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MLS signs data-tracking deal with Second Spectrum

Major League Soccer has announced a multi-year partnership with technology company Second Spectrum to become the league’s first official advanced tracking data provider.

Over the offseason, Second Spectrum, which already works with the National Basketball Association and Premier League, installed its state-of-the-art optical tracking system in every MLS stadium.

Leveraging their cameras and a cloud-based analytics engine, Second Spectrum captures data on the location of every player, the referees, and the ball 25 times per second. The data will then be used to calculate a player’s speed, acceleration, deceleration, and shot velocity, as well as advanced statistics like passing probability and expected goals, in near real time.

Beginning with the start of the MLS season this weekend, the wide-ranging partnership includes all MLS matches, as well as Leagues Cup and Campeones Cup matches.

Initially, fans will experience the new comprehensive tracking system with enhanced highlight videos on MLSsoccer.com and the MLS App featuring new metrics and data visualizations. Over time, the new tracking data will be integrated into MLS game broadcasts.

MLS clubs will use new software to scout and track player performance. The league will also collaborate with sports-betting partner MGM Resorts International to create new fan engagement opportunities through an all new enhanced data feed for betting.

To coincide with its 25th season, MLS also unveiled a new official anthem. It has been composed by world-renowned musician Hans Zimmer, the Grammy and Academy Award-winning composer of the scores for Gladiator, The Lion King, and more than 150 major films.

The new anthem will be played during the player procession at all MLS games, featured on MLS broadcasts and soon to be available across all popular music streaming services.

Elsewhere, Orlando City SC announced that league sponsor BodyArmor has become the club’s official sports drink.

Philadelphia Union announced a local broadcast partnership renewal with 6abc and PHL17. For the first time, fans within the Delaware Valley will be able to stream games on PhiladelphiaUnion.com at no cost.

The New York Red Bulls announced series of upgrades to Red Bull Arena for the 2020 season, including  additional open concept spaces, along with renovations to existing premium areas and enhancements to the arena’s audio/visual system and stadium entry procedures.

The Red Bulls and Heineken have furthered a long-standing partnership with the opening of the Heineken Deck on the Northeast Concourse. Honda, an official marketing partner, will open a deck in sections 228 and 229, with upgraded seating and branding.

The organization will also install new high-definition field boards and replace the speaker system on the concourse to better keep fans engaged while they move around the arena. The full audio system within the arena will be replaced in 2021.