Soccer team in a huddle

SAP Appoints Michael Steinbrecher as Scientific Advisor to Explore the Integration of Big Data into Sports Journalism

May 28, 2014 by SAP News 3

WALLDORF — SAP AG today announced that German journalism professor, journalist and TV presenter Prof. Dr. Michael Steinbrecher will act as scientific advisor to the company. Steinbrecher will focus on new ways to integrate Big Data into cross-media sports journalism. The aim of the collaboration is to explore innovative display formats in sports journalism and the agreement applies for a three-year period.

“Big Data is transforming our lives and is becoming more and more important in the world of professional sports as well,” said Steinbrecher. “Journalism will have to follow — and even shape — this development to ensure sports news is covered in a compelling, competent way. We are at the verge of a new era of data journalism. To unlock this new field of research, making it accessible to sports journalists, fans and spectators is a great challenge.”

Steinbrecher and SAP share the vision of transforming the world of sports through innovative technology and the diverse utilization of data.

“The world of sports is changing, with technology innovating every area: the fan experience, player performance monitoring, team management, ticketing and venue operations,” said Gerhard Oswald, member of the Executive Board of SAP AG. “Big Data is an incredible resource for journalists to gain new insights, contextualize information and tell an exciting story in a completely new and compelling way.With SAP, teams can analyze these huge amounts of data in real time to customize training and significantly improve player and team performance. It is high time to make this type of information accessible to sports journalism too.”

Through research and the resulting systematic development of journalistic display formats, Steinbrecher and SAP aim to explore the potential of data-driven journalism using sports, and to develop innovative impulses for media reporting.

“Today, sports without Big Data are unthinkable,” said Steinbrecher. “Every coach in almost every sport uses data before, during and after a competition. Big Data has arrived in the world of journalism too. But there is a lot more potential we can tap into. Whoever wants to understand and explain sports will have to understand what Big Data can do. The biggest challenge of today is to find innovative formats to make data journalism a great fan experience. Being so close to the real-life experience is what makes my research a particularly appealing task.”

Steinbrecher is professor for television and cross-media journalism at the Institute for Journalism at TU Dortmund University, the largest journalistic faculty at a university in Germany. He is a member of various scientific associations, including the German Society for Journalism and Communication Science, the European Communication Research and Education Association, the International Communication Association and the International Association for Media and Communication Research.

From 1992 to 2013, Steinbrecher hosted the sport show “Das Aktuelle Sportstudio” on the German public-service television broadcaster ZDF. He also served as a commentator for nine Olympic Games and nine soccer World Cups and European Championships. Steinbrecher has worked as a filmmaker, producing reports, portraits and documentaries for several broadcasters, and as a columnist for publications such as the business newspaper Handelsblatt Online. He has received numerous awards, including the Grimme Award and an award for being the Sports Journalist of the Year.

For more information, visit the SAP News Center. Follow SAP on Twitter at @sapnews and @sapsports.

Media Contact:
Kamila Joanna Laures, SAP AG, +49 (0) 30 41092-252, kamila.laures@sap.com, CET

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