Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment leverages AWS AI infrastructure to power next gen experiences

Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment services (MLSE) has announced that it will be leveraging Amazon Web Services (AWS) to enable next-generation entertainment experiences for Maple Leafs, Raptors, Toronto Football Club, and Toronto Argonauts fans. It has named AWS the official provider of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and deep learning cloud services for MLSE.

MLSE and its digital lab will use Amazon’s AI capabilities, specifically the Amazon Rekognition image analysis and the Amazon Kinesis data collection services, to process video and play data streams in real-time. MLSE will be able to process and analyze video footage collected from training facilities and game venues to make tactical decisions during games. For example, the game data stored and analyzed on AWS can be viewed by coaches on the bench to help them strategize their next play.

“One of the reasons why this partnership is so important to us is selecting an innovation partner and not a vendor,” said Humza Teherany, chief technology and digital officer at MLSE. “AWS has massive global reach and scale platforms expertise…Between us having the largest tech and digital team in professional sports in the world here in Toronto, with MLSE digital labs, the foremost technologically advanced platform company from a services standpoint, with Amazon and more, there’s just a lot of potential for us to optimize what we do.

Sports performance video analysis not only helps coaches and players to improve their play but is also a critical component in preventing injury.

“We’ve been training models for the entirety of my time here [at MLSE] over the last four years,” said Christian Magsisi, vice-president of technology at MLSE. “If you’re into model development, you would know that you need a significant amount of data to get your models to where they need to be so that you can actually affect the outcome of a game, the outcome of training, or whatever the scenario is that you’re looking for. And this data, along with our relationship with AWS, just gives us access to something that we didn’t have access to before.

Watch how AWS helps to create advanced stats for the NHL.

MLSE also has plans for new ways to enable fans to interact through mixed reality. The organization will use AWS solutions to integrate stadium mixed reality experience by combining visual data with real-time data collected from the sensors embedded in the player’s jerseys and the puck or ball.

“With AWS and MLSE Digital Labs, we’re excited to bring first-to-market mixed reality experiences,” said Magsisi. “It’d be amazing if you could put on a pair of glasses and see data that you would normally be reviewing on your phone or after the game is done…but see it in real-time, have it in front of you and choose what data you want to see, whether it’s the probability of a shot going in or a pass being completed.”

MLSE is currently experimenting with both AR and VR experiences with AWS. The organization said that while the products have already proven to be successful in the lab, they need more tweaking time to be scalable across a large crowd in a packed stadium. The collaboration with AWS will provide the necessary infrastructure to support the scaling process.

“Combining those two organizations together just allows us to do more, whether it’s around algorithm model development or the accuracy of the information that we’re getting,” Magsisi said.


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Tom Li
Tom Li
Telecommunication and consumer hardware are Tom's main beats at IT World Canada. He loves to talk about Canada's network infrastructure, semiconductor products, and of course, anything hot and new in the consumer technology space. You'll also occasionally see his name appended to articles on cloud, security, and SaaS-related news. If you're ever up for a lengthy discussion about the nuances of each of the above sectors or have an upcoming product that people will love, feel free to drop him a line at [email protected].

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