The Rise of Sports Analytics

Dr. Darin White

Executive Director, Center for Sports Analytics at Samford University

Darin W. White, Ph.D. is the executive director for Samford University’s Center for Sports Analytics. He also serves as chair of the Entrepreneurship, Management & Marketing Department and is the founding director of the sports marketing program in Samford’s Brock School of Business.


White has crafted business relationships with some of the most prestigious sports organizations and corporate sponsors, including NFL, MLB, MLS, NBA, Dallas Cowboys, Bayern Munich, Miami Dolphins, Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta United, Adidas, SEC, ACC, Nike, NASCAR, Atlanta Braves, Harlequins Rugby, Indy Car, Peach Bowl, PGA, Tampa Bay Lightning, MiLB, IFL, Coca Cola, Honda, BCBS, and Manchester United’s sponsor AON.


White is a highly sought resource for media seeking insights into sport business. His comments have appeared in media outlets including The Wall Street JournalSports IllustratedThe Washington Post, Forbes, USA Today, ESPN Radio, Mashable, Al Jazeera, Sports Business DailyBond BuyerInternational Business Times, NPR, Bleacher Report, and the Capital Gazette. He serves as a judge for the Yahoo Sports Technology Awards gala, the “Oscars of Sports Technology” in London.


If you were to take ALL the data that has ever been collected in the history of the world and put it into one big warehouse, 90 percent of the data you'd find in that warehouse would have been created in the last 24 months.


White has shared sports business analytics insights at dozens of industry events around the globe. He has been awarded the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Certificate of Recognition, has been an American Marketing Association Consortium Fellow, and won the Brock School of Business Outstanding Scholar Award & Faculty Member of the Year for undergraduate teaching.


White spent 12 years as a college soccer coach and was named 2005 Coach of the Year by Adidas and National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NAIA south region). Two years earlier he led Union University men’s college soccer team to the 2003 NCCAA National Championship. His team also won the Buffalo Funds National Champions of Character Award the same season.



1:30 – When did data start becoming relevant in sports?


3:45 – Las Vegas case study pertaining to modern day data collection


5:30 – How sports teams are utilizing data to map fan movements within stadiums


10:00 – Studying data from social media to segment fans for enhanced fan engagement opportunities


13:00 – Three areas in sports that are seeing a huge benefit from analytics


21:45 – Business Wars podcast comparing Netflix vs. Blockbuster and Coca Cola vs. Pepsi


25:00 – How do we separate emotion from what the data is telling us?


28:00 – Social media data regarding paying collegiate athletes


31:00 – Research showing that Gen Z is more loyal to players because of fantasy football as opposed to being loyal to a team


35:45 – Will major college football programs start utilizing data when it comes to making coaching changes?


38:45 – The “Cord Cutting Effect” with streaming services

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