near future:
- Enhanced statistics (available now)
- Advanced filters
- Interactive visualizations
- Playoff Predictor Tool
- Historical stats dating back to the NHL®’s inception in 1917
Throughout NHL® Innovation Day, the importance of using technology to tell powerful stories around the game of hockey continued to resurface. Collins was quoted saying, “What SAP is going to allow us to do is to really tell the stories that let our fans go deeper and deeper into the game.” With a new partnership in place between two best-in-class organizations, it’s incredibly exciting to imagine just how the next chapters of those stories will unfold.
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