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  • Super Bowl, Super Data: Sports Analytics Change the Game

    By Josh Duke | January 31, 2019 | Posted in: Blog

    It is undeniable that the Super Bowl is one of the biggest events of the year, regardless if you love football or couldn’t care less about sports in general. Almost every year the Super Bowl is the most watched event on American television, and few events can compare in terms of impact on the entertainment industry.

    Not everyone who watches the Super Bowl does so for the same reason, though. Dr. James Du, assistant professor of Sport Marketing in the Department of Sport Management, tunes in to the Super Bowl not just as a fan of football, but also as someone interested in data and sports analytics.

    James Du FSU

    James Du

    Du’s area of research focuses on better understanding how event organizers can use an effective mixture of marketing strategies and data analytics to meet consumers’ increasing demand for quality experiences, all within the grand theoretical framework of the Psychological Continuum Model (PCM). PCM explains how consumers interact with events, starting with awareness and then evolving into attraction, attachment and finally allegiance. The idea is that as consumers interact with an event more and more, they will become more involved in the event or sport.

    “Sport analytics is changing the game of and representing the future of American football,” says Du.

    This year is particularly exciting for Du, as the National Football League is going to have its first ever Big Data Bowl. The League already captures real-time data for every player and action on the field. This new initiative opens up the wealth of data to the sports analytics community, allowing professionals like Du to dive into the sport in unprecedented ways.

    Du has a few questions he’s particularly focusing on this year, the answers of which will enable fans to better appreciate the most lucrative annual spectacle through the lens of data science:

    • How do the market and media rate the game?
    • What is the economic impact of the game?
    • Can the Patriots extend their historical dynasty based on the Elo model – a simulation-driven prediction model whose goal is to calculate a team’s winning chances based on historical head-to-head results and quality of opponent?
    • Will there be a new record of cost for a 30-second ad set in 2019?

    For Du, the excitement on the field has long-lasting implications and produces data that he will pore over for months to come. Whether New England continues its impressive streak or Los Angeles takes the surprise victory, the biggest winner of them all might just be researchers like Du.