MLS partners with Second Spectrum

Second Spectrum will provide its proprietary, state-of-the art, optical tracking system for every MLS match.
Second Spectrum will provide its proprietary, state-of-the art, optical tracking system for every MLS match.

The Major League Soccer (MLS) has announced a groundbreaking multi-year partnership with Second Spectrum.

US.- The Major League Soccer (MLS) has announced a multi-year partnership with Second Spectrum to become the League’s first Official Advanced Tracking Data Provider. The partnership kicks off with the start of the 2020 season.

Second Spectrum will provide its proprietary, state-of-the-art, optical tracking system for every MLS match. Second Spectrum captures data on the location of every player, the referees, and the ball twenty-five times per second. It uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to process the collected data, and can calculate a player’s speed, acceleration, deceleration, and shot velocity, as well as advanced statistics like passing probability and expected goals, in near real-time.

“MLS’ partnership with Second Spectrum sets a new standard for innovation in player-tracking in soccer,” said Chris Schlosser, MLS SVP of Media. “Along with Second Spectrum, MLS will deliver an enhanced new fan experience, bringing innovation to MLS content while providing MLS clubs and technical staff with new tools to enhance player performance.”

This comes a few months after the MLS decided to allow gambling sponsors in football jerseys. The changes allow sports betting companies to feature their brands in MLS jerseys, as well as stadium naming rights sponsorships.

Despite the new guidelines being more permissive, the MLS will set more restrictions when it comes to advertising such sponsors. As Carter Ladd, MLS’ senior vice president of business development said, the MLS banned youth-sized replica jerseys from featuring gambling and liquor sponsors. It also prohibited them on uniforms worn by clubs’ academies and youth players.

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