Zalgiris hackathon brings innovative basketball solutions to life

Zalgiris Kaunas, one of Europe’s premier basketball clubs, is proving to be more than just that. The EuroLeague stand-out is making sure that their recent European success and continued dominance on the national stage would last, as they hosted Eastern and Central Europe’s first-ever sports hackathon.

The international hackathon, taking place in Zalgirio Arena on the 16-17th of September, was won by Latvian start-up Echosports, who created an innovative real-time sports tracking and improvement measuring solution.

The modern technology was created in cooperation with sports technology giant Genius Sports LT and the basketball players of Zalgiris Kaunas. It will allow operative, here-and-now evaluation of the improvements the athletes have made and real-time player monitoring that will provide objective performance data to the whole Zalgiris community, including coaches, basketball talent scouts, basketball school kids, parents and others.

This product will have a sensor attached to the players’ jersey, and will monitor the heart rate, running speed, tiredness and other relevant information during games. The data received will be combined with Genius Sports LT statistical data, which will not only help visualise the players’ shooting, passing and other individual stats, but will allow a thorough analysis and an optimal line-up solution for the future. The innovative technology can have a direct impact on reaching peak sports results, improving in-game indicators and helping grow the new generation of basketball players.

Director of Zalgiris Kaunas, Paulius Motiejunas, was excited about taking the next step in basketball with innovation being the driving force.

“There is always room for improvement. Zalgiris Kaunas has always set ambitious goals for itself and today we take a step forward, as we look to improve our sporting achievements and results through innovative technology and the advancement of science.”

Zalgiris will also decide which other technological solutions that came to life in the hackathon could be applied in the club’s activity.

Working alongside mentors form investment funds Startup Wise Guys, 70 Ventures, Katalista Ventures, and technology companies Genius Sports LT, Viventor, Reprice, Lympo and BBaltics, start-ups from all over Europe sought innovative solutions in three different departments – the maximization of Zalgiris sports results by evaluating and improving the players’ physical data and carrying out injury prevention, increasing the involvement of Zalgiris fans into the team’s activities by using technological potential, and opening new opportunities for the business partners of the basketball club.

With the help of Zalgiris staff, Bravofy offered a solution to increase fan engagement and personalization during basketball games and other events. KTU VR Lab put together a competitive multiplayer game to increase fan engagement during basketball matches both from within and outside the arena, whereas Tutotoons created a live user experience enhancement through augmented reality within the arena. Stats4Sport’s innovative platform will help young athletes and team members collect and analyse statistical and video data, while French start-up Chiron created a real-time artificial intelligence program, that foresees the best way to improve professional athletes’ physical preparation training, looking deeply into injury prevention and rehabilitation.

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