What does the data revolution have to do with sport? Do we want that big data turns up here as well?


Nowadays competitive sport without the use of big data is barley imagineable. Just think about sports like the Formula 1, soccer or athletics, which became more professional and more attractive for the fans due to big data. Even sports like sailing or biathlon got more interesting for the fans at the screens by providing more data. Yet of all cold calculation sport will continue to live mainly on the emotions. The question we have to ask ourselves is how far we want to allow big data in sport. Competitive sport has already been conquered by big data and in the future there will be rather more data collected, analysed and get connected than it will be less. Yet, do we want to establish that progressive quantification of the game and the players in the mass sport?

What will happen if big data analyses determine that children probably do not have the physical properties to be successful in a certain sport? If the data revolution expand even on the lower performance levels, then it might happen, that our children will not be able to live out their passion anymore. Why should a club spend years investing in your daugther or son, when the algorithm predict, that they will not succeed as adults because of their physical deficiency. Some of the advantages and disadvantages, which come along with big data in sport are shown in the following table.

Advantages and disadvantages of Big Data in the field of sport

Advantages Disadvantages
Sport gets more multifarious Athlet becomes transparent
Data act as a help and provide facts which formerly were only conjectures Data control and coordinate more and more our life; Algorithms make forecasts and decisions
Visualization of data in real-time and thus a faster response time Stadion atmosphere could get lost, as fans would deal with digital data for the match during the match as well
Complete transparancy about the capability of a athlet Statistics could superimpose feelings
Increased medial excitement and fascination in many sports (sailing, biathlon) Community is only lived next to each other, but no longer together
Deeper immersion in the sport and thus a more intensive experience for the fans Children can’t live out their passion anymore, because failure is seen as a planning error
Reduced risk of injury and increased performance through individualized training plan Big data makes the sport too predictable, but the unforeseen, random, mysterious gives the sport its appeal


SAP und der DFB – Big Data im Fußball

Related articles & Links

Die Welt

Wie SAP Gegentore der Nationalelf verhindern will



IT in der Formel 1



Moneyball im Niemandsland