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Google Cloud Hits Home Run In MLB, AWS Punch-Out

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Google Cloud has hit the home run. MLB (Major League Baseball) has benched AWS (Amazon Web Services) and chose GCP (Google Cloud Platform) as its new data and analytics partner.

The nitty-gritty of the GCP and MLB partnership:

  1. Multi-year collaboration to upgrade MLB’s business processes.
  2. Support next-level experiences and increase engagement for Fans around the World. 
  3. Support for Statcast – an automated tool for analyzing player movements and abilities.
  4. For the third season in a row, MLB will use Google Ad Manager and Dynamic Ad Insertion to run ad business. 
  5. Co-branding aspect of the deal – MLB will promote “Statcast powered by Google Cloud” (as AWS was).

MLB has already started implementing migration processes of its cloud and on-premises systems to Google Cloud. GCP will also extend its machine learning, analytics, application management, and data and video storage capabilities. 

On the official Google Cloud blog, “Every season we work to apply emerging technology to engage and support our fans, clubs, and broadcasters in new and exciting ways,” said Jason Gaedtke, MLB’s Chief Technology Officer. “MLB has enjoyed a strong partnership with Google based on Google Ad Manager’s live ad delivery with MLB.tv as well as YouTube’s strong fan engagement during exclusive live games. We are excited to strengthen this partnership by consolidating MLB infrastructure on Google Cloud and incorporating Google’s world-class machine learning technology to provide personalized and immersive fan experiences. We couldn’t have picked a better technology partner across ad delivery, streaming, cloud computing, and machine learning.”

Recently, Thomas Kurian (CEO, Google Cloud) presented the Alphabet’s strategy to beat the competitors AWS and Microsoft by 2023 at Goldman Sach’s Technological Conference 2020. He highlighted five industries to grow the GCP’s market share, but sports were not one of them. Winning the MLB cloud partner deal must have been a confidence booster as they replaced AWS. Now, this is a game-changer for Google Cloud. 

“MLB, which has led the sporting world in the use of data since the early 1990s, has shown the sports industry and sporting fans globally what’s possible when you combine data with human performance,” said Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud. “We’re looking forward to working with MLB to usher in a new era of innovation in sport, and together we can have a substantial impact on the game, giving the next generation of fans a different way to experience America’s favorite pastime.”

Chris Marinak, MLB’s EVP of Strategy, Technology, and Innovation, said, “Various applications of the league will use Google Cloud to provide real-time personalizations features to the fans engaging with the applications.” 

For example, a fan sees the featured clips based on his or her interests picked up by Google Cloud’s algorithms.

Tables have turned now

AWS has been serving the MLB since 2014, which also served announced extending the partnership in 2018 for machine learning, artificial intelligence, and “deep-learning workloads.” AWS has a strong portfolio of customers when it comes to the sports industry, which includes NFL, Bundesliga, La Liga, Football Club Barcelona, etc.

MLB executives are advocating the league’s migration to Google Cloud. This move, being processed for the past few weeks, already resulted in noticeable results. The decision-making of the managers, team-staff, and players have improved at a significant level via a “unified data plane.” 

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