Sports science technology developer Catapult Group International (ASX: CAT) has announced it has swooped in to strike a “landmark deal” that will see the company supplying both divisions of Colombia’s football league with its monitoring platform, Vector.
The deal is the company’s second league-wide agreement in Latin America and indicates a growing demand for professional tracking technology, even among relatively frugal teams seeking to take advantage of tech-enabled innovations in sports science.
As many as 36 teams will implement Catapult’s suite of products, harnessing both wearable technology and cameras to assist players and teams to track movability and performance.
Currently, Catapult works with 10 top-tier Colombian teams, including current champions América de Cali and says its presence in the region is growing rapidly. Catapult is actively expanding its own team in Latin America and services over 100 clients in the region, with a particularly strong presence in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador and Paraguay.
Catapult’s products can be used in all active sports including football, cricket, baseball, basketball, rugby and ice hockey. Outside of football, Catapult already supplies all 20 teams in Argentina’s national basketball league and intends on growing adoption of its products by both professionals and amateurs.
According to Catapult’s chief commercial officer Matt Bairos, the company’s presence in Latin America has been “organic and exponential” with an expanding team “delivering rapid market education and technology deployment”.
Dealing in sports science
According to the terms of the deal, Catapult’s Vector product will be used by 36 teams for the next three years, with a combined total of 720 Vector X7 and G7 wearable devices supplied to teams as Catapult continues to expand the use of its latest technology worldwide.
“The deal is one of the biggest in the company’s history in terms of volume of wearable devices shared across a league, but was most encouraged by the commitment to Catapult Vision, the company’s new video analysis platform,” said Catapult chief executive officer Will Lopes.
Catapult’s Vector uses hardware and software to record and analyse the information being generated by athletes in real-time. The Vector platform requires players to wear a vest which allows trackers to monitor performance including accurate movement, heart rate and other data points that are stored and mapped for further analysis by coaches and trainers.
One of the intended outcomes of using Vector is to understand match demands, mitigate injury risk, and possibly most interesting for fans, Colombian teams will use the technology to creatively engage with fans through performance data that Catapult generates.
More specifically, teams are using Catapult to create bespoke and branded social media posts that are informative and captivating for fans.
“Catapult is a leading company in the monitoring of athletes in different disciplines, we as administrators of Colombian Professional Soccer are interested in clubs having the best inputs to preserve the physical integrity of the players and this new technology service that will enable this,” said Jorge Enrique Vélez, president of Torneo BetPlay DIMAYOR.
“We will have the most modern equipment of Catapult and thus we achieve an excellent agreement with them, so that they are our allies with the sports departments of the teams, in maximising the performance of the players,” said Mr Velez.
News of Catapult securing its second league-wide deal in Latin America helped its shares to gain almost 6% this morning up to $1.79.