Debby Stroman believes she can channel North Carolina’s energy and enthusiasm around basketball and sports to help local entrepreneurs create new businesses in sports analytics, data, marketing and sales.
Her big vision is to open a center of sports business and analytics at UNC by 2017, and make our state a national leader in merging sports and business.
Several startups will be in attendance, including Durham’s own Automated Insights, which works with Yahoo! Sports and The Associated Press to turn sports statistics and earnings reports into narrative stories in a matter of seconds. Other startups include Lean Basketball Analytics, an Atlanta-based lineup analysis software company, and Fusionetics, a Georgia startup that helps predict and prevent injury and improve human performance for top professional and collegiate teams.
Learn Fresh of Rhode Island is the creator of NBA Math Hoops, a math tool for elementary and middle school students centered around basketball. Catapult Sports of Australia developed GPS tracking wearable devices specifically for sports teams.
There’s also the heads of analytics for the San Antonio Spurs, Notre Dame Basketball, the University of Virginia and the Sacramento Kings (former ESPN sports analytics director Dean Oliver), Google’s analyst for ticketing and live events and sports stat analysis guru Ken Pomeroy. A member of SAP’s sports and entertainment group will talk about its partnership with Duke University Basketball around analytics.
Besides Skipper and Stiff, ESPN is sending college basketball analyst Fran Fraschilla and Kirk Goldsberry, a staff writer at Grantland.
The branding and sponsorship, marketing and ticketing sides of sports are represented too—they use data to understand the fan side of sports. And the event begins and ends with a student sports analytics competition. Students can submit papers related to some theory or analysis related to the sport of basketball. The winners will be announced Saturday afternoon, and their papers will be submitted to the Journal of Sports Analytics.
Tickets are still available for the summit, which kicks off Friday at 1 p.m. and concludes Saturday afternoon. ExitEvent and UNC journalism students will also film portions of the event, and we’ll publish those videos in coming days.