miCoach Elite | 2012

miCoach Elite | 2012

11/14/13 UPDATE:

I am extremely proud to say that miCoach Elite (aka miCoach Team Systems) has been awarded three gold medals in the 2013 Hatch Awards show, held by the AdClub of Boston. It won gold in the categories of Unconventional FormatInnovation, and Service Design (Single Entry).

Coaches build better teams by analyzing their players—and now they can do it in real time. We worked with adidas to create a suite of devices and software that takes player performance-monitoring technology to the next level, based on our groundbreaking work on the adidas miCoach consumer technology. Our comprehensive miCoach Elite (aka Team Systems) tracks individual players’ physiological metrics—speed, acceleration, position, heartbeat, player intensity, and position—and funnels the information into a centralized base station where coaches receive the data in real time directly on their iPads.

The system includes:
On-player and in-garment sensors providing physiological monitoring
HD camera system tracking the players and the ball
In-game tactical analyses helping coaches make smart strategy decisions

The system was built in-house by our engineers, working with a hardware vendor in New Jersey (later bought by adidas) to develop the on-athlete sensors to our specs. It was tested using both American and European football teams, was showcased at the MLS All-Star Game in 2012, and has been rolled out in the Premier League in 2013 for training. Soon, the system will be used in games and will fuel broadcast graphics, as per our original vision for the platform (see below).

[youtube_sc url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUnRvg8cgkg w=920 ratio=”16:9″]

Below are some select screens from the miCoach Elite GUI; annotation is light to comply with NDAs.

The home/start screen.

The home/start screen.

Start Screen for Coach or Trainer.

Start Screen for Coach or Trainer.

Session Start Screen for Coach or Trainer

Session Start Screen for Coach or Trainer

Trainers and coaches can set up drills, a suite of which constitute one "session."

Trainers and coaches can set up drills, a suite of which constitute one “session.”

Drills can be edited on a more detailed screen.

Drills can be edited on a more detailed screen.

The system provides detailed information about every player, and allows individual, and team, tracking during training sessions.

The system provides detailed information about every player, and allows individual, and team, tracking during training sessions.

Assign cells (worn in jerseys) to each player before beginning a session to associate the right data with the right human.

Assign cells (worn in jerseys) to each player before beginning a session to associate the right data with the right human.

Team tracking setup.

Team tracking setup.

Field calibration screen, used during initial setup/installation.

Field calibration screen, used during initial setup/installation.

Trainers and coaches track the biometric performance of each individual athlete during practice or live games.

Trainers and coaches track the biometric performance of each individual athlete during practice or live games.

After the action, individual players, or teams, can be analyzed in a number of different ways. Here we see a graph plotted over time, one of the many charts and analytics available to coaches and front office.

After the action, individual players, or teams, can be analyzed in a number of different ways. Here we see a graph plotted over time, one of the many charts and analytics available to coaches and front office.

Live view of D. Stewart's performance during a practice.

Live view of D. Stewart’s performance during a practice.

Another view of the players during a practice, with an alert showing a player who has exceeded a biometric parameter, set earlier by his trainer or coach.

Another view of the players during a practice, with an alert showing a player who has exceeded a biometric parameter, set earlier by his trainer or coach.

A Twitpic from AC Milan News when it was first rolled out for non-game situations (training camp, practice, etc.).

A Twitpic from AC Milan News when it was first rolled out for non-game situations (training camp, practice, etc.).

Selling in this work required serious technical chops, as you might imagine. The fact that we had the right to win this constitutes a large part of the reason I took the ECD role at Isobar in the first place. (We built the hard shit. The kind of stuff that can drastically improves the types of stories that people will tell about a brand.) But it also required storytelling capabilities. Below are selects from the presentation we used to win the work; it was accompanied by a working prototype of the system, devised by our amazing technologists one summer month in 2011.

That video showed off our tech, and our prototype, but, crucially, we also showed adidas that the system would provide depth for trainers and coaches, but also that it provided all-new opportunities for outbound messaging around the adidas brand.

