One of SAP’s longest, most successful sport partnerships ever is with Sailing Team Germany.
Sailing is more dynamic and more challenging than nearly any other sport. Where nature and technology intersect, enormous complexity must be mastered – strategically, tactically, and especially physically. During a regatta, sailors have to keep track of nearly a dozen factors simultaneously: from wind direction and speed to currents and the actions of competing boats. Amateur observers often cannot even tell what exactly what is going on at competitive sailing events.
Revolutionizing Sailing Together – For Athletes and Fans
From the start, the objectives of the partnership between SAP and Sailing Team Germany were to break through the complexity of competitive sailing and make what was happening on the water more transparent for all sailors and sailing fans. To this end, SAP defined its commitment in two areas: team solutions and event solutions. The team solutions aim to provide the technology to actively support the German national sailing team at the most important international competitions, such as the world cups, world championships, and Olympic Games. This includes solutions for data analytics to enable more effective training and optimized preparation. Since the partnership began in 2011, the German team has improved steadily from year to year – a performance ultimately crowned with two silver medals at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London and the bronze medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The event solutions use live streams, real-time and post-race analyses, and data analytics of wind and water conditions to make the races more comprehensible and hands-on for spectators and fans. Their objective is to turn sailing into a sport that thrills and inspires its fans. Since the partnership was launched, visitor numbers to the www.sapsailing.com platform, where all facts and figures from all races are made public, have increased rapidly. More than 1.3 million unique visitors have been recorded in total, underscoring the strong interest by the global sailing community.
With SAP Sailing Analytics, gut feeling is replaced by data and facts
The SAP Sailing Analytics solution lies at the heart of both the team solutions and the event solutions. It is used during races to visualize the progress of the boats and to continuously update the complex point system, particularly for Olympic sailing, giving teams and fans real-time results. The data and analytics also help the athletes and coaches after races and during training. “Gut feeling” is replaced by data and facts, such as the analysis of performance data recorded with GPS trackers.
All this makes sailing software from SAP a particularly illustrative example of rapid technological development in professional sports, which are no longer imaginable without big data and cloud solutions. Whether it’s about engaging fans, improving team performance, or creating new formats in media reporting: modern technology and sound data analytics have become cornerstones of professional sports.
Go for Gold: Well-Equipped for the Future with SAP
As the partnership draws to a close, Sailing Team Germany now has the latest technology and is well-equipped for the digital future of competitive sailing. The team will utilize the upcoming world and European championships and the World Cup to prepare itself optimally for the next major target: winning the gold medal at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. And SAP will be cheering them on.
As a partner to the SAILING Champions League and seven international sailing leagues, as well as the 2017 Kieler Woche and Travemünder Woche festivals, SAP will remain intimately connected with international competitive sailing. SAP’s commitment to getting even more people interested in competitive sailing will continue.