Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

PFF touches down with AWS machine learning

Steve Rogerson
July 18, 2019

Pro Football Focus (PFF), a subscription-based analytics service that supplies data to the National Football League, National Collegiate Athletic Association and Canadian Football League teams, has chosen Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its official cloud and machine-learning provider.
PFF has also moved all its infrastructure to AWS and will use AWS compute, storage, database, serverless, analytics and machine-learning services to improve operational efficiency, innovate at a faster pace and drive deeper meaning from game statistical data.
AWS should help PFF uncover never-before-seen metrics that will change the way that teams, fans and the media experience football. Working with AWS, PFF aims to enhance its data collection systems and enterprise reporting suite so organisations leveraging PFF’s data can quickly discover player and opponent tendencies, identify weaknesses in rosters, and create play cards based on those data, accelerating their ability to strategise for every match.
“We study and grade every player and play in every game and, by teaming up with AWS, we can better understand, refine and enhance what we do with these vast amounts of data and how to deliver them to the fans,” said Cris Collinsworth, sports commentator, former NFL player and majority owner of PFF. “We have chosen to use AWS’s unmatched breadth of functionality to innovate at scale.”
PFF is using services such as Amazon SageMaker to help build, train and deploy machine-learning models so it can generate predictions and deliver insights faster to teams and broadcast partners such as NBC’s Sunday Night Football.
“We are confident that AWS will give us what we need to innovate on the fly, pinpoint new stats and accelerate the delivery of those stats to our audience,” said Collinsworth.
Sports organisations around the world use AWS to develop capabilities and services that enable fans, coaches and broadcasters to experience sports through an entirely new perspective, according to Mike Clayville, vice president at AWS.
“PFF turned to AWS for the speed, security, performance, breadth of cloud services and experienced professional services team required to drive efficiency and innovation, allowing them to refocus their manpower and capital on automation and simplifying data collection, analysis and delivery processes,” said Clayville. “We are pleased to support PFF as they continue their migration to the cloud, relying upon AWS’s leading machine-learning services to convert even more data into valuable stats that thrill football fans everywhere.”
AWS is working with the Chengdu Hi-Tech Zone in China to build a cloud computing joint innovation centre. It will include an accelerator, incubator and international maker space, and aims to attract global enterprises, start-ups and industrial talents in the fields of AI, biological medicine and financial technology to promote the industrial innovation and economic upgrade in western China.