Manchester City to host to the world's first football hackathon

Manchester City to host to the world's first football hackathon

Manchester City are breaking yet more new ground by becoming the world’s first football club to organise and host a hackathon.

#HackMCFC will take place over the weekend of 29-31 July at the club’s Etihad Campus, with teams competing for a £10,000 cash prize and “money can’t buy” experiences.

The event is taking place with the help of OptaPro and ChyronHego – two of Man City’s data partners – who will be releasing previously unavailable data and APIs, including detailed biometric tracking.

The data comes from 10 Premier League from the last season. All of the data that will be used during the hackathon will be presented completely unfiltered for participants to do with what they please.

Anyone taking part will be working with 4.5 million data points from each of the 10 games, which includes movement, position, and speed data for all players, officials, and the match ball.

They’re also promising “exclusive surprises” that will likely involve getting an in-depth look at how the club collects and uses the data it gathers on a match-by-match basis.

Man City are keen to stress that they’re “not just looking for sports scientists or analysts”; they’re also on the lookout for programmers, designers, entrepreneurs and people with creative ideas.

Ed Sulley, Head of Research and Innovation for City Football Services, said:

At Manchester City, we proactively strive to be at the forefront of innovative technologies that can help enhance our performance on and off the pitch. This vision is shared by our sister clubs New York City FC, Melbourne City FC and Yokohama F-Marinos, who are all supported by City Football Services, a unique part of the wider City Football Group business model that allows us to share innovative IP and insights across all four of our clubs.

This Hackathon enables us to engage fans of both sport and technology in this process, and the support of the Premier League means we can provide them with a unique opportunity to access exclusive data they can use to develop creative ideas. We look forward to working with the participants and seeing what ground-breaking technologies they can bring to the table that could potentially benefit all four clubs across the City Football Group.

The hackathon is the latest initiative in the club’s drive to provide innovation in football. In recent months they have launched both a WhatsApp group and a Facebook Messenger bot (with varying degrees of success). In the past week they have also announced the signing of their first e-sports player.

The deadline for applications is Monday 11 July 2016. You can apply for the competition, as well as finding out more about #HackMCFC on the event’s dedicated site.

Since publishing, it’s been pointed out that City aren’t actually the first football club to be hosting a hackathon. French club Stade Malherbe Caen actually held one earlier this year. City claimed they were first, hence why the article above makes reference to this.