MyGamePlan provides football players and coaches with insight into their statistics.

That sports has become mathematics, and coaching relies on data analysis, has been no secret since the success of the website FiveThirtyEight. With a handy app, the Leuven-based startup MyGamePlan aims to make those statistics accessible to every professional football player and coach.

It's an idea that originated at the football club Oud-Heverlee Leuven, where Berten Knaepen was working. He knew that thanks to the cameras around their football field, they had a mountain of data. But how to effectively use it for analysis and better understanding was another matter altogether.

Founders Dries Deprest, Milan Klaasman en Berten Knaepen. © Mygameplan
Customized Data Analysis

"For a coach, it's not easy to get a grip on that, let alone for a football player," says Knaepen. "So, together with my co-founders Dries Deprest and Milan Klaasman, we set out to find a solution that enables customized data analysis."

The solution consists of a SaaS application that retrieves all raw data via an API (Application Programming Interface) and links it to the camera footage. "Then, we apply an AI algorithm to translate everything into clear statistics," he explains. "A football player can immediately see after the match how many successful passes he has made or how many duels he has won. The coach can set goals for a player in advance if desired and afterwards see if the player in question has achieved the intended number of forward passes or what his percentage of won aerial duels is."

With an innovation subsidy from VLAIO and support from the Imec iStart program, each worth 50,000 euros, and a first consultancy assignment for a similar amount, Knaepen and his partners were able to develop their idea into a proof-of-concept. This was fine-tuned in collaboration with several clubs during the past football season. "In December 2022, we also actively entered the market," says the founder. And with success: "We have a partnership with the Pro League, which means that all clubs from the first division are using our solution. Some Dutch clubs have also joined us in the meantime."

Concept Validation

MyGamePlan is gearing up to go global next season. There is already interest from Spain, England, and France, as well as from the United States and even India. If we can convince one club in a competition, that could serve as a basis for us to win over other teams. Furthermore, we also aim to target owners who own more than one club and can take us from one league to another."

"With an investment of 300,000 euros from the new Gent-based venture studio Miles Ahead, MyGamePlan can continue for at least another year. 'Whether we will seek capital again after that will depend on where we stand and how much acceleration we feel in that internationalization,' concludes Knaepen.

Matthieu Van Steenkiste, 21-04-2023, 08:00 Bron: Data News

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