A conversation with davide ragazzi, ceo of kama sport: big data and innovation for football!
Hi Davide, welcome to blog of the Social Football Summit.
Today we would like to have a talk to better understand the reality of Kama Sport and the support it can give to the football industry, as well as its application in this world.
To begin with, tell us how the idea for this project came about and what is your mission?
The idea behind Kama took shape in October 2017, during the first historic football hackathon organized by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC). We were avid football enthusiasts and experts in developing data analysis and exploration systems, so we decided to participate in the event. It was during that event that we realized the issue was not the data itself but rather making effective use of it. On one hand, numerous companies were producing increasingly innovative technologies for generating various types of data, including event data, positional data, athletic data, and medical data. On the other hand, there were leagues, sports organizations, and coaches who were not utilizing the data to streamline their work, make informed decisions, and gain a competitive edge, despite an increasing need for it.
It was at that moment that we conceived Kama: an integrated system that gathers all data related to the world of football and makes it available through an all-in-one platform that enables anyone to access the information they need based on their methodology and objectives. In football, there is a gap between end users (leagues, sports organizations, coaches, video analysts, match analysts, scouts, agents, and media companies) and the world of data. Kama’s mission is to bridge this gap.
One of your most recurring claims is “unlocking the future of sport media”. Here, tell us what competitive advantage Kama can offer its partners,
and what changes a platform and a tool like yours can bring to the Football Industry?
Unlocking the future of sport media’ underscores our commitment to opening new perspectives in the realm of sports media. Kama offers its partners several distinctive competitive advantages that can transform the football industry in terms of analysis and communication.
First and foremost, Kama provides in-depth knowledge of football data, both during matches and in training. This results in a detailed understanding of individual and team performances, enabling coaches, video analysts, and clubs to make more informed decisions. This not only leads to on-field performance improvements but also enhances the media experience for fans through a more accurate and engaging data-based narrative.
Today’s fans are no longer satisfied with ‘basic’ data such as possession or the number of shots on goal. Fans seek comprehensive engagement through more advanced analyses. Advanced data, such as build-up play leading to shots in the final 20 meters or regaining possession in the opponent’s half, are discussion points that shift the focus from one’s favorite team to international competitions, allowing for comparisons of playing styles and methodologies.
In general, Kama represents a breakthrough in the Football Industry, as it enables our partners to fully leverage the potential of data to enhance performance, engage fans, and redefine how football is analyzed and narrated. Our mission is to contribute to shaping a future of football where data takes center stage in the sports and media experience, creating new opportunities and enhancing the engagement of all involved stakeholders.
The use of data and a wealth of insight to monitor and improve the performance of footballers, coaches and therefore teams, was until recently greeted by the media and some insiders as nerdy stuff.
Do you still perceive this feeling, and more importantly, what is the leverage you use to make insiders perceive the value of Kama and analytics in football?
Until some time ago, the use of data and advanced analysis in football may have been perceived by some as something reserved for technology enthusiasts. However, over the years, this perception has been undergoing a significant transformation. The football industry is increasingly recognizing the intrinsic value that data and analysis bring to the performance of players, coaches, and teams.
Our experience with Kama demonstrates that data analysis in football is no longer a ‘nerdy’ matter, but a fundamental resource for gaining a competitive advantage and enduring success. Data provides a deeper and more objective understanding of the game, allowing for the identification of strengths and weaknesses, the development of targeted strategies, and performance improvement on the field.
The primary lever we use to convey the value of Kama and data analysis in football is the concrete demonstration of results. We collaborate with high-level coaches and prestigious clubs who have achieved significant performance improvements through the use of our tools and analyses. These successes speak for themselves, proving that data analysis is a powerful tool for success in professional football.
Furthermore, we work closely with our partners, providing ongoing training and support to ensure they can fully leverage the potential of our tools. This helps overcome the perception of complexity associated with data analysis and demonstrates how it is accessible and effective in the modern football environment.
Kama is committed to transforming the perception of data from being viewed as something external to the world of football to being an integral part of it. This is evident in our slogan: ‘Kama is Football Between Passion and Data.
You count among your partners a number of top level coaches, ditto for the clubs you work with. Discuss with them what improvements you have been able to bring to the work of your partners, as well as asking what are the biggest difficulties coaches face when starting out with them.
Over the years, we have worked and continue to work with top coaches, teams, and leagues. We are the innovation partner of Serie A, and we achieved the Scudetto with SSC Napoli as technology providers. Our collaborations include notable figures like Rafael Benitez, Stefano Pioli, and Luciano Spalletti.
Working closely with these teams and their staff, we consistently gather requirements that enable us to enhance our services and offer increasingly better solutions.
Through access to our detailed data and advanced analyses, coaches can make more informed decisions in preparing their training sessions in alignment with their methodologies, objectives, and opponents. This has led to more effective game strategies and improved management of staff and players, contributing to enhanced team performance.
In addition, our all-in-one offering covers various aspects, including training and match management, analysis, video analysis, and scouting. The features and technologies we provide streamline daily work, automatically resulting in numerous advantages in terms of resources involved.
Challenges we face when initiating partnerships with coaches and clubs often revolve around change management. Some may be reluctant to implement new technologies. In such cases, we work closely with them, providing support and training to ensure a smooth and gradual transition.
Our solutions have been designed to be intuitive and easily integrated into existing practices, making it easier to overcome these challenges. Overall, our collaboration with partners has been fruitful and continues to demonstrate how data is becoming increasingly indispensable in this sector.
What future do you see in the football industry when it comes to the link between sport and technology?
Both football and technology are evolving rapidly. The bond between the football industry and technology is growing ever closer, ushering in a host of opportunities and significant changes.
First and foremost, we expect that, thanks to player data, coaches, sports organizations, and leagues will be able to make increasingly precise and informed decisions. This will lead to continuous performance improvement and a reduction in the risk of injuries.
Furthermore, fan engagement will continue to soar thanks to technology. Digital platforms and streaming services will provide personalized sports experiences, allowing fans to closely follow the teams, players, and competitions they love. Data will be at the heart of these experiences, offering detailed and engaging information.
Football will become increasingly global, with technology breaking down geographical barriers. Teams and leagues will be able to collaborate more effectively with international talents and reach a broader global audience.
Finally, we expect technology to play a crucial role in the training and development of young talents. Online analysis and training platforms will become essential tools for discovering and nurturing the potential of future champions.
Yesterday, football and technology were distant. Now they are getting to know each other and getting closer. Tomorrow, they will be inseparable. With Kama, we aim to be at the forefront of this journey.