RevSports and UNT partner to build an artificial intelligence basketball app
With March Madness upon us, you’ve probably spent a decent chunk of time looking at statistics to find the winning bracket predictions. With his app EPLAY, RevSports‘s Co-founder and CEO Ryan Girardot is working to change the way basketball statistics are collected, curated and used. He hopes to create the largest database of validated basketball statistics with EPLAY and to use artificial intelligence to predict good team match ups.
This UNT graduate and Dallas New Tech pitch alumni has pivoted since the launch of the app in 2016; however, Girardot currently is working on providing a tool to track scores and statistics in real-time, an idea that won the UNT 2017 Undergraduate Innovator Award.
Digitizing game statistics
Girardot has a passion for sports, especially basketball, and he has practiced entrepreneurship in this industry for years. He played the game since he was young, and this led him to establishing the Shamrock Basketball Association out of his home. The association expanded so quickly that it was eventually acquired by a Chicago-based corporation in 2011 after he filed it as a nonprofit corporation in May of 2009.
Through this experience, Girardot quickly realized there were some hurdles to setting up the basketball games for his association. There was a clear need for a simple and easy way to track players’ skill level and accurately match teams to ensure a quality game. With this need in mind, EPLAY was born.
Since 2016, EPLAY has been replacing the old school paper score books with a convenient, all-encompassing app that not only tracks games and players’ statistics, but also utilizes a unique algorithm to depict a worthy matchup for games. In fact, former Match.com employees developed this algorithm.
How it works
EPLAY provides features for each person involved in the game such as fans, players, recruiters and officials. During a game, the game officials can record the score and player statistics.
Players can then register in the app, set up a player profile and track their individual stats, which EPLAY then provides them with a personalized “E-Score”. For a small fee, players can use the E-Gold Certified feature, which provides credentials to their stats. So when a RevSports-trained event organizer or score keeper records the players’ performance, the stats are unbiased and trusted. This becomes increasingly important when event organizers want to accurately match up players for games and post credible information. But it also becomes important when you consider RevSports’s long-term goal: to be the largest, trusted resource of player performance data.
Why does EPLAY want to be a sports database? After speaking with Girardot himself, I learned that the EPLAY performance data is incredibly versatile. Aside from the uses listed above, EPLAY and its database can provide college and professional sports programs with highly accurate information about prospects and how they match up against one another. The EPLAY app uses the player data to simulate a game between player profiles. This arms sports programs with a new way of scouting, allowing coaches to “watch” players everywhere without even traveling.
What does the future hold
Today, RevSports operates its EPLAY platform from the UTD co-working space in Richardson. Because RevSports is personally funded and has not raised any capital yet, the team plans to further emphasize its revenue-producing app elements: E-Gold Certification, Replay, Essistant and Ecruit as well as to substantially grow its player database in the months to come.
Recently, Girardot signed an agreement with UNT Athletics to use his app to predict situational lineups and play recommendations to be used by the men’s basketball team next season. If this partnership proves successful, EPLAY hopes to grow to all of the Conference USA teams.