NBA partners with STATS, LLC to provide SportVU in all arenas

R.C. Buford, General Manager of the San Antonio Spurs is the basketball operations leader of one team that does use SportVU technology. Now it's available for the entire NBA. - USA TODAY Sports

Today, the NBA officially announced that it will implement SportVU, an advanced analytics and player tracking technology in all 29 of its arenas. SportVU is a product by STATS, LLC, a sports information services and data company.

As of the 2012-2013 NBA season, 15 of the NBA's teams bought the service, which costs about $100,000 a year.  There are cameras installed within the arenas which will track all player movements and create data to help teams track not just points, rebounds, and assists, but even players' actual positioning, and can also track which types of plays and player movements are most ideal.

I like this move, because having all 30 teams in the NBA use this technology will help even the playing field in the rapidly growing field of advanced data analysis in sports.  Like any other occupation, sports is advancing with the use of information technology and SportVU is a way to help teams improve themselves with data.  One thing that shows how much IT is advancing sports, the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has a Sports Analytics Conference that is held annually, and is very well attended by sports media and technology professionals.

The NBA has been in talks with STATS, LLC for some time before the announcement.  Here is an article on Grantland from last month where you can read more on the service.

Also, as you know, the NBA isn't just a 30 team professional basketball league.  The NBA owns and operates the NBA Development League (D League) and the WNBA as well.  How could this service be implemented for them?

Personally, I would like the NBA to put SportVU in all arenas for its leagues, including the WNBA and the D League even though the cost is admittedly very high, and also in very small arenas.  This could also help coaches and players of all teams and all levels find better ways to improve their games.  In the WNBA, four teams play in non-NBA arenas, so it may not be cost effective, but it would also be interesting to see if the teams that play in NBA teams' arenas do use SportVU.

In the D League, while I ideally want to see SportVU used, especially in a time where more NBA teams are choosing to own a franchise, the cost could also be too high.

So, here's a question.  At least for the WNBA, how should SportVU be used, if at all?  Personally, at a bare minimum, I think it should be used and the data needs to shared by all teams, even for the teams that don't play in an NBA arena.  Comment below on your thoughts on SportVU, and the advancement of technology in sports.

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