Collecting Data in the Sports World

Collecting data has become a known phenomenon these days. A lot of companies are using to its benefit. However, the people whose data gets collected are not always aware of this fact and it can be questioned whether this is fair or not. Besides gaining personal data in the shopping industry, it now also has taken its place in the sports world.

The National Football League has recently teamed up with Zebra Technologies. A new system is being developed, called the MotionWorks RFID chips, which purpose it is to be implemented in the football players shoulder pads. These chips collect data regarding running speed, distance, direction of travel and players’ statistics (Passary, 2015). This data will also be available to fans.


After reading the article that mentioned this issue, several questions crossed my mind. First of all, it is questionable if the chip provides data that might be beneficial to the sport itself or its players. If not, this brings me to my next thought: if it does not have beneficial outcomes for the players itself or the sport in general, should the football players not have a say in deciding whether they would give their permission to collect their personal data via a chip. I think this should be the case as wearing a chip could also have a negative impact on the performances of the players due to i.e. pressure.

Another interesting question that can be raised from this is whether the gathered data can help simplify making money on sport bets. Statistical advantages could improve one’s estimation. However, I think this will be hard for people who do not have a sufficient understanding of the human body. Football is a dynamic sport and therefore a lot of factors play a role.

And my final question, would you, as a fan be willing to pay for data about your favorite player? Let me know what you think.


Passary, A. (2015) NFL Players Will Sport RFID Chips In Their Shoulder Pads: How It Will Make Football Better, Available at [Accessed on 14/10/2015].


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