When Billy Beane, the GM of the Oakland Athletics, hired an assistant GM with an economics degree from Harvard, everyone believed that he was crazy.
20+ years later nearly every sports team has an analytics group poring over statistical software in an attempt to get a leg up.
The art of analytics has evolved over the years, with the advent of more and more sophisticated data modeling technology, machine learning, and even AI.
Finding and retaining talent is taking its toll on the budgets of these sports teams.
Most teams can only afford a handful of analytics experts and this small group can struggle to keep up with the latest modeling software and advances in machine learning.
Zelus employs over 60 analytics experts with a range of expertise from data science, to software development, to machine learning and artificial intelligence.
Many on the team have PhDs and master’s degrees from leading universities like CMU, Stanford, Harvard, and MIT, and many founded the analytics groups for some of the best-known teams in the world.
They have developed relationships with different professional sports including baseball, basketball, hockey, football, cricket, and soccer.
They work on a shared cost model developing tools and ML training models that can be shared across teams.
But to keep it competitive, they limit themselves to working with only one team per division in each sport to make sure they keep their clients happy.
The company has attracted a new round of funding to develop its software further with investments from Teamworthy Ventures, Gametime Capital, NBA great Kevin Durant, and the aforementioned A’s GM Billy Beane.
Beane had to say about his investment, “I am incredibly optimistic about the transformative impact Zelus is poised to make.”