A Success Story in the NBA, Synergy Brings Innovative Technology to the College Ranks

Mar 28, 2008

As collegiate athletics becomes more and more like a business, with coaching salaries sky-rocketing and student athletes adopting more serious training regimens, the line between amateur and professional sports is blurring..
For example, college basketball players work with skill coaches, strength coaches, nutritionists, and a slew of other employees whose sole responsibility is to make them better players. So it should come as no surprise that NCAA basketball teams are now beginning to use scouting technology originally created for the NBA.
Synergy Sports Technology—the leader in providing video and statistical-based scouting reports to professional basketball teams—announced on March 28 that it would begin offering its detailed game footage and statistical analysis to college programs for free. Since its inception in 2004, Synergy has become the undisputed market leader in providing objective, highly detailed reports for self and opponent scouting, currently providing its services to 20 of 30 NBA franchises, and its announcement comes just in time to afford those programs that utilize it a leg up in the NCAA tournament.
Since Synergy already analyzes college game film to provide draft reports to professional teams, no additional work will have to be done on their part in order to provide this service, and they therefore offer it for free to interested schools as a gesture of good faith. Programs like national championship contender UCLA, Duke and Marquette who went out in the round of 32, and the University of Southern California and UCONN who went out in the first round of the NCAA tournament are using the technology or have expressed interest already.
Brian Barone, Marquette’s coordinator of basketball operations, points to the ease of accessing information from Synergy as a reason for its appeal and feels confident that it will positively affect his program. “We believe the insights we gain on individual players and teams gives us a unique competitive edge. Synergy also provides tremendous value in understanding what our own team is doing well and what we may need to work on. The fact that we can log onto the Synergy website and link to matching video from seemingly countless games is the finishing touch,” he said.
This increase in scouting technology at no cost to college programs will allow them to increase the seriousness with which they scout other teams and create their game plans accordingly. It will allow their players to enter games knowing exactly what they’re up against, and it further increases the seriousness of college basketball from beyond an activity for college students into a gray area barely decipherable from the NBA.
The Technology at a Glance
Essentially, Synergy has been described as “Google for Basketball”:
• Teams can log onto the Synergy website from anywhere in the world and stream automated video edits from NBA, college, and international games to suit a wide variety of purposes.
• When watching video, staff can easily tag favorite clips to create custom edits for others to watch. Authorized staff can watch these edits from anywhere in the world on the Synergy website.
• Custom edits created by the staff can be viewed in a wide variety of ways including iPods, DVDs, VHS tape or computer projection. Staff can even stream video to Smart Phones.
• A “Caching Server” is also installed at each team’s basketball headquarters and all video is automatically downloaded to this device so that staff can stream video “locally” without depending on the Internet to pull the video from our data center. This is important because video is a “bandwidth hog” and as soon as two or more staff attempt to pull video over the Internet the video ceases to work.
• When on the road, clients can transfer video to their laptop’s hard drive for portable viewing while on a plane or bus, etc. Synergy’s technology allows games to be downloaded very quickly. In fact, several games can be downloaded overnight.
• Synergy lets staff “follow your nose” like never before to become familiar with players or teams in a very short period of time: Tired of watching a player’s pick and rolls? Switch to his isos, spot-ups, transitions or any other play-type without having to wait for video staff to work up requested edits.
Mary Yarrison is a staff writer for Sports Litigation Alert


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