Hudl Set to Acquire Football Analytics Firm StatsBomb

Sports technology leader Hudl is on the verge of acquiring football analytics firm StatsBomb, as reported by The Athletic.

Hudl, a premier performance analysis platform in the football industry, aims to consolidate its services in data, video, and analytics. The Nebraska-based company previously acquired video platforms Wyscout in 2019 and Instat in 2022, the former of which has been a dominant player in video analysis for over ten years.

Founded in 2016 by Charlotte Randall and Ted Knutson, a former head of player analytics at Brentford and FC Midtjylland, StatsBomb has carved out a niche in the market. Knutson announced on X last week that the company’s annual revenues have reached £10 million. However, the board has decided that now is the optimal time to sell the business.

Hudl Set to Acquire Football Analytics Firm StatsBombHudl’s acquisition of StatsBomb is driven by the desire to enhance their service offerings. Despite requests, Hudl did not provide a comment to The Athletic.

Similar to how Apple’s single sign-in system syncs multiple products and devices, Hudl offers a comprehensive range of products designed to streamline the workflow of performance analysts. However, Hudl faces competition from established companies in the market, where performance analysts often prefer a multi-product approach.

StatsBomb’s data collection operation in Egypt is highly regarded, though they are limited in powering media products due to the lack of a live dataset. The company’s launch of the StatsBomb 360 product in 2021, which includes detailed event data from matches, saw Liverpool become partners and helped StatsBomb gain mainstream recognition.

The StatsBomb 360 product was integrated into Liverpool’s scouting and analysis frameworks by key figures such as Michael Edwards (former Sporting Director), Ian Graham (former Director of Research), and William Spearman (former Lead Data Scientist). StatsBomb now covers over 100 football competitions worldwide, including three-quarters of Premier League and Championship teams, as well as two-thirds of MLS clubs.

A significant draw for Hudl is StatsBomb’s potential to expand into other sports. In June 2022, StatsBomb introduced an American football product, leveraging their football analytics expertise to create a comprehensive college sport database. Although its growth has been slower than expected, it demonstrated proof of concept to Hudl, which boasts over 200,000 users across more than 40 sports.

Some industry insiders, speaking anonymously, have raised concerns that this acquisition might hinder innovation. Others speculate that this move might prompt top clubs to develop in-house products, a step that clubs like Brighton and Brentford have avoided due to associated costs, unlike Arsenal, which integrated StatDNA into their analytics framework in 2012.

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