Understanding our EPTS approval: Q&A with Paul Hunt

Following the announcement last week that Genius Sports’ Second Spectrum tracking technology has passed FIFA’s Quality Assurance test for EPTS, we talked to Paul Hunt, Executive Director Business Development, about what this accreditation means for Genius.

For the uninitiated, what is EPTS?

EPTS stands for Electronic Performance and Tracking Systems. It was established by FIFA to identify the most cutting-edge and reliable data systems in world football. As you’d expect, FIFA have really high safety and quality standards, and to ensure those standards are consistently adhered to, all of the products and services supplied by partner organisations (like us) need to be regularly tested. Approved providers get awarded with the prestigious FIFA Quality Mark and details of the testing and test report get published on the FIFA website so that clubs, leagues and federations can examine and understand them.

What was involved in the testing?

Our technology was tested for accuracy and speed – two of the most critical metrics when it comes to live tracking data. We were thrilled that our technology passed with flying colours, being in the highest threshold for positional data and with a latency of under a second. The testing details and test results can be viewed on the FIFA website here.

What does this FIFA Quality Mark mean for us now?

The EPTS mark can assist us in future discussions with football leagues, teams and clubs. As the world governing body of the sport, through EPTS, FIFA provides guidance to all football stakeholders on the quality of the products and services of suppliers, partners and providers.

Our tracking tech is already used by the EPL, MLS and Danish Superliga, and receiving the Quality Mark from FIFA means other potential partners can trust us and our technology, so it could open up many more doors and opportunities for us.

How do football fans benefit from our tracking technology?

While we provide our tracking technology to leagues, federations and clubs, our ultimate customer is always the fan. From delivering new statistical insights such as xG and live player speeds to powering augmented broadcasts and virtual 3D renders through our recently expanded partnership with Football DataCo, enhancing the fan experience is central to our tracking technology.

And we’re really only scratching the surface of what can be done here; imagine fans being able review every game play from the angle of the player that just scored that winning goal, or the keeper that just saved a penalty.