Amazon Web Services is rolling out two new Match Facts for the German Bundesliga during the 2021–22 season, bringing new advanced statistics to the game broadcasts and the official Bundesliga app.
The two new statistics — Shot Efficiency and Passing Profile — will provide fans with deeper insights into the number of goals a player or team should have scored based on the quality of their chances as well as information on the pass quality of a player or an entire team.
The stats will be debuted during Matchday 4 on September 11, when German champion FC Bayern München and RB Leipzig face off. AWS has already worked with the Bundesliga on six other statistics: Speed Alert, Goal Probability, xGoals, Most Pressed Player, Attacking Zones and Average Positions.
Former Bundesliga player Simon Rolfes told ZDNet that the advanced statistics help audiences better understand areas like decision-making and the probability of a goal for each shot.
The new Match Facts will better showcase the action on the field and give fans, coaches, players and commentators visual support for analyzing a team’s decision making, Rolfes added.
“AWS and the Bundesliga are working together to create a truly personalized fan experience to enhance fan engagement and retention by leveraging existing data, interaction data and other relevant AWS open data sources,” Rolfes said.
“The solution will enable real-time recommendations and adjustments based on the user interactions with Bundesliga platforms, leading to a more personalized and engaging fan experience. Thanks to the work of AWS and the Bundesliga, more fans will gain an appreciation for the incredible talent on the field and the decisions made by teams, at the same time as the league differentiates itself through the use of advanced analytics to improve the quality of play.”
Rolfes — who played 288 Bundesliga games before becoming an analyst, Bundesliga.com columnist and sporting director at Bayer 04 Leverkusen — explained that the match facts are generated by gathering and analyzing match feeds from live games in real time as they’re streamed into AWS.
“While this is just the beginning of the relationship between Bundesliga and AWS, we’ve accomplished so much already in terms of giving fans a way to view player efficiency that wasn’t possible before,” Rolfes noted.
“We’re excited to see how new stats will continue to change not only the game itself, but the fan experience of these games.”
In addition to Match Facts, Bundesliga is using AWS capabilities in analytics, machine learning, compute, storage, database, serverless and media services to process and store the vast amount of data that powers these statistics, as well as to train, deploy and scale the machine learning models used to generate predictions, the organizations explained.
With Shot Efficiency, AWS will use an existing Bundesliga Match Fact called “Expected Goals” to compare the number of goals that a player or team has actually scored with the cumulative value of the number of goals the player or team should have scored based on the quality of their attempted shots.
“If the value is negative (shown on TV by a red arrow pointing down), the player or team has scored fewer goals than would have been expected. If the value is positive (green arrow up), the player or team exceeded the expected value,” AWS said in a statement.
“For the first time, each player’s efficiency can be objectively assessed based on the overall quality of shots and the number of goals scored.”
Passing Profile measures the pass quality and pass strength of a player or team, calculating the effectiveness of player passing by tracking where passes are targeted, how the ball travels and other passing trends.
The stats are collated through Amazon SageMaker’s machine learning models and data scientists analyzed thousands of video hours of previous Bundesliga seasons to create the statistics. Shot Efficiency was created using a dataset of more than 40,000 historical shots on goal while researchers analyzed two million passes to create Passing Profile.
DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga Group executive vice president Andreas Heyden added that last year, the reception for Bundesliga Match Facts around the world was very positive.
“The two new stats for this season give fans a view into player efficiency that hasn’t been achieved before, and we are still just at the beginning of our relationship with AWS. I’m excited to see how technology will continue to evolve the fan experience and the game,” Heyden said.