NI tech firm hails ‘ground-breaking’ £1bn US soccer deal

STATsports technology is already widely used across Europe by national sides and clubs such as AS Roma
STATsports technology is already widely used across Europe by national sides and clubs such as AS Roma

A Northern Ireland sports technology business has scored a record deal with an agreement to supply its world-beating equipment to the US in a development potentially worth £1 billion.

STATsports’ performance monitoring devices are already used throughout European football as well in the rugby world.

Customers include Liverpool FC, Arsenal, AS Roma and the national football associations of Germany, England and Brazil, as well as the all-conquering Irish rugby squad.

But the deal agreed with the US Soccer Federation should see millions of registered footballers wearing performance technology similar to that used by the game’s top players within three years.

The partnership will drive the world’s largest player data monitoring programme and is seen as a platform to identify future stars of the game in the US.

It is also the first step towards giving footballers at all levels across the US access to the performance technology used by the top professionals and teams around the world.

Worn in a vest between the shoulder blades, the APEX Athlete Monitoring devices quantify physical performance including, physical load and movement during training and matches.

The high-resolution units measure physical metrics including distance, by, acceleration, deceleration, high-speed running, load and heart rate. A typical training session will see millions of data points collected on a player, providing an unparalleled insight into their performance.

NFL, NHL, Rugby Union, NBA, Track and Field and Hockey also use the company’s APEX Team Series GPS units which provide real-time data to players and coaches to drive improved performance.

“We are extremely excited to partner with STATSports,” said US Soccer director of sport development Ryan Mooney.

“This technology will drive our support, improve performance, and better monitor health and safety across all of our national teams and our nation’s elite players in the development academy. By partnering with a world leader in wearable performance tracking, we will help drive and improve player environments through the exchange of data between clubs and U.S. Soccer as players enter and leave National team camps.”

Group MD of the Newry-based STATSports, Jarlath Quinn, said: “Players, parents and coaches are looking for data that can really help them improve and the APEX Athlete series GPS units do just that.

“Our expectation is for millions of registered players in the US to be wearing these devices by 2022 and this will revolutionise the way young players train, recover and perform.

“This will be the world’s largest data collection programme on athletes in any sport across both professional and recreational levels.

“The information is so rich it enables everyone to make better decisions on training and performance.”