Catapult wins Rugby Union deal

The Australian

Melbourne-based sports technology firm Catapult has kicked yet another goal, announcing it has won a contract to supply the Australian Rugby Union with advanced GPS tracking and data technology.

The ARU sought a single solution for an athlete analytics platform across all training and in-game activity, and issued a tender that attracted local and international firms.

Catapult Executive chairman Adir Shiffman, who was recently named the world’s 10th most innovative person in sports business, told The Australian the contract will cover the Wallabies, all Australian-based Super Rugby teams and Under 20s, Men’s and Women’s Rugby 7s and ARU referees.

“We’re overjoyed at working closely and continuing our long relationship with the ARU, and we think for the players, teams, the game and fans this represents a great opportunity to take the next steps,” he said.

“This was a couple of months in the making, we were impressed with the way they handled the process. We were impressed with the questions they asked and the way they assessed it, and this is a good example of a league running that process well.”

Catapult, founded in 2006, provides sports teams with GPS trackers to be worn on the shirts or jerseys of professional athletes, which collect thousands of points of data which are then used to measure player movement and fatigue and prevent injuries.

Other clients include soccer giant AC Milan, NFL team the Dallas Cowboys and NBA champions the Golden State Warriors, who cited the Australian company as a key driver behind its championship success.

Today’s rugby contract decision follows a controversial move by the AFL in August when it decided to award a GPS tracking and data services contract to Champion Data, of which the AFL owns 49 per cent.

Ben Whitaker, ARU general manager pathways and performance, said the partnership with Catapult represents a major project within the organisation’s 2016-2020 High Performance Strategic Plan to deliver collaborative systems and processes to all of Australian Rugby’s elite teams.

“Importantly we have had all elite teams including the Qantas Wallabies, Qantas National Sevens teams and Super Rugby clubs engaged in this decision making process — and all will be beneficiaries of this centralised model,” he said.