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Play ball! How MLB’s data cloud is delivering a next-level fan experience

April 1, 2021
Alison Wagonfeld

Vice President, Marketing, Google Cloud

Today marks the first day of Major League Baseball’s 2021 season, and I couldn’t be more excited. Not just because I’m a Giants fan, but because MLB has worked alongside Google Cloud since last March to help them use data and technology to innovate and personalize the baseball fan experience.

MLB’s data cloud is at the foundation of this journey. Data is the essential ingredient and rocket fuel for business transformation. For many organizations, this means better real-time decisions, which translates into smarter outcomes. But for MLB, their data cloud has been about more than increasing viewership or selling jerseys—it’s been about bringing fans a richer appreciation for the game itself.

Throughout the season, you’ll see how MLB is enhancing the fan experience with their data cloud in a number of ways. Take MLB’s Statcast, the baseball metrics platform, for example, which is built on Google Cloud. Cameras collect data on everything from pitch speed to ball trajectories to player poses, which gets fed into the Statcast data pipeline in real time, then sent straight from the ballpark to the cloud. Statcast transforms that data into on-screen analytics that announcers use as part of their in-game commentary, and fans can get access to this rich trove of data as well. Statcast even enables an interactive 3D pitch-tracking system.

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Film Room is another great example of how MLB is elevating the fan experience. MLB.com has collected millions of videos in the cloud, and leveraging Google Cloud machine learning technologies, fans can now search these videos by player, team, season, tag, date, play outcome, pitch type, hit distance, exit velocity, and more. Fans can create their own highlight reels, and these videos can be embedded and shared directly from MLB.com. 

One thing is certain when it comes to Major League Baseball: their fans are at the heart of everything they do. With their data cloud as the foundation, and our partnership bringing data to life through new fan experiences, I look forward to continuing our work with MLB to create what’s next for fans.

Major League Baseball trademarks and copyrights are used with permission of Major League Baseball. Visit MLB.com.

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