Fans around the world are united by a love of football, and global audiences continue to expand rapidly. This is evidenced by the European football market, which grew from €24.5 billion in 2016 to €25.5 billion a year later. At the same time, matchday attendance reached its highest level for 60 years according to the Deloitte Annual Review of Football Finance for 2018.
As clubs compete for major competition trophies, viewing figures, and worldwide merchandising revenues, the pressure to succeed is extremely intense. In the race to the top, technology is critical for maximising performance, both on and off the pitch.
Hikvision is no stranger to football, and they are famous for sponsoring Dutch football team Ajax in 2017. As part of Hikvision’s partnership with the club, the company also worked with them on performance management - a collaboration that has led to some truly innovative technology applications and partnerships.
Integrated sports solution
During Hikvison’s partnership with Ajax, the company developed a new, fully integrated sports solution to help top-flight football clubs improve their on-pitch and off-pitch performance. The solution is delivered by four key technology partners: Hikvision, Johan Sports, UScoutfor and Dotcomsport.
The ‘eyes’ of the integrated sports solution are Hikvision’s 24MP PanoVu camera (DS-2CD6A64F), positioned on the side line. Providing a 180-degree view of the pitch, these cameras literally catch every pass, corner kick and shot on goal, providing crystal clear footage for analysis by the coach, trainers and players themselves.
While the Hikvision cameras provide a 180-degree view of players and their movements and heart-rates
Maximise players’ on-pitch performance
To add even more value for coaches and players, the integrated sports solution collects data about players’ on-pitch performance, including their run rate and heart rate during matches. This capability, which is provided by Hikvision partner Johan Sports, allows football teams to optimise training, prevent injuries and monitor the fitness of individual players and the team as a whole.
The powerful combination of GPS data (movement data) and heart-rate data allows trainers, coaches and analysts all over the world to get the most out of each player - increasing their chances of success in major tournaments.
Footage that trainers and fans want to see
While the Hikvision cameras provide a 180-degree view of players and their movements and heart-rates, coaches and analysts also need to see video footage of matches and training sessions from different angles. Footage from PanoVu cameras also has to be ‘de-warped’ to correct the natural distortion of the lens needed to capture 180-degree views of the action.
The data from Hikvision cameras and partner systems is sent to an integrated ‘Player Development System’ from Dotcomsport
This is where technology from the key technology partner UScoutfor comes in. Their software platform de-warps video from the Hikvision cameras to stitch images from different cameras together to provide a multi-angle view of the action. This ensures that videos are clear, multi-angled and perfect for use by analysts and coaches looking to improve their game plans.
UScoutfor technology also provides great footage of matches for TV broadcasting - with no need for a physical camera director. Signals are sent to the Hikvision cameras, allowing them to pan, tilt and zoom automatically to capture the action most interesting to viewers. The software can also automatically recognise certain ‘events’ - for example, a goal, so viewers do not miss any important match highlights.
Improve efficiency on and off the pitch
All the data from Hikvision cameras and partner systems is sent to an integrated ‘Player Development System’ from Dotcomsport, which is used by 300 football clubs in 15 countries.
As well as helping coaches and analysts to track the development and performance of every player, this platform provides a range of project management capabilities - enabling clubs to effectively coordinate players and staff members, plan games and practices, and conduct performance evaluations in all areas of the business.