SAP an unseen player in Germany’s World Cup win

By Tony Collins

Brian McKenna of Computer Weekly has written an excellent article which shows the role played by SAP – headquartered in Germany – in the national football team’s victory over Argentina in the World Cup final.

In October 2013, the German Football Association and SAP began collaborating to develop a “Match Insights” software system for the German national team to use in preparation for and during the tournament.

SAP delivered a prototype in March 2014 and Germany’s coach Joachim Low and his management team have been using the software ever since.

During the World Cup, the German team analysed the data captured by video cameras around the pitch and turned it into information that could be viewed on tablet or mobile devices to help improve team performance and gain a deeper insight into its rivals.

The article quotes Oliver Bierhoff, a SAP brand ambassador and off-field manager of the German team,  assisting coach Joachim Low, as saying:

“We had a lot of qualitative data for the opposition available. Jerome Boateng asked to look at the way Cristiano Ronaldo moves in the box, for example. And before the game against France, we saw that the French were very concentrated in the middle but left spaces on the flanks because their full-backs didn’t push up properly. So we targeted those areas.”

There were eight cameras covering each pitch in Brazil and data was available to all the teams – but only the land of Audi, BMW and Mercedes made use of this type of big data analytics, writes McKenna.

Thank you to Dave Orr for drawing my attention to this article.

Brian McKenna’s article 

2 responses to “SAP an unseen player in Germany’s World Cup win

  1. Roger Conway

    Typical German behaviour, sending the crap abroad and keeping the best products/people at home


  2. If only IBM had configured SAP with the expertise shown in Germany (it was configured offshore in their Indian subsidiary in Bangalore)!

    SAP is a “political football” down here in Somerset, rather than something to celebrate.

    IBM do a good job at Wimbledon, so how come Somerset got the B Team?


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