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Zebra extends NFL partnership for player tracking via RFID

Zebra said its MotionWorks Sports tracking system captures player speed, distance traveled, proximity as well as acceleration and deceleration.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor on
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Zebra said it has extended a partnership with the National Football League for its on-field player tracking technology.

The NFL partnership makes Zebra the official on-field player-tracking provider through 2021. Zebra has deployed a system that attaches RFID tags to player equipment and the football to generate real-time location data for next-gen statistics.

Zebra said its MotionWorks Sports tracking system captures player speed, distance traveled, proximity as well as acceleration and deceleration. The NFL takes that data for player stats in-stadium and during broadcasts and also uses it for practice plans, play design, and workload decisions.

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Key details of the NFL agreement:

  • Zebra will tag 2,880 players and officials during the pre-season with 1,700 players tagged in the regular season.
  • There will be 20,000 instrumented footballs used during the 2019-2020 NFL season.
  • All six international NFL games will use Zebra technology for next-gen stats.
  • A third of the league is using Zebra's practice tracking system.

For the six months ended June 29, Zebra reported net income of $239 million, or $4.37 a share, on revenue of $2.16 billion, up from $1.99 billion for the same period a year ago. Second-quarter sales for Zebra were up 8.4%.

For Zebra, the NFL partnership is an effort to highlight the company's tracking platform for other industries. 

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