Adidas has announced their player tracking technology micoach will be used for the first time in the Major League Soccer All-Star game on July 25th (cheers to KCKRS for the hat-tip). From what I’ve read, this seems to be a player-tracking app connected to circuits on wastelines and shoes and whatever. Adidas, as their motto goes, are “all in” on this thing:
“The new micoach team tracking system combines state of the art technology with real time analysis bringing the game the most significant advancement in soccer coaching in the modern era. MLS understands digital innovation is the future of team sports and we are proud to make the MLS All-Star Game the world’s first smart competition with our new micoach team tracking platform.”
Apparently this data may not necessarily be walled off from the consumer market. As this MLS story details:
…it is not only for coaches and players to assess their performance. There are numerous consumer applications. MLSsoccer.com is currently developing several digital products to incorporate the micoach data and bring fans closer the game than ever before.
It’s too early to tell whether micoach will be implemented across the league, how accurate the data is, and how much of it MLS will be able to release to “fans.” For them, it’s all about the amount of money it will bring into the league. For teams, it will be about protecting their core statistical and analytics data. For Adidas, it will be about pushing product.
For supporters of open-source soccer analytics like yours truly? It could be a one-off marketing bauble. But a new way of gathering raw, real time soccer data is a good thing; regularly releasing it to the public at an affordable price another. I’ll wait and see on this one…