Are you a sports fan that’s bored with traditional coverage of the world of sports? You have come to the right place. This page will highlight “analytic oriented” information on the sports we all love to watch that you can’t find elsewhere on the web. And you don’t need to Ph.D. in statistics to comprehend what you will find here. From the hallowed grass of Wimbledon to the gridiron of the Iron Bowl, the research you find here will present you with a completely different view of the game, whatever your favorite sport might be.

Most articles are written by Samford University faculty, sports industry professionals that partner with Samford or students in one of the four sports oriented academic programs on campus (sports media in the Journalism and Mass Communications department, sports administration in the department of Kinesiology, sports marketing in the Brock School of Business, and sports medicine in the School of Health Professions).

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Are Teams Living or Dying by the Three in Today’s NBA?
As the game of basketball has progressed, so has the average player’s shooting ability and range. Consequently, this has made the three point shot the most deadly weapon in today’s game. However, do the statistics back up this assumption? This article will look analytically at the success and usage of the three-point shot in the NBA over recent years to answer this question.
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2019 NFL Power Rankings: The Top Half’s Reasons for Optimism
As the NFL offseason heats up with training camps, free agency deadlines, and the season less than four months away, fans and analysts alike are starting to form predictions and expectations for each team. This article will take a look at the preseason power rankings for the 2018-2019 NFL season, and give a reason for optimism for the top half of the league.
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Setting Realistic Expectations for Zion
The 2019 NBA Draft Lottery, and who would receive the overall number one pick, was one of the most talked about in history. With Zion Williamson on the board, there’s no question as to why the first pick was so highly valued. But how have number one picks historically performed after making it to the league? This article statistically breaks down the last 50 number one picks in the NBA Draft to answer this question.
 
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Is the King’s Reign Over?
Lebron James and the L.A. Lakers underachieved greatly this season by most people's standards, leading many people to question if Lebron is still as dominant as he once was. This blog will take a look at his 2018-2019 season and seek to answer some of these questions.
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How to Win It All in a Passing League: Run the Ball
The NFL currently has a reputation as a "passing league," but many people still believe that the quality of a team's rush offense will determine whether or not it is capable of winning a championship. By taking a closer look at the last 10 Super Bowl champions, we can determine the level of importance that the best teams in the league place on the running game.
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Quantifying the Home-Court Advantage in the NBA Playoffs
In the context of the NBA Playoffs, the team that will play at least half of the series’ games in its own arena is said to have the “home-court advantage.” This article explores how having the home-court advantage affects a team’s ability to win a series in a certain number of games and in a particular round of the playoffs.
 
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Largest Soccer Fan Study Ever Reveals Surprising Insights
The MLS commissioned the Boston Consulting Group to conduct a research study seeking to ascertain why North American soccer fans watch the sport, regardless of league, and what MLS clubs could do to build deeper fan relationships. It has evolved over the last 3 years into a mid-seven-figure investment in analytics, data and research, helping the MLS create a strategic framework to deepen fan engagement and increase revenue.
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March Madness: Do “One-and-Done” Players Win National Championships?
“One-and-done” players, or players who only play one season of college basketball before entering the NBA draft, greatly contribute to their teams’ successes and are expected to lead their teams to victory after victory in the NCAA tournament. In this article, we analyze the former rosters and NCAA tournament performances of Duke University and the University of Kentucky in order to see if there is a strong correlation between a team’s number of one-and-done players and degree of success in the NCAA tournament.
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By the Numbers: Data Analytics and Its Growing Effect on Golf
This article talks about how data analytics has become increasingly more popular in the game of golf. It gives insights to how tools such as ShotLink have changed how players can play the game as well as how fans can engage while watching.
 
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Gen Z Sports Consumption Research
It seems that all sports properties are hyper focused on finding a way to reach Generations Z ( 10 to 22 year olds or people born between 1997 and 2009).
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Statistical Tools for March Madness Bracketology
It’s that time of year again when the nation turns its attention to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
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Can Birmingham Harness the Unifying Power of its Newest Sports Team?
Center for Sports Analytics executive director Darin White recently published this article about what Birmingham’s newest professional sports team means for the city.
 
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The Quintessential Sport for Entrepreneurs?
If MLS were on the New York Stock Exchange, the analyst would be recommending to buy. The long-term prospects of the league have never been brighter. Both ESPN and Inc. Magazine recently made strong arguments supporting that notion.
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The Moneyball Science
Using sports analytics, Paul DePodesta calculated a moneyball methodology to increase the likelihood of the Oakland A's making it to the playoffs. He used player statistics to create the framework and hypothesize the idea that the probability of a team making it to the playoffs depended on the number of games they won in the regular season.
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Measuring Professional Sport Sponsorship Success - Part 5, NHL
Measuring professional sports sponsorship success through the analysis of Twitter data
 
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Measuring Professional Sport Sponsorship Success - Part 4, NFL
Measuring professional sports sponsorship success through the analysis of Twitter data
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Measuring Professional Sport Sponsorship Success - Part 3, NBA
Measuring professional sports sponsorship success through the analysis of Twitter data
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Measuring Professional Sport Sponsorship Success - Part 2, MLS
Measuring professional sports sponsorship success through the analysis of Twitter data
 
 

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