Play in the Grey

  • 2021

  • Digital
    Apps and Software

Designed By:

  • Roam Digital

Commissioned By:

Play in the Grey

New Zealand Rugby

Designed In:

New Zealand

The All Blacks have earned international renown as New Zealand’s national rugby union team, and are constantly finding new ways to improve their performance. They partnered with us to create a customised digital training tool to help sharpen the team’s edge over the competition and provide strategic insights.

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  • Our task was to build on the team's existing data gathering and analysis efforts. Information was already being collected to help understand and validate decisions made by the team, both in terms of in-game snap decisions and pre-game strategy. But this information needed to be more fully leveraged to support the team's growing shift from a reliance on qualitative data to quantitative data, and enable smarter decision-making through AI.

  • We designed and developed a tool that analyses in-game footage and generates insights through data visualisation. The tool, Play in the Grey, processes footage to generate a 3D recreation of the field and the players. It then analyses each player's position and movement on the field to pinpoint key moments or events that could have strategic value, and uses these moments to generate insights for players and coaches.

  • The tool enhanced the All Blacks' training regime in the run-up to the Rugby World Cup, giving coaches and players a new weapon in their strategic arsenal. The tool's combination of data visualisation, artificial intelligence and insight generation has implications for future use not only in sports, but any situation where the movement of people might need to be analysed and used to glean key insights. From soccer to security to air travel, the tool has a broad range of potential applications.

  • Play in the Grey incorporates automated insight generation through AI, as well as manual insight creation. This was facilitated by a third-party AI solutions provider, and our design team worked with them to ensure that the insights created are presented in a way in which is coherent, relevant and easy to consume for the sports data team and wider coaching staff.