Professional basketball in the U.S. has just wrapped its first season using an all-new player and ball tracking system developed by Second Spectrum, with deployment managed by Bexel ESS. Installed in 32 arenas throughout the league, the advanced optical tracking solution gives basketball teams state-of-the-art data capture capabilities for game analysis and player performance.
“While planning this project, we heard great things about Bexel’s work on a next-generation statistics installation for pro football. We knew Bexel ESS would be a great partner as we began to deploy our tracking system for basketball,” said Nicole Deford, senior director, partner management, Second Spectrum. “We’re a small company, but Bexel’s core competency in large-scale arena installations, outstanding project management, and technical expertise ensured that we could deliver the solution across the entire league on a fast track — just in time for the 2017 season.”
She added, “One of the biggest challenges we faced was the vast infrastructure differences among arenas throughout the league. The Bexel ESS team handled all of the complexities of planning cable runs and fiber installation, camera mounting sites, and server/camera hub connections, working with technical personnel at each stadium to ensure a successful outcome.”
As the official optical tracking provider of the basketball league, Second Spectrum deployed a solution that leverages unique machine understanding technology to provide advanced statistics, such as speed, distance, drives, paint touches, and defensive impact. At each arena, Bexel ESS provided system design, project management, and installation for the 10-camera array around the court that captures player and ball movement. The Second Spectrum software uses image processing technology to transform the video images into data that can be used by coaches for comprehensive analysis of players, teams, and strategy. In addition, the player-tracking data is made available to broadcasters to graphically enhance their on-air coverage of games, and fans and media around the world are able to access the data through the league’s website.
“Second Spectrum is the world leader in building machines that understand sports, so we were honored when they chose us to participate in this major contract to bring state-of-the-art player tracking to the entire U.S. basketball league,” said John Mills, director of business development, Bexel ESS. “With this project, Bexel ESS is continuing to develop an industry-leading center of expertise in stadium and sports arena infrastructure deployments. We’ve shown we have what it takes to manage large-scale sports installations on extremely tight deadlines, and our extensive relationships with the world’s biggest sports organizations can help ensure the success of any arena install.”
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About Bexel ESS
Bexel ESS, a division of Bexel, and an NEP Broadcast Services Company, is the choice vendor for custom systems integration, managed services, and fiber optic solutions within the broadcast, league, collegiate, corporate, and entertainment markets. Launched in 2012, Bexel ESS designs and installs complete turnkey solutions for permanent facilities and live events. Our custom solutions are fine tuned to deliver outstanding product performance and broadcast workflow. We pioneered the conversion of copper cable plant systems to optical fiber, and today specialize in design, implementation, and maintenance of broadcast cable plants. We pride ourselves on routinely developing new solutions to improve the longevity and functionality of client systems, and reduce the overall cost of ownership.
For over 30 years, NEP has been a worldwide outsourced technical production partner supporting premier content producers of live sports, entertainment, music and corporate events. Our services include remote production, studio production, audio visual solutions, host broadcast support, premium playout, post production and innovative software-based media management solutions. NEP’s 3,500+ employees are driven by a passion for superior service and a focus on technical innovation. Together, we have supported productions in 87 countries on all seven continents. NEP is headquartered in the United States and has offices in 24 countries. Learn more at nepgroup.com.
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