DEPS was our framework for providing data to fans in a digest-able way. Think "Quarterback Rating" or "BCS Score", except this is backed by logic and science.

DEPS was our framework for providing data to fans in a digest-able way. Think “Quarterback Rating” or “BCS Score”, except this is backed by logic and science.

Building off of DEPS, we showed a number of extensions. Here we see a very quick-and-easy extension that could be applied to adidas stores almost simultaneously with the launch of miCoach Elite in live game situations.

Building off of DEPS, we showed a number of extensions. Here we see a very quick-and-easy extension that could be applied to adidas stores almost simultaneously with the launch of miCoach Elite in live game situations.

Also coinciding with the launch would be stadium-side demonstrations of the technology. Interactive bus-load play stations will allow people to suit up and see how their DEPS compares to their favorite players.

Also coinciding with the launch would be stadium-side demonstrations of the technology. Interactive bus-load play stations will allow people to suit up and see how their DEPS compares to their favorite players.

There is an obvious place for this technology in youth sports, which also happens to be a great way to build brand equity. Here we see a mock campaign, "Safety in Numbers."

There is an obvious place for this technology in youth sports, which also happens to be a great way to build brand equity. Here we see a mock campaign, “Safety in Numbers.”

As DEPS gains penetration, we told adidas that "enhancing the drama and narrative of sports" is the #1 way in which DEPS can impact and reach sports fans. Here we see an example of broadcast graphics applied to the NBA; what does it do to the spectator's sense of the game if the fans can see whose bench has more legs in the 4th quarter?

As DEPS gains penetration, we told adidas that “enhancing the drama and narrative of sports” is the #1 way in which DEPS can impact and reach sports fans. Here we see an example of broadcast graphics applied to the NBA; what does it do to the spectator’s sense of the game if the fans can see whose bench has more legs in the 4th quarter?

An example of how DEPS makes an impact as a display advertising vector during larger broadcasts.

An example of how DEPS makes an impact as a display advertising vector during larger broadcasts.

Even just the addition of data into a broadcast creates a conversation. Fans and pundits love to debate statistics, and this gives everyone a new handhold on that drama.

Even just the addition of data into a broadcast creates a conversation. Fans and pundits love to debate statistics, and this gives everyone a new handhold on that drama.

In-Stadium networks are becoming more powerful, and we anticipate opportunities like this to become commonplace once everything/everyone is wired at the game.

In-Stadium networks are becoming more powerful, and we anticipate opportunities like this to become commonplace once everything/everyone is wired at the game.

miCoach Elite has a place in your TV widgets, as well. Turn it on or off on any game to see streaming data, going even deeper into the numbers.

miCoach Elite has a place in your TV widgets, as well. Turn it on or off on any game to see streaming data, going even deeper into the numbers.

Fantasy sports offers an enormous "premium" play--you want to win your league? Buy a subscription and get all the intel you'll ever need to make the right moves for your fantasy team.

Fantasy sports offers an enormous “premium” play–you want to win your league? Buy a subscription and get all the intel you’ll ever need to make the right moves for your fantasy team.

And why not have FIFA and Madden tie their attributes to Elite data? Own those attributes and you'll get a billion eyeballs on them daily. Go one step further: sync your Madden game to the miCoach Elite servers and see your favorite players reflect their real-life performances more accurately from week to week in Franchise mode.

And why not have FIFA and Madden tie their attributes to Elite data? Own those attributes and you’ll get a billion eyeballs on them daily. Go one step further: sync your Madden game to the miCoach Elite servers and see your favorite players reflect their real-life performances more accurately from week to week in Franchise mode.

Much of the above has not come to fruition yet, obviously, but the system is only now being put to the test in live situations and we may be another year or two away from seeing some of those extensions brought to life. Regardless, showing that Isobar had a vision for this product that went beyond “we can build it, so we did” was essential for our eventual success in winning the bid (despite being the highest bidder, I might add).

  • Credits: ECD: Max Fresen; CD: Ricardo Salema; Art Directors: Marc Lassoff, Ryan Duda; Experience Director: Jess Holt; Copywriter: V/A