AWS and the NHL to Debut Advanced Stats During the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs
New stats use advanced AWS capabilities to generate real-time insights from offensive and defensive plays, giving fans a deeper understanding of team and player performance
SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com, Inc. company (NASDAQ: AMZN), and the National Hockey League (NHL) announced they will debut two new advanced analytics during the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs. These new stats powered by AWS will appear as on-screen graphics and data visualizations during NHL games and give fans a better understanding and deeper appreciation of how their favorite players and teams perform during crucial moments. The first two stats, shot analytics and save analytics, will debut on Saturday, May 15, during the first day of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs and be used throughout the 2021-22 season. For more information about AWS and its involvement with the world’s premier professional hockey league, please visit https://aws.amazon.com/sports/nhl/.
The new stats, powered by AWS, use cloud technologies such as analytics, serverless compute, and media services to gather data from the ice in real time, analyze it, and visualize it for fans as graphics appearing on the broadcast. The NHL stats will illustrate player effectiveness on offense, a goaltender’s success during different phases of the game, and the evolution of player performance over the course of a game in creating or blocking shot opportunities under different game scenarios. This new level of insight will help generate additional excitement during key moments of games by highlighting just how difficult certain plays can be. To build the new stats, the NHL and AWS drew from more than 10 years’ worth of data from the NHL’s Hockey Information and Tracking System (HITS), the League’s official system for recording game-time statistics. Leveraging AWS, the NHL will be able to combine this historical data with real-time game activity to give fans a new and unparalleled perspective on team and player performance.
- Shot analytics: Hockey is a fast-moving and fluid game. Opportunities to shoot and score can emerge suddenly as game strategies change based on a variety of situational factors. With shot analytics, fans will be able to see and truly appreciate how shot opportunities are created and converted into goals from different locations on the ice. Shot analytics will showcase the teams and players that have the highest shot-to-goal conversion rates from each area of the rink. It will also visualize how teams and players take advantage of even-strength, power play, and short-handed situations based on the number of shots and goals they attempt and score in each scenario. Shot analytics will allow fans to dive deep into team and player performance for a single game or across a season, giving them previously unavailable insights into their favorite teams and players.
- Save analytics: Hockey goaltenders face the daunting task of protecting their net against a puck that is only three inches in diameter but can be shot at speeds of up to 90 miles per hour. To do so, they use only their bodies, pads, and equipment. Save analytics will calculate and visualize goaltenders’ save percentages and the volume of shots they stop from each zone on the rink to help fans better understand and appreciate the pressure goaltenders face in a game. The NHL will use the stat to display how goaltenders perform against different team strength conditions—such as when they’re missing a defender during an opposing team’s power play—and during different game phases or events, such as a breakaway by the opponent or in a shootout. In addition, save analytics will illustrate goaltenders’ success in making saves with their sticks, their gloves, or other pads, equipment, and body parts—and how these results vary based on where shots originate.
Together, the shot analytics and save analytics graphics will enhance the broadcast viewing experience for fans by delivering information that will deepen their understanding of team and player performance. In addition, the stats will allow the NHL and its broadcast partners to add color to their live game analysis and commentary by quickly delivering meaningful insights about shots, goals, and saves.
“NHL fans are extremely tech savvy. They love the speed and skill of the sport and they crave more opportunities to understand and engage with the game and the players, and therefore, it’s important for us to use our data to deliver as many insights as possible,” said Dave Lehanski, Executive Vice President, NHL Business Development and Innovation. “AWS is the perfect partner for the NHL, helping us to aggregate our rich historical content and deliver real-time advanced analytics that will continue to transform the fan experience. The delivery of these stats will unlock opportunities for fans, along with players, coaches, and broadcasters, to see the game in new ways and to gain a deeper understanding of the strategic decisions made during a game.”
“We announced our partnership with the NHL earlier this year and already it’s bearing fruit with these advanced statistics for the Stanley Cup Playoffs,” said Rachel Thornton, Vice President, Worldwide Marketing at Amazon Web Services, Inc. “Working with the world’s leading sports leagues, we know that their fans love to dive deep into stats about their favorite players and teams. Hockey moves quickly, and hockey fans are hungry for greater insights into the game. Together, AWS and the NHL are providing audiences around the world the real-time context they need to better appreciate the tension and skill behind every play.”
These advanced analytics are the result of the new partnership announced in February 2021 when AWS was named the Official Cloud, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning Infrastructure Provider of the NHL. The NHL is also relying on AWS to automate and improve game video processing and content delivery.
This work is part of the recently announced AWS for Media & Entertainment (M&E) initiative that aligns the most purpose-built capabilities of any cloud—including nine AWS Services, 11 AWS Solutions, dedicated AWS appliances, and more than 400 AWS Partners—within five solution areas to help customers transform M&E: Content Production; Media Supply Chain & Archive; Broadcast; Direct-to-Consumer & Streaming; and Data Science & Analytics. AWS for M&E features new and existing services and solutions from AWS and AWS Partners built specifically for content creators, rights holders, producers, broadcasters, and distributors. For more information on AWS for M&E, please visit www.aws.amazon.com/media. For more information on how AWS is powering the world’s leading sports organizations, please visit www.aws.amazon.com/sports.
About Amazon Web Services
For over 15 years, Amazon Web Services has been the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform. AWS has been continually expanding its services to support virtually any cloud workload, and it now has more than 200 fully featured services for compute, storage, databases, networking, analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), mobile, security, hybrid, virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR), media, and application development, deployment, and management from 80 Availability Zones (AZs) within 25 geographic regions, with announced plans for 15 more Availability Zones and five more AWS Regions in Australia, India, Indonesia, Spain, and Switzerland. Millions of customers—including the fastest-growing startups, largest enterprises, and leading government agencies—trust AWS to power their infrastructure, become more agile, and lower costs. To learn more about AWS, visit aws.amazon.com.
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About the NHL
The National Hockey League (NHL®), founded in 1917, consists of 31 Member Clubs and proudly welcomes its 32nd franchise, the Seattle Kraken™, for the 2021-22 season. Each team roster reflects the League’s international makeup with players from more than 20 countries represented, all vying for the most cherished and historic trophy in professional sports – the Stanley Cup®. Every year, the NHL entertains more than 670 million fans in-arena and through its partners on national television and radio; more than 151 million followers – league, team and player accounts combined – across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube; and more than 100 million fans online at NHL.com. The League broadcasts games in more than 160 countries and territories through its rightsholders including NBC/NBCSN and the NHL Network™ in the U.S., Sportsnet and TVA in Canada, Viaplay in the Nordic Region and CCTV and Tencent in China. The NHL reaches fans worldwide with games available online in every country including via its live and on-demand streaming service NHL.TV™. Fans are engaged across the League’s digital assets on mobile devices via the free NHL® App; across nine social media platforms; on SiriusXM NHL Network Radio™; and on NHL.com, available in eight languages and featuring unprecedented access to player and team statistics as well as every regular-season and playoff game box score dating back to the League’s inception, powered by SAP. The NHL is committed to building healthy and vibrant communities through the sport of hockey by increasing youth participation and engagement; fostering positive family experiences; promoting inclusion, positive culture and leadership; and supporting sustainable community impact.