Stu Siegel, Chairman & CEOStu Siegel is a passionate lifelong hockey player. His playing pinnacle was the four years he played for the University of Pennsylvania while attending the Wharton School of Business. Following a career trajectory of building, acquiring and selling a string of successful technology businesses, the serial entrepreneur in 2008 followed his passion and became an owner of the NHL Florida Panthers. Within a year, he found himself in the position of Panthers CEO and Managing Partner. With his background in technology and analytics, he quickly realized there was a lack of actionable hockey information available, even to NHL teams. Siegel says, “I was amazed at how we were basing multi-million dollar decisions on very little information.” After selling the Panthers, Siegel decided to tackle the lack of technology, information and analytics solutions for the hockey world by starting HockeyTech in 2013. To spur growth, HockeyTech has acquired five companies to date, representing different niche services in the hockey space. Siegel says, “HockeyTech’s mission is to track and organize digital information for the hockey world.”
HockeyTech has developed a suite of services that is targeted at the competitive side of the sport and at fan engagement. The user-friendly technology acts as a hub for digitally capturing an ever-growing menu of game event information (e.g., goals, penalties, shot positions, etc.) and pushing it out to fans, players, coaches, and scouts. “HockeyTech has created a unique ecosystem, powering the scoring and statistics system for nearly every elite North American league, as well as the scouting system for all 31 NHL teams,” states Siegel.
HockeyTech also powers HockeyTV, a streaming service for leagues that do not get TV broadcast. This past season, HockeyTV broadcasted over 25,000 games to eager fans through computers, tablets, mobile devices and televisions through OTT devices such as Apple TV and Roku. HockeyTech also completes the entire digital package for leagues and teams with highly interactive websites and mobile apps. Recently, they launched a new website and mobile app for the American Hockey League. “We have become a big fish in a small [frozen] pond,” states Siegel emphasizing their niche value proposition.
Perhaps the most technologically ambitious R&D from HockeyTech is the revolutionary player tracking system, now ready for league implement at ion. By embedding RFID tags in the players’ equipment and the puck, the system is able to digitally track every movement on the ice in real-time, much like a GPS system tracks the movement of a car.
HockeyTech’s mission is to track and organize digital information for the hockey world
All information is collected during a game, fed into the HockeyTech scoring system for interpretation into actionable information, and then made immediately available to coaches, league personnel and fans, even as the game is being played. “Coaches will soon be able to make adjustments during and after the game based upon things like player positioning and endurance—a definite game changer,” says Siegel.
The most interesting work that HockeyTech is doing is integrating all of these technologies to provide services that never existed previously. For example, being able to digitally sync game event data with video enables automated indexing for video analysis. This eliminates hundreds of hours that coaches spend manually marking video to index things like goals, faceoffs or any other game events. And as HockeyTech makes it easier to capture more and more game events, the possibilities are endless.
HockeyTech is truly bringing the future of hockey technology to the game today.