NHL teams up with SAP, Apple to build coaching app

The app leverages the SAP Cloud Platform with SAP HANA to process in-game hockey data from the arena and the NHL's system.

National Hockey League coaches will soon have new data-driven resources at their fingertips during games, thanks to the NHL's partnership with SAP and Apple. The league announced Thursday that after the All-Star break, it plans to roll out a new Coaching Insights App that provides real-time, customizable data and player statistics.

The app leverages the SAP Cloud Platform with SAP HANA to process in-game hockey data from the arena and the NHL's system. It will give coaches access to more than 60 different real-time individual and team stats, including player time on ice and face-off win/loss percentage.

Every video coach in the NHL will be able to manage the app with an iPad Pro. There will also be an iPad Pro on the bench at every game for coaches. The iPad Pros will be managed and stored by the league, but each team will have its own private account.

"There's a lot of information out there, but coaches are still writing it down on pieces of paper," NHL SVP David Lehanski said in a statement. "They're not using it the way that they could use it because there really hasn't been a platform that will allow them to do it easily and efficiently and to quickly customize it to see what they want to see."

nhl.jpg

SAP, which offers a sports team management suite, has an existing relationship with the NHL and a number of other sports teams and leagues, including the NBA and Manchester City FC. Last year, the company forged a partnership with esports leader Team Liquid to co-develop applications using in-game data.

As for the NHL, the hockey league has partnered with other tech companies for a more cutting-edge experience. For instance, the league was one of the first to use the Amazon Alexa Reminders API, so that customers using the AI-powered assistant can set reminders 30 minutes ahead of hockey games they want to watch.