This data company's SportVU cameras track and quantify everything during a game and have quickly gone from a geeky bonus to a necessity: As of this season, every NBA arena uses the $100,000-a-year system (up from half last year). Teams are incorporating more and more advanced metrics into their game plans—tracking how their opponents move the ball, who defends pick-and-rolls best, and how to attack the lane with a huge rim protector in the way. "It's not just about getting all 30 teams, but exposing game data on NBA.com and NBA TV," says Brian Kopp, an SVP at STATS. "There are now SportVU stats for every game." While teams may have their own ways of looking at the stats, the everyday NBA fan can get a taste of the behind-the-scenes strategizing on their own by looking at them online as well. That only creates more demand. Soccer's UEFA Champions League uses SportVU to track player movement and goal-scoring opportunities, and Duke basketball became the first college adopter in October. Next up, STATS hopes: ice hockey.
[Illustration by MMJ Studio]