Below is our recent interview with Guy Aaron, CEO at Playermaker:
Q: Tell us about your technology?
A: Playermaker’s technology is transforming athletic footwear into connected (smart) footwear. It provides the most advanced technology for all athletes, from professional to recreational. Based on the power of AI and the algorithm embedded in the sensor, we have managed to grow to supporting over 200 teams in less than 3 years. Due to the position on the boot, players can improve their technical, tactical, and physical skills. The system is super easy to use and allows both pros and amateurs who couldn’t afford cutting-edge technology before, to enjoy the best tools in the world. We are very proud that that FIFA recently announced Playermaker as the first foot-mounted wearable device accepted into the FIFA Innovation Program.
Q: Why is your solution different to other data-driven football technology products on the market?
A: Playermaker is the only solution that tracks the interaction between the ball and the player. Playermaker also gives players and coaches metrics on the technical and physical aspects of the game – touches, balance between the leg usage, kick speed, sprints, possession time, etc. It is best used as a training aid for players to know which aspects of their game to focus on, what to improve over time, set goals, and share their progress with coaches and peers.
Playermaker is the first choice for thousands of coaches and players and parents around the world for player development, using performance metrics and insights over time.
We have a single product with 2 different offerings for Elite teams and individual players. It uses the same sensors and the same algorithm, but we adapt the output to the level of each player.
Q: How does your technology help the women’s game specifically?
A: From day one we assigned similar resources to understanding and serving male and female players alike. We learned, for example, that current back-mounted performance tracking is not comfortable for women as they need to wear one bra on top of another, so we looked for a better solution.
Our VP Product, Dr. Hilit Maayan, ensured that the player’s gender is considered as a critical dimension in crafting personalised experiences. We assign significant research efforts to studying the training and match performance data of female players of various ages – data that was never available before. For example, up to now speed zone thresholds were set based solely on male performance. This has significant implications for how female players perform and recover.
Our data and experience provides us with an extensive understanding of the women’s game. Our Chief Innovation Officer, Dr. Morag, has over two decades of experience in innovation for women’s sports, ranging from sports bras to smart footwear. We learned that to serve female athletes properly you can’t take a man’s product and “adjust it” to women.
We are very proud that our efforts are recognized by the fact that more than 50% of our college players are female. At the 50th anniversary of Title IX, this is a great accomplishment.
Q: What does the future hold for Playermaker?
A: We are looking forward to expanding our market reach further into all levels of football around the world, notably in the US, Latin America, and Asia, and also to deepen our exposure to the women’s game in particular. In addition, given that we know that all athletes have a great appetite for connected footwear, we are exploring opportunities to expand into other sports.