Wednesday, June 27, 2012

On Forbes: Changing How We View the Game - ESPN Deportes’ Euro 2012 Coverage

My third-and-final post in my profile of ESPN's statistical coverage of the 2012 European Championships is up at Forbes.  In this final post I examine the roll that the Stats & Information Group (SIG) plays in ESPN Deporte's coverage of the tournament.  I was treated to on-set access to their Fuera de Juego show hosts, an interview with heavy statistics user Andres Agulla, and saw how the Deportes/Latin America/Dos BottomLine operations support the overall SIG business model within ESPN.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

On Forbes: Changing How We View the Game - ESPN's Euro 2012 Coverage

Part two of my three part series on how ESPN is leveraging their Stats & Information Group (SIG) during their coverage of Euro 2012 is now up at Forbes.  This post focuses on how the SIG supports the English-language outlets - from ESPN the Magazine to the on-air talent to ESPN Gamecast and chatrooms.  The story is written from a first person accounting of June 8th and 9th, when I was given nearly 8 straight hours of access to SIG's staff, as well ESPN the Magazine and on-air production talent.  What transpires is a live accounting of how the SIG team members play an integral role in bringing and added dimension to ESPN's coverage of the one of the beautiful game's biggest tournaments.

On Forbes: Redknapp Out at Tottenham - What Now, Spurs?

So Harry Redknapp was sacked last week, and I took at look at his tenure at the club and what it means for their future.  It turns out that Redknapp was actually doing quite well, especially considering the drop in resources available to him over the last year.  We know that there was some friction between him and the Spurs management team, but even his drop in form over the last two thirds of this season shouldn't have led to his sacking.  This just seems to be the latest installment of team ownership playing the short game in terms of who manages their club, instead of playing the long game that Tottenham must play to beat the financial odds they're up against.  Read more at the link above to understand the numbers that back up these claims.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

On Forbes: Changing How We View the Game - ESPN's Stats & Information Group

The first post in a three-part series on the ESPN Stats and Information group is up on my Forbes blog.  The three posts are built upon my visit to the ESPN studios for the opening weekend of their Euro 2012 coverage where I got access to a wide range of statisticians, analysts, managers, and on-air talent.

In this first post I provide an overview of how the group integrates into the multiple ESPN outlets - television, web, and mobile - to provide numbers as one way of telling the story that we all see unfold before our eyes.  Understanding the organization and vision is critical to the subsequent posts that will go into even more detail as to how the Stats and Information group is part of ESPN's long-term plan for covering soccer and how they are integral to their preparation for, and presentation of, Euro 2012.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Interview in the San Francisco Chronicle

I was recently interviewed for an article on the San Francisco Chronicle website that deals with the player economics within Major League Soccer. I'd recommend checking the article out, as I will expand upon the topics covered in it at my Forbes blog once I am done with a several post series on how ESPN is increasingly turning to numbers as part of its soccer broadcasting strategy.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

On Forbes: Wisdom of Crowds - Predicting 2012 Group Play Outcomes

Yesterday I published my latest post at my Forbes blog where I looked at various models for predicting Euro 2012 Group Play outcomes as a guide for my own predictions. I apologize to those who count on my cross posts here for the day delay in getting this blog post up. Things were very crazy on Thursday and prevented me from getting all the links up on Twitter, Facebook, and this blog at the same time.

Things were very busy on Friday because I had to make a presentation to a high school class on the arc of my engineering career so far, then drive two hours to work so that I could put in a shift in my day job before taking off to the ESPN studios for the opening weekend of Euro 2012. I'll be spending nearly three days there, interviewing and observing the pros as they roll out new advanced analytics at this tournament. It's something that's been in the works since I met the ESPN soccer analytics team at the 2012 Sloan Sports Analytics Conference back in March of this year. It is sure to be a crazy 72 hours, but also ones in which I get a rare glimpse at the behind the scenes people who bring you outstanding high definition footage, replays, and infographics at Europe's top matches. My hope is to have at least one story published next week. How much different material I get and angles I can take on my visit will dictate how many articles I publish beyond the first one.

No matter where you are this weekend, I hope that you get a chance to view the tournament's opening matches. If you're in the US, I am sure you will see some graphics on which I'll commnt later next week. See you next week!



Wednesday, June 6, 2012

On Forbes: The Writer & The Economist - An Interview with Soccernomics' Authors (Part 3)

The third and final installment of my interview with Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski is now up at Forbes.  This part of the interview is a bit different than the prior two as it was done with each author individually due to timing constraints on both men.  I ask the same set of questions about the Champions League Final, European Championships, and the Robin Van Persie situation at Arsenal to both men and get very different answers.

Overall, the interview was extremely enlightening as to how the two men work together and where their interests lie within the sport.  I have no doubt that there are several more editions of Soccernomics to be written before the book has run its course based upon the previews of future work that both men gave in the interview.  If that's the case the book may grow to 600+ pages of soccer statistics insight, and be considered one of the seminal texts in the field of sports statistics.  It would be an accolade well deserved for a writer of Simon's caliber and an economist of Stefan's stature.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

On Forbes: The Writer & The Economist: An Interview with Soccernonics' Authors (Part 2)

Yesterday I published part one of my interview with Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski. Today I have posted part two of the interview.  The authors reveal some of their favorite updates or additions to the revised and expanded second edition of Soccernomics, what didn't make it into the second edition and will likely show up in a third edition, and finally what they'll be up to in the near term as they justifiably take a step away from the book and pursue other projects.

Monday, June 4, 2012

On Forbes: The Writer & The Economist - An Interview with Soccernomics' Authors (Part 1)

Several weeks ago I had the privilege of sitting down for an interview with Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski, the authors of the revised and updated Soccernomics.  In totality the interview lasted nearly fifty minutes, which led me to break it up into thirds to improve its readability.

Part one of my interview can be found on my Forbes blog.  It deals with how Kuper and Szymanski come from very different writing styles yet Soccernomics turns out to be such a good book, their thoughts on Damien Comolli's time at Liverpool, and how they view UEFA's financial fair play rules.  Part two of the interview will be posted Tuesday, while the third-and-final part of the interview will go up on Forbes on Wednesday.