The NHL and SAP Bring On-Bench Analytics to iPads


The plan builds on the NHL’s previous playoff season test where they equipped teams with iPad Pros that generated real-time video highlights and analytics.

Soon the NHL will be facing off with real-time, on-ice analytics, thanks to a partnership between the NHL and SAP. Starting after the All-Star game, every club’s bench will be equipped with iPads that will provide access to dozens of real-time statistics for every game.

The program is a product of the NHL’s test during the 2017 playoff season. The test consisted of three iPad Pros given to each team that provided real-time video highlights. That test was extended league wide the following season. Now teams will get an additional iPad to complement the video highlights to allow coaches to make decisions without needing timeouts.

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“It became clear there were certain analytics and data points they wanted to have to complement the video,” said David Lehanski, the NHL’s senior vice president of business development and innovation. “And so we set out with Apple and SAP to design and build an app for the coaches that would give them real-time data on the benches.”

The NHL met with teams individually to find out what types of data they would find most useful. Now with the additional iPad, coaches will have access to over 30 on-ice statistics including face-off success rates and on-ice time. The app is powered by SAP’s HANA cloud infrastructure and is completely customizable. The insights are displayed via a user-friendly dashboard. Other insights include shot attempts, unblocked shot attempts and shot success rates in shootouts. The insights can also be integrated with video if desired.

The data is gathered via RFID chips embedded in pucks and player pads and can collect data at a rate of 180 times a second.

“The NHL is excited about introducing technology in new and exciting ways,” said Robert Rob Bendl, SAP North America’s vice president of strategic customers and innovative business solutions. “We look at this as a solution that will be foundational. We’re excited that this platform will allow them to grow and expand as additional analytics are available through puck and player tracking.”

Sue Walsh

About Sue Walsh

Sue Walsh is News Writer for RTInsights, and a freelance writer and social media manager living in New York City. Her specialties include tech, security and e-commerce. You can follow her on Twitter at @girlfridaygeek.

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