I caught a replay of Bill McDermott's pitch at SapphireNow last week. Loved it. How could you not with acronyms like B2B2C?:)
Seriously, tough to not like his sports talk and see him surrounded by sports world luminaries you see on ESPN and Fox - James Brown, NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver, San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York and Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank.
I did wonder if Bill's talk would have been different if he had spent the weekend at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics event in Boston in early March. He would have heard Mark Cuban of the Dallas Mavericks talk about how his team doctors are trying to match anti-inflammatories to player DNA markers. He would have heard how pioneering work by the San Francisco Giants and others around secondary markets is leading to a revolution in single game and season ticket pricing. He would have heard Michael Lewis who cataloged some of the earliest applications of advanced analytics in sports with his book Moneyball. And sessions on Fanalytics, Injury Analytics and countless other technology applications in sports.
What SAP is doing in the sports world is impressive (and after that weekend I posted on New Florence its efforts), but relatively small compared to so much else going on in sports technology.
It points to a thing I have noticed - how SAP likes "association". Statements like "SAP customers produce 70 percent of the world’s chocolate" or "SAP systems touches $12 trillion of consumer purchases around the world."
I certainly understand it is for marketing effect. I worry, though, SAP is actually delusional and does not realize how small a role it plays in many of these companies and industries.
Which is why I wonder if Bill had been in Boston that weekend, whether his talk at SapphireNow would have more modest and celebratory of all the innovation happening in sports tech, much without SAP involvement.