SL Benfica and Inmotio partner up through Hybrid Tracking

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Inmotio is excited to announce a brand new partnership with European giant SL Benfica around sports data capturing. By closing in on Inmotio’s unique Hybrid tracking solution, Benfica’s performance department is the first one to work with the last addition to Inmotio’s tracking product portfolio. The Hybrid Tracking system will support Benfica’s team of performance analysts in adding context to physical data to fuel both physical and tactical analysis.

Inmotio Hybrid combines the strengths from both wearable and optical tracking. By using wearable only, the position of the ball and opponents is unknown, which are crucial elements to perform tactical analysis. Optical tracking – using video feeds – can resolve this, though generally requires manual annotation and is therefore relatively slow and more expensive. Inmotio Hybrid combines a wearable data feed with an autonomous optical feed, making the solution very fast and more affordable while data quality is only compromised to a very limited extent.

 Hybrid Tracking software works with any wearable provider and any high-resolution video feed. In the case of Benfica, the wearable data is collected through Catapult Sports GPS trackers and the match video feed is recorded through Pixellot cameras. Inmotio software converts the video feed into optical tracking data, and merges that with the wearable data, to obtain a tracking file with all players, referees and ball, 25 times per second. As the solution makes use of hardware that is already available, no additional installation or investment is required. 

Liga NOS, Portugal’s top flight league, currently does not have a league wide tracking data deal. Therefore, the tracking data for Benfica’s first team’s home and away matches is now collected through Inmotio Hybrid. Benfica has used the data in the second half of the 2020/2021 season to perform tactical analysis on, for example, counterpressure or space creation, as well as contextualising the physical analysis in game phases.  

Sudarshan Gopaladesikan, Head of Sports Data Science at SL Benfica: “Optical player tracking is the foundation for the next generation of football analysis. Data-driven video analysis and athletes’ decision-making profiles are enhanced by understanding on and off the ball behaviours taking into context the whole game and not just what is happening on the ball. Selecting Inmotio to be an inaugural customer for them was chosen on the premise of their data quality and customer service. Not only are the results promising to what can be achieved in optical player tracking analysis, but the speed in which support is provided is a plus point.” 

Maarten Koster, Head of Product and Customer Service at Inmotio: “We are excited and proud to serve Benfica, one of the leading European clubs in sports data science, and help improve their performance with the latest addition to our product portfolio. With this partnership we get the opportunity to collaborate and improve our solutions even more in the near future.”