If you have ever watched a highlight of LeBron James dunking, Harry Kane scoring a goal or Tiger Woods sinking a putt, there’s a good chance WSC Sports powered the technology to create the highlight.
It all started as a way to combine Daniel Shichman’s love of sports — basketball specifically — with his education in technology, but it turned Shichman into the CEO of one of the most prominent sports technology companies in the world. WSC Sports is the not-so-secret sauce behind more than 300 of the world’s largest sports media rights-holders, including the NBA, ESPN, La Liga, Serie A, NASCAR, YouTubeTV and many more.
Built on an AI platform, WSC Sports has revolutionized the way sports highlights are created, distributed and consumed. Utilizing advanced machine learning technologies, WSC Sports’ proprietary platform analyzes live sports broadcasts and identifies, tags and indexes every event that occurs in a game. In real-time, it creates and publishes customized videos for more than 20 different types of sports. Rights-holders utilize this automation technology to fill their owned and operated platforms with content that’s highly personalized and tailored to suit every type of fan.
The fact that this is done in real-time (and automatically) saves countless hours of video editing, and it enables rights-holders to deliver videos at speed and scale. From just one sports event, the WSC Sports platform unlocks unlimited content narratives and highlight options. For example, all three-point shots in basketball, every goal saved in soccer, and any standout moments that appear in the broadcast.
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When he started the company back in 2011 with three friends fresh out of college, Shichman never imagined that WSC Sports would end up being responsible for transforming the way the biggest names in sports and broadcasting create and distribute video content. Rather than following in the footsteps of others and working for the already established tech giants, Shichman and WSC Sports’ co-founders followed their own path, taking their passion for sports and combining it with technological know-how.
Today, Shichman, Aviv Arnon (chief business development officer), Hy Gal (chief operating officer) and Shmulik Yoffe (chief technology officer) have grown WSC Sports into a leading technology company in Israel, and it has more than 350 employees across its offices in New York, London, Sydney and Tel Aviv.
But WSC Sports’ early days looked very different from the company today. The technology was initially built as a scouting tool for coaches to help them prepare for future games, identify future stars in the process, and find players’ and opponents’ strengths and weaknesses via video.
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It wasn’t until a few years later that WSC Sports evolved into the sports media industry. WSC’s big break can be traced back to one word — automation. This was the word that grabbed the attention of the NBA, Shichman and his co-founders’ dream partner. No other solution could automatically create highlights, but WSC Sports’ AI and machine learning algorithms made this possible. With the NBA as an early adopter, WSC Sports was on its way to the top.
Listening and working closely with its clients has been key to the company’s success. Over the years, the WSC Sports platform has been developed to solve the modern challenges facing rights-holders when creating and distributing video content. With WSC, for the first time, clients were given the power to automatically create personalized content to bring fans more of the highlights they wanted to see, while also unlocking fresh monetization opportunities through the new volume of content being created.
Today, WSC Sports is at the forefront of innovation, consistently developing new content solutions and tools. But the technology company is always listening closely to its clients and working directly with them to deliver new features and exciting new viewing capabilities.
Shichman’s advice to other founders is simple.
“Work with your friends, understand each of your strengths and weaknesses, and stay in your lane. This level of trust keeps everyone focused on their own responsibilities that all come together to create success. When every day can be fun at work, that’s definitely a win,” Shichman says.
He continues, “If you have a vision, believe in it even if others think it’s impossible. Without that belief and the trust we built early on, plus the exceptional execution by our whole team, WSC Sports never would have made it. Bring your ideas to life, and along the way keep a positive attitude and a smile.”
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