From Insights to Impact: TDI & Hawk-Eye Data Solutions in Action

From Insights to Impact: TDI & Hawk-Eye Data Solutions in Action


  • Dan Payne, Product Director – Hawk-Eye Innovations
  • Jonathan Thorpe, Head of Commercial – Tennis Data Innovations (TDI)


Over the past two decades, Hawk-Eye Innovations has transformed the officiating and broadcast experience of some of the world’s biggest sports. Now, it is using its data insights to change how sport is played and understood.

Dan Payne, Hawk-Eye Innovations’ product director, began a presentation on day one of ISC 2024 by introducing Hawk-Eye and TDI as part of the Sony Sports group.

He then explained Hawk-Eye’s three core competencies:

  • SMART – the software underpinning VAR, among others.
  • TRACK – referring to tracking the athletes in play.
  • INSIGHT – turning the raw data they produce into insights about players and athletes.

“We see ourselves as a problem-solution company,” he said.

In this vein, Payne spoke about Hawk-Eye’s vision for ‘auto-inventing’. He explained that much of the data collected in football matches is currently manually processed to gain insights, but Hawk-Eye believes this can be automated.

Thorpe introduced TDI as a “specialist organisation [working] to maximise the value of data assets”.

TDI came about when the ATP recognised that the value of their data, particularly derived from the betting industry, was growing exponentially.

They realised that data-driven strategies could be brought in-house to “own the space of data”.

As such, TDI was created to unlock deeper levels of engagement for tennis and reduce inefficiencies by working with all bodies in tennis rather than just the ATP, for example.

Thorpe suggested that the ability to work with different bodies was unique to tennis, as in a sport like football it would take far greater organisation to achieve this.

He then outlined TDI’s key areas of focus, firstly in betting, where they believe there is an opportunity for innovation.

Secondly, in the media where they think data can support the drive to retain a younger audience by harnessing data to give a deeper understanding of the game.

Finally, in performance, where data can be hugely powerful for players and coaches who have previously only been able to engage with this data by paying for analysts. TDI will now roll it out to all athletes to make it more widely available.

Thorpe said: “It’s not a profit-making exercise. It’s really a way to enhance the game and make tennis better.”

Moving on to addressing how a partnership between Hawk-Eye and TDI had helped, Thorpe explained that it ensured a strong foundation of reliable data.

Payne then revealed how their tracking data could include skeletal data and racket data. Thorpe added that the next step is to make this data something that is more accessible to more people.

“If you were to plaster this all over the TV coverage, it wouldn’t mean anything to many people,” he said.

In this way, the two are looking to make the data more accessible by creating understandable insights through a data platform that athletes and coaches can engage with.

“This is where we think a greater level of fan engagement lies,” Thorpe said.

Expanding on this point, Payne explained how augmented reality was recently provided for broadcast of the Australian Open, showing insights like shot velocity. This was typically used by broadcasters between points to illustrate the story of the game.

It is helped by the fact that Hawk-Eye can now provide this in near real-time.

Payne went on to explain how data-driven research could also be used in athlete biomechanics, player health, predictive analytics, and gamification.