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How the Beautiful Game of Football Can Benefit From AI?

Every now and then comes a technology that is extensively covered by the media for the impact it has on business and day to day lives. Be it the emergence of big data, cloud computing or any other technology advancement, they have been written about and spoken about at length. One such technology that has caught the imagination of businesses and people alike is Artificial Intelligence, considered to be the ability of machines to think, comprehend and act like humans. There is hardly any sphere of life that is not getting impacted by the fast growing all encompassing technology termed, AI. Looking at the popularity of the technology and the scope it represents it makes sense to discuss how this technology could or is already impacting the sports arena.


In this post we look at the kind of effect AI can have on the beautiful game football with the biggest football extravaganza slated to take place in Russia from the 14th of June 2018.


Impact on coach and supporting staff

Coach and coaching staff who must keep a keen eye on their players can immensely benefit from developments in AI. Imagine a penalty shoot out taking place against an ace goalkeeper with an impressive track record. Advances in AI can help the coach understand by studying available video footage and data the exact way the goalkeeper is accustomed to reacting against a penalty. This in turn can guide the coach to choose the best among the set of available players. This again is possible because the coach has used AI tools to gauge and learn about the best shooter pipped against this goalkeeper. In addition, the coach can also learn about team formations that best suit his team against different opponents. AI can also help the coach and his supporting staff keep an eye on the exact way a given player moves around in the field, apart from observing the fitness of players, thus safeguarding the players from wear and tear.


Impact on individual athletes

AI in wearable for top athletes such as footballers can be a boon for it can guide the individual athletes on their exact fitness routine, diet etc. besides prompting suggestions on improving techniques like the power behind a shot or the way to hit the ball to get the desired curve in the shot.


Impact on marketing and advertising

Using video technology and AI, brands can substantially quantify the impact of their sponsorship buys. The soccer field is covered with an array of brands during a match but the adverts that attract the best ROI for a brand are the ones that are visible during the most exciting parts of a match. It is during intense moments in a game when the viewers are paying complete attention to the players and their surroundings. Besides the clips because of reruns on various channels and social media shares garner furthermore interest and eye balls for different brands. AI can help ascertain the best positioning for different brands helping them make viable sponsorship deals that are high on returns.


It is too premature to be thinking that AI will have any major impact this world cup in Russia, but the one thing guaranteed, the likes of Messi, Suarez, Mueller and Neymar will clearly outline what gifted humans are capable of on the football pitch.