The NBA has announced that it will be partnering with Hawk-Eye, a Sony-owned company that specialises in 3D optical tracking technology, to enhance data gathering and decision making for match officials.
The partnership with represents a significant step forward for the league's technology capabilities. The use of 3D optical tracking technology will provide real-time, highly accurate data that can be used by match officials to make more informed decisions. The speed of the technology will also help speed up the game by enabling automated calls on whether a ball has gone out of bounds.
Beyond its use for officiating, the technology will also be used to enhance fan engagement initiatives, such as virtual game recreations and gamified applications. The NBA has been a leader in incorporating technology into its fan experience, and the partnership with Hawk-Eye represents another step in that direction.
The partnership between the NBA and Hawk-Eye is the latest in a series of collaborations between sports leagues and technology companies. Hawk-Eye is a partner for several major sports federations and leagues around the world, including the English Premier League and Major League Baseball. The NBA, for its part, has been at the forefront of integrating technology into its operations, with initiatives such as its data-driven incubator program and partnerships with companies like Genius Sports.
"We are thrilled to partner with Sony's Sports Businesses to leverage Hawk-Eye's cutting-edge 3D optical tracking data," said Evan Wasch, Executive Vice President of Basketball Strategy and Analytics, at the NBA. "This data will enhance our officiating, power significant insights for our teams, and create a dynamic data set that will improve our game and enable unique engagement opportunities for NBA fans."
Rufus Hack, CEO of Sony's sports businesses, added, "We view it as a real privilege to partner with the NBA – a truly iconic global brand and a leader in innovative sports content. We look forward to helping them unlock the power of data to continue to enhance officiating and basketball analytics, as well as to drive new immersive fan experiences."
The NBA's partnership with Hawk-Eye represents a major milestone in the league's ongoing efforts to leverage technology to improve its operations and fan engagement initiatives. With the ability to collect data in 3D, the league will be better positioned than ever before to make data-driven decisions that enhance the quality of play and the fan experience.