Today was yet another marvelous day for football buffs everywhere, as Adidas and MLS have announced Major League Soccer will be the first intelligent circuit on the globe. Having already planned an official debut for the German company's Elite System, now the pair's made it known that the wearable technology is going to be expanding well beyond next week's All-Star Game and into the MLS 2013 season. To refresh your mind a bit, the miCoach Elite System tracks an array of instrumental player data, such as speed (even if painfully slow like the Rio Ferdinand of late), acceleration, position, heartbeat and even the intensity of play -- which is then pushed instantly to, you guessed it, a coach's miCoach-equipped iPad. Adidas didn't mention when, or if, the Elite System will be adapted elsewhere, so we'll have to wait and see how long it takes others to join the "smart soccer" fun.
ADIDAS AND MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER ANNOUNCE WORLD'S FIRST SMART SOCCER LEAGUE
adidas micoach Elite System – debuting at the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game – to be integrated across Major League Soccer in 2013
NEW YORK July 19, 2012 – adidas and Major League Soccer today announced that MLS will integrate the adidas micoach Elite System league-wide in 2013, marking the world's first "smart league." The announcement comes ahead of the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game, which is set to be the world's first "smart game" integrating the micoach Elite System.
Beginning in the 2013 season, all 19 MLS clubs will use the data-tracking technology from adidas, providing coaches, trainers and players with real-time performance metrics including heart rate, speed, acceleration, distance, field position and, for the first time, power.
By measuring every move, heartbeat and step and relaying that to a coach on the touch line in less than a second, the technology enables a better understanding of the physical and physiological impact on the team, or any individual, during a game or training session. From analyzing trends to preventing overtraining and risk of injury, the micoach Elite System will help maintain optimum levels of player performance week in, week out throughout the season.
"We are proud to partner with our long-term partner Major League Soccer to debut our latest innovation the micoach Elite System at the MLS All-Star Game and then across the league in 2013," said adidas Group CEO Herbert Hainer. "As the paths of sports and technology continue to converge, we are pleased to be pioneering in this area and continue to deliver cutting-edge innovations to teams and leagues worldwide."
The micoach Elite System includes a small data cell that fits into a player's base layer in a protective pocket on the back between the shoulder blades. Connected by a series of electrodes and sensors woven into the fabric of the base layer, the cell wirelessly transmits more than 200 data records per second from each player to a central computer and then is displayed in a series of simplified insights and results on the coach's iPad. At the touch of his fingertips, a coach can monitor the workload of an individual player, compare one athlete with another or view the whole team to gain a complete picture of the squad.
"Our long-standing partnership with adidas and our combined goal to bring innovative and game-changing experiences to the sport of soccer are key reasons behind the success of Major League Soccer," said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. "Working with adidas, we are bringing players, coaches and fans across the league a revolutionary technology to help teams perform at the highest level."
In the future, MLS fans will be able to experience greater insight from the field of play as live, on-field player data will become an integral part of the game experience, whether watching from home or within the stadium.
MLS will debut the new adidas micoach technology on-field for the first time during the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game on July 25 in Philadelphia, when the best of Major League Soccer take on UEFA Champions League winner Chelsea Football Club.
"On-field data tracking is one of the most important elements coaches and trainers use to prepare their teams," said Paul Gaudio, vice president of adidas interactive. "Teams are constantly looking for a competitive edge and the micoach Elite System is a real-time performance monitoring solution for the best teams in the world."
Gaudio continued, "With years of research, innovation and development behind it, the micoach Elite System allows coaches and trainers to make informed strategic decisions to maintain collective peak physical performance on the field."
In development since 2010, the micoach Elite System is the product of extensive research, science and cutting-edge technology development by adidas to create the most advanced system for elite teams across the globe. The micoach Elite System was developed in close consultation and collaboration with many of the leading soccer coaches and clubs including Major League Soccer teams New York Red Bulls, Philadelphia Union and Seattle Sounders FC, as well as Real Madrid, AC Milan, Ajax and Bayern Munich.
The micoach Elite System is part of the family of micoach electronic training devices, services and technologies that capture, analyze and evaluate personal performance to help athletes get better for their sport.
adidas is the global leader in soccer and partners with the world's greatest soccer clubs and federations including Chelsea FC, AC Milan, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Germany and Japan. adidas is an official partner of Major League Soccer, FIFA, UEFA and the Confederations of African Football. adidas sponsors world-class athletes like Leo Messi, David Beckham, David Villa, Kaka, Steven Gerrard, Xavi, Frank Lampard, Andres Guardado, Jozy Altidore, Brek Shea, Fredy Montero, Juan Agudelo and Omar Gonzalez, among others.
About Major League Soccer
Headquartered in New York City, Major League Soccer is the top-flight professional soccer league in the United States and Canada. MLS features many stars from the U.S., Canada, and around the world. Major League Soccer's 17th season features 19 clubs each playing 34 regular-season matches. Those clubs include the Chicago Fire; Chivas USA; Colorado Rapids; Columbus Crew; D.C. United; FC Dallas; Houston Dynamo; 2011 MLS Cup champion LA Galaxy; New York Red Bulls; New England Revolution; Philadelphia Union; Portland Timbers; Real Salt Lake; San Jose Earthquakes; Seattle Sounders FC; Sporting Kansas City; Toronto FC; Vancouver Whitecaps FC; and, in their inaugural season, Montreal Impact. For more information about MLS, log on to the league's official website at www.MLSsoccer.com.
About the adidas Group
The adidas Group is one of the global leaders within the sporting goods industry, offering a broad range of products around the core brands: adidas, Reebok, TaylorMade, Rockport and Reebok-CCM Hockey. Headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Germany, the Group had more than 46,000 employees and generated sales of over € 13.3 billion in 2011.