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NFL and Zebra Technologies to provide ‘next-gen stats’ for 2014 season

Real-time location system (RTLS) to track players and officials in 15 stadiums.
August 27, 2014

The National Football League (NFL) has announced it will install Zebra Technologies’ real-time location system (RTLS) for sports in 17 stadiums during the 2014 NFL season.

The technology will track players and officials, providing location based data known as “Next Gen Stats” to fans. Zebra’s sports solution will be installed in the 15 stadiums that host the 2014 Thursday Night Football games (Atlanta, Baltimore, Carolina, Chicago, Cincinnati, Denver, Green Bay, Houston, Jacksonville, Miami, New England, Oakland, San Francisco, St. Louis, Washington) as well as Detroit and New Orleans, and will capture information from all 32 teams.

Zebra receivers installed throughout the stadiums will communicate with radio-frequency identification (RFID) transmitters placed inside the shoulder pads of each player to capture precise location measurements, in real-time, during the game. The technology will collect data such as position, speed, and distance that will be registered and compiled into a database.

Data can be outputted to generate new experiences built around this additional data. For the first time, this technology enables the NFL to accurately capture real-time player tracking statistics, such as acceleration and total distance run. The real-time nature of these statistics enables end-users to gain immediate insight into the action on the field.

“Working with Zebra will give fans, teams, coaches and players a deeper look into the game they love,” said Vishal Shah, NFL vice president of media strategy. “The tracking technology will help teams evolve training, scouting and evaluation through increased knowledge of player performance, as well as provide ways for our teams and partners to enhance the fan experience.”

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