From the NBA to the EPL, FIFA World Cup to the Rugby World Cup and countless other sporting codes within Australia, Hudl’s customisable video analysis solution, Sportscode, has helped elite teams all over the globe improve their performance.
From a small office in an industrial estate on Sydney’s northern beaches, what was then known as Sportstec became the world’s leading performance analysis tool for elite sports. Since being acquired by Hudl in mid 2015, it has become a part of an emerging global force in sports performance analysis.
After amassing 1 billion video clips and 3.5 million users across 30 countries, and on the back of a number of strategic acquisitions in the past year, Hudl has established itself as a dominant player in global sports performance analysis.
To get a better idea of what the acquisition meant and to peek into the future of sports performance analysis, we caught up with Hudl Australian Manager, Michael Conlan.
WELCOME TO THE HUDL FAMILY
“When the acquisition happened, it was quite a surprise,” Conlan says. But after the initial surprise of the announcement, “the Sportstec family has now transitioned to a Hudl family”.
And with a new family comes a new home. As of 1 April 2016, the new Hudl Australia team has left the Warriewood office behind and relocated to Sydney CBD – from sports-themed rooms, stand up desks, a lounge, kitchen and amazing outdoor deck area, the offices are easily among the coolest we’ve seen. The relocation not only opens the doors to cool new offices, but also to new talent and increased client interaction.
With a bunch of new hires as of the beginning of 2016, Hudl is growing and looking forward to increased client interaction, something that was challenging with the old office. “It was rare that customers would visit the Warriewood office,” says Conlan.
But despite the challenges of the old office, they still managed to reach an unparalleled penetration of elite sports both globally and here in Australia.
DOMINATING ELITE SPORTS
As Conlan puts it, “Hudl covers almost every elite sport in the country. It’s easier going the other way and telling you who we don’t have.”
To help with the uptake and usage, they have implemented programs to educate the next wave of university students in using their technology. In support of the overall sporting ecosystem, many sport science degrees have a performance analysis and Sportscode elective, so that the next gen of sports analysts are equipped to make the most of the technology.
This added value is also a strategic move that ensures their products are part of the DNA of elite sports.
But that DNA flows deeper than just elite sports.
MULTI-LEVEL SPORTS SOLUTIONS
Hudl has built such a huge user base by appealing to sports franchises on all levels. Sportscode became the software of choice for elite sports, continually acquiring new codes and clubs, with the Australian Rugby Union team, the Wallabies, jumping on board in early 2016.
But the real depth and growth opportunities come from Hudl’s video analysis tool focused on grassroots sports. The easy-to-use video analysis tool has been a hit with coaches of all sports and comes with a social component, allowing players to create highlight reels and share them to social media.
In fact, the extensive Hudl video database has become an extraordinarily useful talent-spotting tool for scouts, with the NFL using it quite extensively. With Hudl now establishing itself in Australia, we can expect a similar trend to emerge as local grassroots sporting franchises jump on the platform.
And with ongoing R&D research into machine learning, player tracking and heat mapping, the future looks promising. Combining elite sports performance tools with an intuitive and accessible format for grassroots teams has the potential to completely revolutionise sports in Australia and beyond.
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