(KINEXON is a proud partner of Front Office Sports)
As NBA All-Star Weekend 2020 is set to get underway in Chicago, the eyes of the basketball world will be on the league’s biggest stars. Just down the road from the United Center, the site of Sunday’s All-Star Game, is the U.S. headquarters for one of the fastest growing performance data and analytics providers in the world, KINEXON.
In 2016, the German-based technology company opened its first U.S. office. After finding success providing tracking and tactical analysis solutions to Europe’s most notable soccer, basketball and hockey teams, KINEXON identified an opportunity to bring its technology to the NBA. In just a few short years, the company has become the premier performance tracking provider in the league with more than 70 percent of NBA teams using its system.
“In today’s game, every aspect of an athlete’s performance is being analyzed,” said Jim Garofalo, Executive Vice President of KINEXON. “Whether it be in a practice or a game, performance directors are looking to acquire as much information as possible in order to gain a competitive advantage. KINEXON is so valuable because our solution is able to capture objective data in all of the different environments. This data is then analyzed and used to make recommendations on how athletes should be training and ultimately how they will improve their performance. “
With the importance placed on managing player load by NBA teams, KINEXON has been able to provide a solution that not only measures and analyzes practice sessions, but easily integrates game data from the league.
“KINEXON was the first in my estimation to create a system that was compatible with the in-game data we were already collecting,” said Chip Schaefer, Director of Performance Health for the Chicago Bulls. “Now we really have something of value because we can monitor and track external workloads for our athletes in both games and practices using standardized metrics. This allows us to analyze our acute to chronic workloads, run correlational analysis to recovery scores or injuries, and identify outliers through z-scores and dozens of relevant measurements that we can now collect. We can then share the data with our coaching staff or management to help them determine best practices in their respective domains.”
KINEXON offers a holistic system consisting of sensors and software. This includes precise player and ball tracking technology, individual analysis of load and stress, and metrics such as jumps, accelerations and top speed. Presentation of that data can be customized by the user and is compatible with nearly any device or computer. The company also boasts some of the top data analysts in the industry, who provide detailed consulting to each team.
“The precision and accuracy of our performance tracking has always been best-in-class, but that has only been half of the equation,” said Garofalo. “We are now in a fortunate position where we have been able to work hand-in-hand with NBA teams for multiple years, resulting in a larger data set and a more thorough understanding of their needs. This data allows us to continuously refine our platform by creating new and useful metrics that provide an advanced level of analysis and insight.”
KINEXON’s solution differs from similar products in this space (such as GPS) in that it provides all data in real time. With this capability, KINEXON has begun exploring options to bring some of the data directly to fans.
“One of the biggest opportunities we see in U.S. sports is bringing our real-time performance data to life as a part of the fan experience,” said Garofalo. “Being able to deliver unique and insightful data to fans through digital media, TV broadcasts, in-stadium video boards and AR/VR allows fans to feel closer and more connected to the game than ever before. Our fan engagement capabilities identify unique insights and stories the human eye cannot.”
With its dominance in the NBA and integration into other major professional sports leagues such as the NFL and NHL, KINEXON has now found that college teams are starting to invest in its game-changing technology as well. To date, 11 D1 schools such as Stanford, West Virginia and Butler are all working with KINEXON.
“We are proud that more than 70 percent of NBA teams rely on KINEXON to provide performance tracking and analysis, but we are really encouraged to see the growth we’ve experienced over the past year in the NCAA,” said Garofalo. “Being able to have trusted sports performance professionals in the NBA substantiate and recommend our solution has brought immediate credibility to our conversations with some of the nation’s top college programs.”
As KINEXON continues to develop new and innovative metrics for all of the clients they work with, one thing is certain, its ability to provide performance enhancing insights is revolutionizing the way teams practice and prepare for the demands of a long season.
“I couldn’t be more pleased with how this season has gone thus far,” Schaefer said. “KINEXON has been consistently available and accessible to answer any questions or concerns as we work our way through this learning process. I would strongly recommend KINEXON to any amateur or professional sports organization looking to track and monitor workloads to enhance performance and improve clinical health outcomes.”