Major League Baseball is benching Amazon Web Services, with the league picking Google Cloud as its new data and analytics partner.
Under a multiyear pact, Google Cloud becomes MLB’s official cloud services and cloud data and analytics partner for business operations, including Statcast, the automated service that analyzes player performance and abilities. In addition, for the 2020 season, MLB will use Google Ad Manager and its Dynamic Ad Insertion feature for its digital ads business for the third year in a row.
MLB is migrating its cloud and on-premises systems to Google Cloud, using the internet company’s machine learning, analytics, application management, and data and video storage capabilities. There’s a co-branding aspect to the deal as well: MLB will promote Google Cloud as powering Statcast (as AWS was).
The league will use Google Cloud to provide real-time personalization features to baseball fans, said Chris Marinak, MLB’s EVP of strategy, technology and innovation. For example, on MLB’s video destinations, prominently featured clips will be those most relevant to an individual fan (e.g., based on favorite team) as calculated by Google Cloud-powered algorithms.
MLB execs said the league’s migration to Google Cloud, which has been in process over the past several weeks, has already resulted in major improvements in analytics and decision-making by letting it provide teams with a “unified data plane.”
The league had worked with Amazon’s AWS since 2014, most recently announcing in a deal extension in 2018 making AWS the official provider for machine learning, artificial intelligence and “deep-learning workloads.” Amazon has AWS pacts with other sports leagues and associations, including the NFL, which uses the cloud-services platform to power its Next Gen Stats (NGS).
Separately, on Monday, Google announced the cancellation of the in-person Google Cloud Next ’20 conference that had been slated to run in San Francisco April 6-8, citing “growing concern around the coronavirus (COVID-19), and in alignment with the best practices laid out by the CDC, WHO and other relevant entities.” The event will now be held online.
(Pictured above: The Washington Nationals’ Howie Kendrick hits a two-run home run against the Houston Astros in the seventh inning of Game 7 of the 2019 World Series)