Sports is serious business. Millions of people have made sports part of their daily lives, whether it’s by catching the game at a bar or going to their kid’s basketball game. New York-based Krossover is building an analytics and a media company to make it easier for people to watch the games that ESPN doesn’t cover and help coaches learn more about their players.
The company has now partnered with TRIA Orthopaedic Center doctors Joel Boyd and Robby Sikka to expand its analytics platform to include data about injuries. With access to thousands of videos and a crowdsourced platform willing to track every injury (for a price), the partnership could help researchers, coaches, and players learn more about sports-related injuries. Coaches could find out how long a player will be on the bench after a sprained ankle, for example, or trainers could learn how to help players deal with injuries.
Founded in 2008, Krossover has raised $4 million since its inception. The company was originally started once founder and CEO Vasu Kulkarni realized that he doesn’t have any videos of his college basketball career. “[I have] nothing to show my kids that a 5’9″ Indian kid had played basketball,” he says, “and there’s no way they’ll believe me.”
Krossover is expected to see somewhere between 30,000 to 40,000 games uploaded this year, and its crowdsourced viewing platform watches and quantifies every minute of each video. “It would be a no-brainer for us to also keep track of who’s getting injured,” Kulkarni says. Coaches and trainers can upload videos and ask how severe a sports-related injury may be and how it will affect the player, and researchers will be able to sift through thousands of hours of content and data to get a better idea of how injuries happen.
This partnership is just one aspect of Krossover’s analytics platform. The company offers coaches numerous services, including a method for visualizing and quantifying every aspect of a game, providing information on macro and micro scales as well as an easy way to share game videos with fans.
Not content to exist as “just” an analytics tool, Krossover is taking the data that it collects and turning it into a story, complete with an event recap, highlights, scores, and a play-by-play rundown of the game. The company uses a natural language tool to turn this raw data into a computer-generated story meant to resemble game coverage done by actual human beings. An excerpt from a sample story:
Avon High School trailed by just seven points at halftime, but the Warriors outscored them 42 to 23 in the second half, holding Avon High School to only nine points in the third quarter, which ended with a 19-5 Warriors run. Layman had nine of those 19.
Besides a tendency to over-use commas, the system generates passable recaps of each game. The system will automatically add links to scores and noteworthy events that allow readers to jump to a specific point in a game.
Sports fanatics may not want turn to Krossover for coverage of major games, but Kulkarni says that that isn’t the point. “ESPN can only cover 1 percent of sports,” he says. “[Krossover] can build a media company and serve the other 99 percent.”
[Image courtesy Wikimedia]