The NBA is the #1 global sports league -- and analytics is helping make it even better.
The NBA London Global Games 2017 were held last week, accompanied by an NBA-sponsored Leaders Meet: Innovation technology event in London earlier in the day.
The event was kicked off by Steve Hellmuth, NBA's EVP Media Operations and Technology, who talked about how new technology is helping optimize the fan experience.
For example, the league has made big investments to ensure that each arena is like a theatre, not just from a visual point of view, but also optimizing the sound experience.
But the biggest benefits have come from investing in advanced systems for gathering and sharing data:
Hellmuth explained that play had become more exciting since the implementation of player tracking: three-pointers have increased by over 25% and drives to the basket by 23%, as teams and players have used the new detailed data to optimize play.
Analytics is also and essential component of the NBA's new high-performance schedule optimizing system, built with KPMG.
The league wants to optimize player health and wellness, by spacing games and minimizing miles travels, but faces thousands of different constraints, including the availability of venues, the preferences of television partners, and the need for fairness between different teams.