Zebra Technologies will conclude its second year as the “Official On-Field Player Tracking Provider” of the NFL on Sunday when the Denver Broncos meet the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50.
After piloting the technology last year, the Zebra Sports Solution was expanded to all 31 NFL stadiums this year. This year more than 2,500 players wore two RFID tags embedded into each shoulder pad. The tags, the size of a nickel, were capable of being read 15 times a second. The NFL deployed more than 7,500 tags for players, officials, yard markers and pylons.
The RFID tags track speed, distance, acceleration, player orientation and change of directions on the field. The sensors on players track vital stats indoors and outdoors to within six inches. This solution enables the NFL to gain real-time insight into the action happening on the field of play and feeds its Next Gen Stats program. Zebra’s solution was also deployed for the college football playoffs this year. In the future, the data generated from the tags will be used by coaching staffs to determine which players are performing best, and which players may need to be rested.
Super Bowl 50 marks the second consecutive Super Bowl during which the Zebra Sports Solution will be used to help improve the way fans, teams and networks watch, coach, play and analyze the game.
During the 2015 NFL season, players were tracked in more than 330 NFL games, an increased from the 130 games tracked last year. This year, more than 4.5 billion player coordinates were measured and transmitted. (Read more about how the NFL can benefit from RFID technology.)
The Zebra Sports Solution leverages the same patented RFID tracking and location solutions technology that Zebra implements for multinational corporations in healthcare, retail, manufacturing and transportation & logistics to give visibility to an organization’s assets, people and transactions.