SAP Software Shows Off NFL Data as the Super Bowl Brings Attention to Sports Analytics

SAP’s latest side-project is the Fantasy Player of the Year competition, an online dashboard that makes use of the company’s analytics technology to filter and display the stats of the league’s top players.

“Fantasy football fans love stats almost as much as watching the action on the field,” said Jonathan Becher, chief marketing officer at SAP. “The SAP dashboard enhances the Fantasy experience by distilling millions of data points and allowing fans size up their favorite players more easily. Soon fans will be able to use the analytical power of SAP to predict the most valuable players for their fantasy teams.”

The interactive dashboard is powered by information gathered through 16 weeks of fantasy football. Overall season points, points per game, and average figures are displays for all the players, and the winner will be on February 2 at the second annual NFL Honors.

Regardless of whether football is an area of interest for SAP or not, having its logo show up during a Super Bowl prime time ceremony is well worth the resources that went into the NFL dashboard.  Another good justification of this investment is that the professional sports industry is gradually adopting analytics, and there’s some money to be made for software vendors that can speed up the process.  But while expanding to this market may not be the top priority for the German BI firm right now, it’s doing just fine in its core areas.

Earlier this week, SAP posted financial results for the fourth quarter of 2012.  The company’s margins took a hit from increased hiring and R&D spending, but revenue climbed to $6.65 billion. SAP’s cloud business saw triple digit growth in the past three months, while HANA raked in $266 million and Sybase did just as well.