Manchester City and Israeli sports technology company Playermaker have launched Cityplay, a wearable tracker designed for soccer players. Playermaker’s device transforms any cleat into a data tracker that monitors and analyzes athletic performance through a player’s foot movements.
Playermaker’s wearable tracker provides an AI-based score for technical football skills, such as first touch and dribbling, and physical skills, such as speed and agility. This allows players to better understand where they can develop. Aside from soccer, basketball teams around the world also use Playmaker’s technology.
“The magic of wearables is that we believe they should provide value for both professional and recreational athletes,” Guy Aharon, CEO of Playermaker, told Sportico in an interview. “And this is the core, because the professional level drives the innovation. And the recreational one eventually is where the scale is.”
Playmaker has been working with Man City’s academy for the last few years to provide the team with analysis of a player’s performance. The product will be now available to both professional and amateur players around the world, for $189.
“We have spent many years improving our knowledge of what it takes to continue to perform and succeed at the highest level,” Jorgina Busquets, the managing director of football education and recreation at City Football Group, said in a statement. “We’re pleased to now be able to offer this to anyone who wants to improve their skills, further expanding the reach of our methodology to those both in the UK and globally.”
Established in 2016, Playermaker is the fastest-growing footwear performance platform in the market. Headquartered in London, the company has raised $40 million to date, according to Crunchbase. The company aims to place the product across all sports. Women’s soccer teams are among Playmaker’s top clients.
“There are a lot of women’s teams that unfortunately don’t have the same resources as men,”Aharon said. “We’ve decided to support them and to be part of this project. And we’re very proud that a significant part of our users is from the women’s side of the game.”
Wearable technology is one of the fastest-growing sectors in tech. According to a recent report, the global wearable tech market is expected to reach $415.12 billion by 2029, at a CAGR of 17.1% during the forecast period.
Cityplay is the second product released by Man City, following the launch of the Coaching Hub product released last year. The on-demand coaching initiative was launched during the pandemic to allow fans and players worldwide access to Manchester City’s methodology.
“We’ve managed to provide a solution for the Gen Z’s of the world,” Aharon said. “Because they are looking for a different experience of their data. They don’t just seek data; they’re seeking what this data means.”