Business of Sports Institute at UT McCombs School Founded by Gift from Accenture – UT News – UT News | The University of Texas at Austin

AUSTIN, Texas A new sportseducationandresearchventureunlike any other in the United States that will meet a pressing need in the sports industry is coming to The University of Texas at Austin.

Accenture has donated the founding $1.4 million gift to establish a Business of Sports Institute in the McCombs School of Business at UT Austin.The new institute will bring together all the advantagesof atop business schoolatamajor research institution withanelite sports programand combinesthosewiththeexpertise in sports business consultingand analyticsthat Accenture brings to thismultiyearpartnership.

There is no othermajorbusiness school in the countrybringingon-field, on-court performance analyticsintothe curriculum, intothe research lab,and to sports industry leaderslike we are, said Ethan Burris,facultydirector of theMcCombs SchoolsCenter for Leadership and Ethics, in which the new institute will be housed. Talent management, performance metrics, sports-adjacent verticals and branding there are a ton oftopic areas weare poisedto tackle.

The newBusiness of Sports Institutewillcreate:

Researchwithin the institute is already underwayin mens and womens basketball, with plans to ramp up quicklyto other sports.

This partnership is a colossal boon to our research, Burris said.We now have the financial resources to hire unique and specialized talent for example,experts in biomechanicsorin data visualization.AndAccenture isdevoting significant talent and expertise project managers, data scientists and other engineers.

Usingdata analyticsin new waysbecame a worldwide obsession after the publication in2003ofMoneyball,which chronicledhow Oakland As manager Billy Beane got his bottom-of-the league team to the playoffsusing sabermetricsto hireundervalued butwinningplayerson the smallest budget in the league. His success spurred anew generationofsportsdataanalyticsadvances.

Jon Berger, managing director and U.S. sports analytics lead at Accenture, was a part of this revolution. When Moneyball came out, Berger was working as an NFL and college football analyst for Fox Sports, before moving to ESPN and CBS. Berger had identified early-on the potential for data and gaming to proactively inform sports predictions. Now, nearly 20 years post-Moneyball and the universal application of big data, Accenture is committed to promoting the expansion of the emerging and rapidly developing field of sports analytics.

This partnership hinges on the power of Accentures capabilities and proven track record of turning insights into revenue-generating businesses, Berger said. That coupled with UTs dedication to athletic excellence and McCombs position as a leading business program, creates an unbeatable formula for pushing the envelope in sports analytics, sports science and sports business.

Globally, thesports analytics market size is expected to reach $4.6 billion by 2025, expanding at a rate more than 30%, according to an April 2020report inForbes.And only a small portion of revenue-generating teams in the world have dedicated business intelligence groups, Burris said.

Not only is this a chance for our 580 student athletes to enhance theircraftthrough data analysis, but the minor in sports analytics will be incredibly attractive for students in a wide variety of majors, from kinesiology to communications, said Christine Plonsky, UT executive senior associate athletics director.

McCombs hasbecome a hub for sports data analytics innovation since its hiring in2019of Kirk Goldsberry, the New York Times best-selling author of Sprawlball and a pioneer in the world of basketball analytics. Burris hired Goldsberryto develop coursework,teach sports analytics and oversee sports analytics researchatMcCombs.Goldsberrys groundbreaking insights have already landed him jobs as vice president of strategic research for the San Antonio Spurs, as the first-ever lead analyst for Team USA Basketball, and as a staff writer for ESPN. But his new job as executive director of the Business of Sports Institute accompanied by UT vice president and athletics director Chris Del Conte in the role of strategic adviser is where he says it all comes together.

When it comes to sports, theres no university in the world where Id rather be thinking about this, said Goldsberry.UT is uniquely positioned with its size and passion to blossom into this hub for sports academic work. If theres such a thing as a perfect university setting for elite sports research, its right here in Austin, Texas.

Click here for a video sound bite with Business of Sports Institute Executive Director Kirk Goldsberry.

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Business of Sports Institute at UT McCombs School Founded by Gift from Accenture - UT News - UT News | The University of Texas at Austin

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