Orlando Magic Organization Diving Deep on Analytics
The Orlando Magic have one of the largest team showings in the league with five representatives at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytical Conference. SSAC runs today and tomorrow at MIT and features panels ranging from on-court studies such as Basketball Analytics and Data Visualization to the behind the scenes business aspects of a team that allow it to expand their valuations into the $500M+ range such as Fanalytics and the Value of Sports Sponsorship. The Magic even have two team executives featured as panelists with Executive Vice President Charles Freeman and VP of Business Strategy Anthony Perez scheduled to speak.
The goal of the conference, founded in 2006, is to provide a forum for industry professionals and students to discuss the increasing role of analytics in the global sports industry. SSAC is co-chaired by Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey, an MIT Sloan graduate himself (’00).
The committment to using advanced analytics on and off the court sets the Magic franchise apart from organizations that tend to rely on the “good ‘ol boy” system of scouting and following what has traditionally and eloquently been described as the, “gut instinct”. While GM Rob Hennigan himself has spoken of his own propensity of balancing advanced stats with the classic “eye test”, which can been seen in his overhaul of Orlando’s Basketball Operations Department since his takeover.
At a minimum, the key take-away here for fans is that the organization is striving for continuous improvement and not resting on their laurels. A key step in the process of returning to an elite level.
Orlando Magic representation at SSAC:
Charles Freeman – Executive Vice President – Speaker, eMarketing: Sports Marketing in the Digital Age
Anthony Perez – Vice President of Business Strategy – Speaker, Sports Business Analytics and Ticketing
Jay Riola, David Bencs – Business Strategy Managers; George Rodman – Basketball Operations Manager
Only Houston (9), Minnesota/Brooklyn/San Antonio (6) have more (unofficial) representation than the Magic’s five. Stan Van Gundy is also a panelist in the “It’s Not You, It’s Me” panel. No joke. H/T to @BeckleyMason.