The NFL has launched the inaugural "Big Data Bowl", a competition aimed at leveraging the wider analytics community and have them "tackle themes that challenge them to analyze and rethink trends and player performance and to innovate the way football is played and coached".
The NFL already collects a significant amount of real-time data "for every player on every play – anywhere on the field". Fans already have access to some of the inordinate amount of data the football league collects on its games, such as the NFL's Next Gen Stats.
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Next Gen Stats is a league program whereby the pads of every player and official, along with the game ball, pylon, and first down chain are all tagged with a radio-frequency identification (RFID) chip, allowing for a very robust set of statistics after every game.
The NFL is will be giving viewers, "from college students to professionals" access to all the raw data the body collects and ask contestants to pick one of three themes: "Understanding speed", "propose a rule change" or "identify best receiver route combinations".
In February 2019, the league will then announce eight finalists to be flown down to the NFL Combine in Indianapolis to present their findings to a panel comprised of "the NFL front office, team executives, industry-leading representatives and league sponsors".
Following the two-night trip and presentation, two grand prize winners will be awarded four 2019 season tickets and a $1,000 gift card. Click here to find out more.