While Australian influence on the field of America’s National Football League (NFL) is growing, the bigger influence is coming off the field with sports tech and data analytics company Catapult (ASX: CAT) contracted by all 32 teams in the league now that the Atlanta Falcons are sick of losing, and have signed up.
The Falcons, most famous in recent history for blowing a 28-3 lead in the Superbowl where a geriatric Quarterback effortlessly reeled in the lead to snatch victory, are hoping Catapult will solve their woes.
A global leader in sports tech founded in Australia, Catapult has been pivoting its traditional business model which focused on wearable device sales, to a subscription model where devices collect the data but deeper analysis is offered via SaaS solutions. American football in particular has been at the forefront of analytics where Catapult supports Professional, Collegiate and High School teams with cloud-based high-resolution video analysis. This tech enables teams to transition between global positioning system (GPS) and local positioning system (LPS) tracking in a single training session; a first for team sport anywhere in the world.
“Catapult has a long and rich history with NFL teams, with many of our staff either joining the company after working on the team side, or leaving the company to be coaches and performance practitioners for teams,” said Catapult Chief Commercial Officer, Matt Bairos.
“Our SaaS solutions have been engineered for American football athletes and coaches and we’re very proud to be individually working with every team in the league”.
Of the 32 NFL teams, 18 have used Catapult products for more than 15 years as franchises battle for incremental edges for an advantage where there is no cap on off-field spending, whereas on-field spending falls under a league-wide salary cap.
NFL audiences in Australia have continued to grow over the past decade alongside the transition of former AFL players Ben Graham and Sav Rocca to the NFL as Punters, as well as former NFL player Jarryd Hayne’s venture as a Running Back.
At present, Australians in the NFL include Punters Michael Dickson (Seattle Seahawks), Lac Edwards (LA Chargers), Mitch Wishnowsky (San Francisco 49ers), Cameron Johnston (Houston Texans), Offensive Tackle Jordan Mailata (Philadelphia Eagles) and Defensive End Adam Gotsis (Denver Broncos).
Since blowing that 28-3 lead in the Superbowl the Atlanta Falcons have regressed significantly, ending their next seasons 10-6, 7-9, 7-9 and most recently 4-12 in 2020.