In an effort to expand its reach, Northbrook-based STATS LLC on Monday hired former Microsoft executive John Pollard to lead the company's newly created Sports Solutions Group.
Pollard most recently worked at IdentityMine, an international company that partnered with STATS last season to provide a player evaluation system for the Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints.
"I pinch myself, because I'm working for a company that merges my interest, experience and passion for sports," Pollard told the Sun-Times. "Every day provides a new level of energy and opportunity."
Pollard said his goal is to make STATS more accessible to team officials and players, as well as fans.
An appealing audience, of course, are fantasy football fanatics.
"We have our day jobs, but in our fantasy worlds, we can look at trend and opportunity analyses," Pollard said. "We can start thinking of how independent consumers can access public data, that has traditionally been guarded."
For instance, he said fans could tap into information such as how many yards a tight end may gain after initial contact, or how often a particular cornerback has been burned.
In general, though, Pollard said STATS can facilitate the growth of football, as well as other sports.
"There's no question that all games are becoming more complex in their schemes," Pollard said. "The expectation of players goes beyond being in great condition. The intelligence level and expectations are different than it was years ago."
With SportVU player tracking technology and rich X-Info data, Pollard will help empower athletes, executives and fans. Interestingly, both will be linked to video, as well.
"John brings a unique blend of technology product innovation, user experience and subject matter expertise that will allow our clients to derive even more value from STATS' unique content. Our objective is to enhance STATS' position as a value added partner by creating the next generation of sports information services," said Gary Walrath, CEO at STATS.