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  • Daniel Ayers

Hats off to MCFC for #hackmcfc

Good news: Manchester City Football Club are holding a hack event in late July where they'll be giving participants access to a ton of their player performance, match, and biometric data from OptaPro and ChyronHego. Why are we so pleased? Because we've had an obsession with sports data, data visualisation and "datatainment" ever since our ceo was MCFC's first Head of Digital. Despite supporting head of performance analysis Gavin Fleig on his groundbreaking project that put the 2011-12 Opta data out to a select group of programmers... we didn't get a hack event off the ground. It's great to see City still have digital innovation close to their hearts.


#hackmcfc takes place over the weekend of July 29-31, with registration open to anyone with an idea of what could be done with these data points:


- For each game, movement, position & speed data for all players, officials & the ball. In total 4.5 million data points per game - Game events, event positions, patterns of play, pass & pass completion data - Shot, goalkeeper & defensive data - Line up, substitutions & formation data - Referee actions, stoppages & attendance data


We've lost count of the number of times we've sat in meetings at football clubs where the marketing/ comms/ commercial staff have bemoaned their own lack of access to the playing staff's data that could be used for interesting fan-facing content formats (for example). Or analytics conferences where even performance analysts from smaller clubs have been super-protective of their data, as if the League 1 opposition scouts are going to have the time and resource to plough through reams of your new fullback's lateral passing accuracy.


It should be noted that City aren't making their data public - you probably won't get to keep the bits you get access to at the event - but even so this is an excellent exercise in transparency and engagement with the tech community.


Full details at hackmcfc.co.uk; places are limited so if you're interested, you should register soon.

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