David Greenberg

Inside the Growing Media Market of Sports Analytics

A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Statistics, and a passion for sports, Evan Boyd has found a career path that allows him to perfectly blend his abilities with numbers and his strong knowledge for sports. STATS LLC is a company that works closely with major television networks like CBS and ESPN, publications like the Washington Post and Sports Illustrated, as well as some of the worlds most elite club soccer teams like Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea, and Juventus.

Q: What specifically does STATS do when they work with your clients?

A: Basically we have clients who are media, whether it’s TV or radio… If you ever watch a primetime game whether it’s the World Series, Super Bowl, or just any major sport going on, you see those random stats going up… That’s basically what I do. A lot of responding to clients, figuring out what they need. We provide them with game notes to give them a general idea of what’s going on in the series, certain matchups, things like that.

Q: What sports do you work the closest with?

A: “Baseball, College Basketball, College Football, Hockey.”

Q: So you have all this data, how does STATS then turn that into media?

A: “It’s all about telling a story. Before this I was at ESPN and their big slogan is tell a story through data… I take data, whether it’s through programing, or whatever source I’m finding, and try and find an interesting factoid about the upcoming games… It’s really just about using data to find something interesting that people want to hear about their teams.”

Q: How does your background studying statistics help you at your job?

A: “Not everyone here comes from a math background some people were journalists and so forth. Having that math background definitely helps because some of us can program which allows us to get even deeper into our data.”

Q: What are some of the coolest things that STATS does, that people might not know about?

A: “So for major games there might be someone who’s there at the scene who is providing information right to the play-by-play’s ear. For example, we have a guy who provided the statistics for the Super Bowl right into Jim Nantz’s ear… If we’re not at the game and we see something cool, we can provide it right to the producer, or the graphics producer, or they can ask us questions… This happens a lot with college basketball (hypothetically) where this guy was coming up on 30 points for Michigan State. I can go into the database and look when was the last time that a player at Michigan State had 30 points and 10 assists? Oh, I see it’s Magic Johnson, so we have to prepare to provide that information.

Q: What makes stats a great place to work?

A: The people. You work so much to try to get to the position you’re at today, then you meet all these people and they’re going the same route. It’s having similar interests with these people, you know, we look up all this data, we’re kind of nerds with it.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

A: It’s all about communication, really, and it’s all about trust. They trust us with the information that we provide when they ask us questions or when we give them something extra, and it’s all about communicating in a way that makes sense.

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