IBM and Sevilla FC Unveil AI Tool for Player Scouting

IBM and Sevilla FC have introduced Scout Advisor, a generative AI tool to revolutionize player scouting in the football industry.
Sevilla FCThis tool, built on IBM’s AI and data platform, watsonx, will empower Sevilla FC’s scouting team with a comprehensive, data-driven approach to identify and evaluate potential recruits.

Collaborating with IBM’s Client Engineering Team, Sevilla FC’s data department played a pivotal role in developing Scout Advisor. Leveraging watsonx’s natural language processing and foundation models, the tool searches and analyzes vast amounts of data stored in the club’s databases. This includes both quantitative data, such as physical attributes, speed, goals, and playing minutes, as well as qualitative unstructured data found in over 200,000 scouting reports.

Scout Advisor utilizes natural language processing capabilities and multiple large language models (LLMs) to enhance the accuracy of player identification. By incorporating language prompts from Sevilla FC scouters, the tool generates curated lists of candidates based on specific requirements and summarizes scouting reports for each player. It links players to Sevilla FC’s data applications for in-depth insights into their quantitative performance figures.

Football player scouting relied on subjective human observation and manual data analysis, presenting limitations in terms of time consumption and considering only a limited number of factors. Scout Advisor aims to bridge this gap by combining existing capabilities with generative AI, providing a more efficient and informed recruitment process for Sevilla FC.

The football industry, with its multi-million-dollar investments, long-term contracts, and performance uncertainties, demands cutting-edge solutions. Sevilla FC’s scouting team has already gained global recognition for its extensive database of quantitative player evaluations and its success in identifying rising stars. With Scout Advisor, the club seeks to maintain a competitive edge by fusing metrics-based scouting with human-centric observations that are harder to quantify on the pitch.

Ana Paula Assis, Chair and General Manager at IBM EMEA, emphasized the transformative impact of AI on football operations. “AI continues to be a game-changer for businesses across many industries looking to modernize operations. In this instance, by producing trusted and explainable insights that advance the goals of a competitive football club while transforming the work of a football scout.”

Jose Maria del Nido Carrasco, President of Sevilla FC, expressed excitement about the collaboration with IBM, stating, “This project can be a game-changer for Sevilla FC and the whole Sports Industry. With the support of IBM, we can utilize our impressive database of player reports to its full potential, giving us a significant advantage in the player recruitment process.”

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