Developing hockey marketing, coaching, and decision-making: Wisehockey in PENNY DEL

Why would an ice hockey league implement a fully automated real-time sports analytics platform when there are traditional ways to collect and use statistics? PENNY DEL and its clubs have used the Wisehockey platform since the 2022–2023 season. We asked how they use the analytics platform in their everyday operations. How have real-time analytics proved useful in coaching as well as marketing and entertainment?

The importance of hockey analytics in the modern game is ever-increasing. “The ability to assess team performances and recognize trends, strengths, and weaknesses cannot be underestimated, whether on a team or individual player level. The analytics we compile are important to the coaching staff because they can make crucial tactical and personnel decisions with them,” explains Stéphane Richer, Sports Director at the DEL club Eisbären Berlin.

The traditional way of collecting hockey statistics means people monitor the game and write down data. Some digital solutions have been available, but they also require time to produce the output and humans to calculate the more advanced statistics. This also gives way to human error, as every person views the game differently.

This is Wisehockey

Wisehockey works automatically and in real time

Wisehockey offers an alternative to the problem of slowness and human subjectivity in sports statistics. With a fully automated and real-time digital analytics platform, teams and leagues receive a massive amount of data immediately, which was impossible before.

Statistics are a central element of ice hockey. The same standards are applied in every arena for automated data collection, which makes the data truly comparable,” explains Gernot Tripcke, Managing Director of PENNY DEL. Because the Wisehockey analytics platform collects and processes data in the same way everywhere, the statistics are more comparable than if collected by hand.

“We were also impressed by the amount of data collected. This offers countless innovative opportunities for the teams and the league to improve and further develop our product. In the end, Wisehockey convinced us with their hockey knowledge and the reliability of the application,” Tripcke continues.

Wisehockey offers highly advanced statistics that are extremely difficult or impossible to calculate by hand. For instance, the platform calculates xG (expected goals) and EPV (expected possession value) using dozens of variables in real time. Some statistics are simple in theory but still impossible for the human eye to catch like player and puck speeds, real-time time on ice, and many live pass statistics.

Match video feed with EPV overlays, a smaller 2D animation, and match event timeline below
Wiseplayer shows the game with real-time on-screen information like EPV
Users can filter face-off charts by players and opponents

Benefits to decision-making, entertainment, and marketing

PENNY DEL, the clubs, and media partners also use statistics to create new kinds of content for entertainment and marketing. This makes fan engagement via arena screens, social media, and other channels more efficient. “We sold some statistics to our sponsors and display them during the game on the video wall. We show, for example, the hardest shot or what distance a player covered during a period. Additionally, head-to-head stats before the game are used to show the ‘players to watch’ to the arena spectators,” says Charly Fliegauf, Sports Director of Grizzlys Wolfsburg.

The data also plays a significant role at the league level and in sports broadcasts. “Wisehockey data is used in the TV productions of our partner Magenta Sport. The service for fans is being successively expanded. For the commentators behind the camera, the live data provides valuable information that can be used in live reporting,” Gernot Tripcke remarks.

Grizzlys Wolfsburg creates new social media content with Wisehockey data

“We incorporate the findings of the newly acquired data into our decision-making processes. For us as a league, the topics of entertainment and marketing are particularly relevant. We can break new ground in our digitalization strategy and tap into additional sources of revenue,” saysJörg von Ameln, the Director of Hockey Operations and Sustainability at PENNY DEL.

“We also collect data from our referees, which provides our referee coaches with valuable information for their training sessions. From a Hockey Operations perspective, Wisehockey makes it much easier for us to evaluate the games live in our ‘Game Center’ where all games are monitored and logged live and during the follow-up process,” von Ameln adds.

PENNY DEL also track referees’ statistics with Wisehockey

Easy daily routines and satisfied users

The Wisehockey platform is effortless to operate and requires light and affordable equipment. Locators are installed around the rink, and the match clock is integrated with the analytics platform.

The daily routine is simple: make sure you’re using a smart puck and players are wearing their tracking tags when the match starts. Everything else works fully automatically in a cloud environment.

We at Eisbären Berlin have used Wisehockey data from the onset in our day-to-day analytics assessments. The data help us compile accurate and in-depth assessments of the team performance, both in-game and over set periods of the season,” explains Stéphane Richer. “Wisehockey is an extremely useful tool for real-time analytics and player assessment. The real-time xG progression, team momentum, and puck battle charts are a welcome feature,” he concludes.

In Grizzlys Wolfsburg, the feelings are similar. “[The Wisehockey platform] helped us to analyze the game in general and the individual performances. In the short time between periods, it also helps us show some individual plays to the players. The player stats during games like shots on net, xG, time on ice, face-offs or shifts give us coaches and the management some short-term information about the individual player performance,” says Mike Stewart, Head Coach of Grizzlys Wolfsburg.

PENNY DEL broke the European spectator record in the 2023–2024 season with 7,162 spectators per game

Take your game to the next level

The Wisehockey analytics platform has proved useful for PENNY DEL in many areas, not just at the rinksides but also in decision-making, marketing, and entertainment. Automated real-time analytics give an advantage in taking the game to the next level – if you make the most of it.

If you’d like to learn more about what Wisesport offers to your organization, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Other

To celebrate the successful hockey season 2023–2024, we compiled the most interesting statistics and other facts from the past season.