No matter the sport, every team is trying to get an edge over the competition.
The front office of any organization is always looking for innovative ways to make sure the product on the field reaches its peak.
That’s why Sevilla FC, one of La Liga’s top soccer clubs, has teamed with IBM and its watsonx generative AI to develop a new way of evaluating players in the scouting department.
Sevilla FC introduced Scout Advisor Tuesday. It’s an innovative tool built by IBM’s watsonx to revamp its recruitment process.
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“Our team of scouters and analysts are committed to find the best players to support our team’s success and have worked tirelessly to build an impressive database of player reports. And now, with the support of IBM, we can utilize this asset to its full potential,” Sevilla FC’s president, José María del Nido Carrasco, said. “This gives us a significant advantage in the player recruitment process and enables us to find the best players for our team and continue to improve our performance on the pitch.”
Sevilla FC’s data department worked alongside IBM’s client engineering team to build Scout Advisor. They used measurables (height, weight, etc.), positions, experience and more to build out the data for watsonx’s natural language processing and foundation models to give scouts the ability to search and analyze tons of information.
During a press conference to show how the database works, Elías Zamora, Sevilla FC’s chief data officer, explained how Sevilla FC can blend traditional scouting with the data-driven analysis.
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Large language models (LLMs) were used by IBM to help Sevilla FC enhance the accuracy and effectiveness of player identification, describing key characteristics the team wishes to see in a certain player.
For example, if the club is looking for a midfielder with a strong right foot and quick decision-making skills, scouts can plug those exact words into the search bar of Scout Advisor and watch as thousands of players with scouting reports appear on a computer screen.
The club can also see how players have interacted with certain coaches, teammates and other aspects of chemistry on and off the field.
Sevilla FC understands how much of a gamble recruiting is in the sport. You can only do so much with traditional methods of scouting, and some elements sometimes get overlooked, leading to poor performance by a team.
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Scout Advisor is a way the club can minimize risk and get the most return on investment.
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“Football is passion, football means something and we really want to make history with this project.” said Arturo Guerrero, senior manager of IBM’s client engineering team.