Kitman Labs, Columbus Crew Unveils Wide-Ranging 'Innovation Partnership'

Kitman Labs, Columbus Crew Announce Wide-Ranging "Innovation Partnership" To Support Advancement in Player Development, Coaching, Scouting & Recruitment
Tim Bezbatchenko and Stephen Smith
Tim Bezbatchenko and Stephen Smith
MENLO PARK, Calif. - March 30, 2023 - PRLog -- Kitman Labs, the performance intelligence company setting a new industry standard for how elite sports organizations use data, today announced a landmark multi-year partnership with the Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer (MLS). The partnership will be housed at the Crew's world-class facilities in Field and the OhioHealth Performance Center in Columbus.

"We welcome the Crew and their entire Organization, led by Tim Bezbatchenko, into the Kitman Labs performance family," founder and CEO Stephen Smith said. "As the first club in Major League Soccer history, the Crew are paving the way as the first in MLS to become an 'Innovation Partnership' club - a multi-faceted partnership which will impact every level of athlete performance and club operations, from their first team to their scouting and youth programs to their approach to investment and resource allocation. Our collective goal is to create a fully integrated operating system designed to elevate and advance player and team performance in North America, and we are proud to be able to collaborate with a club that has been known as an innovation leader since the founding of MLS."

"The Crew and Kitman Labs are two organizations with complementary philosophies which is why this groundbreaking partnership makes so much sense," Crew President and General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko said. "We are both deeply committed to fundamentally changing how data is used in sport to optimize performance, reduce injury risk, support operations, and ultimately drive success across every aspect of the organization, from the First Team, through Crew 2 and to the Academy. That common mission has now evolved into the development of an all-encompassing operations platform that will hopefully yield dividends in every aspect of team operations - not just for the Crew, but for North American soccer in the years to come. We are proud to be the first adopters in MLS as we look to try and set a new standard in how performance intelligence is leveraged across the sport."

Kitman will collaborate with the Crew to leverage its proprietary performance intelligence platform and analytics to support three key areas of focus:
  • Player Development - delivering a tailored and data-driven talent development process to maximize player potential
  • Evidence-based Coaching - development of a real-time integrated system to enable objective, outcome-driven coaching and planning
  • Scouting and Recruiting - development of a data rich, configurable recruitment analytics solution to maximize the return on current and prospective players

The Crew - under Bezbatchenko's leadership since 2019 - have secured three championships: 2020 MLS Cup, 2021 Campeones Cup, 2022 MLS NEXT Pro Cup.

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