The game is all about proliferating ShotTracker’s technology, said Davyeon Ross, announcing a new partnership with the Mountain West conference to spread the Kansas-born stats-and-analytics tech further across collegiate basketball.
Ross’ goal: nothing short of overhauling sports.
“The Mountain West continues to stand out for being a pioneer in adopting the latest cutting-edge technologies,” the ShotTracker co-founder said. “As the sports world continues to embrace technology, ShotTracker and the Mountain West have set a new standard for what teams and fans can expect for the speed and detail of basketball player tracking data.”
“We know other conferences will soon follow their lead to ultimately increase on-court performance through our technology,” he added.
Click here to read more about why ShotTracker was selected as one of Startland’s 2019 Kansas City Startups to Watch.
Through the new partnership, ShotTracker will install its system across 23 practice and game facilities at all 11 Mountain West schools for both men’s and women’s basketball programs. Each student-athlete will wear a ShotTracker player sensor and use the ShotTracker-enabled version of their school’s basketball provider.
The sensors track player and ball movement in real time, providing Mountain West programs with 70-plus unique statistics. This provides the Mountain West with access to instantaneous data that no conference has unilaterally had access to before, according to ShotTracker.
Mountain West previously worked with ShotTracker on a pilot program during select 2018-2019 regular season basketball games and during the Air Force Reserve Mountain West Men’s Basketball Championship. That experience proved pivotal, Ross said.
And while the NCAA currently doesn’t permit the transmission of data to the bench during game play, the new conference-wide partnership with ShotTracker allows the Mountain West to submit a waiver request to the NCAA competition committee to get access to ShotTracker’s data and video on the bench during every conference game via the ShotTracker app, Ross said.
“Coaches can already use this data at pregame, halftime and postgame, which is significant,” he added. “At the Hall of Fame Classic in November, we worked with the NCAA to test it in-game. So the probability is really high that we’ll be granted the waiver because the feedback from that in-game experience — from the coaches — was so powerful. They’re hungry for this. Now we’re getting to the point where it’s not just data, but video being integrated into the game. It’s pretty exciting stuff.”
Co-founded in Overland Park by Ross and Bruce Ianni, ShotTracker remains focused on continuous new installations of the company’s technology, Ross said.
“We’re still a SaaS business — a data company,” he said. “Nothing has changed from the core business side of things, we’re just getting more creative with our partnerships. When you work with a conference, you work with X number of schools, and as you start using this technology during practices and games, there’s a lot of value to the coaching staff. And that builds incredible momentum.”
ShotTracker’s data is also provided to conference broadcast partners, offering commentators unparalleled opportunities to integrate these statistics into their commentary, the company said. During the 2018-2019 pilot, Mountain West broadcasts featured real-time shot charts, player spacing and ball movement metrics, as well as offensive and defensive trend comparison graphics that supported the announcer’s commentary live and during replays.
The Mountain West partnership represents the next monumental step for ShotTracker to revolutionize the sport and become as integral to basketball facilities as WiFi is to coffee shops, Ross said.
“If you think about 10 years ago, when you went into a coffee shop, they might not have had WiFi. But with its proliferation today, if you had that same experience and there’s no WiFi, you’re going to look at them a little strange,” he said. “We want that same impact. We want proliferation across every single gym.”
ShotTracker has been involved in testing for teams to provide feedback to the NCAA as it relates to a possible change to this rule, the company said. Bench access to ShotTracker’s team app could be granted to visiting non-conference teams who also approve the use of the system.