**Register here, too: [EVENTBRITE]

The challenge

It's impossible to not get caught up in the excitement of Atlanta's sports scene.  With six professional sports franchises, high-performing collegiate teams, and top-notch venues - it's thrilling to build technology sports solutions here.

Georgia Tech Athletics presents the 2nd Annual Sports Innovation Challenge - a free 24-hour hackathon focused on innovation in sports and athletics.

This year's theme is Data & Analytics. While open to any sport-related ideas that incorporate the collection and/or analysis of data in some way, we've gathered some real-world problems from Georgia Athletics teams and coaches for hackathon teams to tackle:

#1 GT Baseball Analytics:  GT’s new pitching coach, Danny Borrell, just came to Tech after 11 years in the Yankees farm system, including the past five as its pitching coordinator.  Recent AJC article on how applying camera and radar pitch tracking technology & analytics: https://www.ajc.com/sports/college/new-georgia-tech-pitching-coach-danny-borrell-master-craftsman/T7LGVci35fNBUBExa6P4aK/  Coach Borrell is building a baseball lab which collects an array of player data for analysis.  He wants you to build a TRAP – Test Research & Analytics Platform.  Samples of future data and sources will be provided for version 1.0.  Coach and staff will visit the Hack (~6pm) after their game Saturday against Ohio State Buckeyes to share ideas and concepts.  Future engagement with GT baseball to winner for longer term highly likely.

 #2 Applying “VIDEO object tracking technology” to Sports.   “MEGA” Challenge – might be too complex for Hack BUT huge market potential?  Are you up to the challenge?

Before every football game Georgia Tech’s football staff breaks down opponent game film to identify opponent’s game patterns, tendencies, and strategies.  Football uses this data to create insights into opponents, GT game strategies and GT play input.  The primary challenge is collecting data from Video.

Determine how to use “object tracking” technology to decipher and collect play data from Video and feed into XOs Digital Software.  Actual game film and corresponding data sheets will be provided.  Corresponding Football staff will be around Saturday to assist in Hackathon.  This includes current NFL players.  Future engagement by GT football to winner for longer term highly likely.

Basketball also wants to use Video “object tracking” technology to collect data from practices and games.  The data can then be provided in a dashboard form showing key metrics, tendencies, and other analytical insights.  Corresponding Basketball staff will participate in Hackathon.

Possible technology:

  • Tensor Flow?
  • Pelori.io? TBC. GT CreateX student startup.  Experts in Object Tracking technology.  Will be present and demo/offer their technology to assist with challenge.
  • Other?

 #3 Swimming – Power Tower improvements

Power Towers are swimming strength devices that add resistance to swimmers through an individual weight based pulley system attached to the end of the pool.  They provide aerobic, anaerobic and ATP energy development.  GT swimmer will be there Saturday to answer questions and help direct you.  The goals of a Power Tower are:

  1. Swimming specific strength development.
  2. Develop stronger swimmers that can maintain efficiency and body position.

Challenge:  automate, record data, analyze and communicate data back to athletes and coaches.  Future engagement by GT swimming to winner for longer term highly likely.

#4 Basketball Fan Engagement - TURNER challenge

Measure fan engagement of basketball games using social media sentiment. The tool should be able to predict popularity and performance of an upcoming game. For example an upcoming game is creating 30% more buzz because a star player switched teams to be on this one. While this might be known anecdotally but what is the social media chatter about it. Also compare the prediction to what the social media sentiment tells us in-game or post-game. Teams can pick a specific game in order to focus the predictions and results.

#5 Predicting Game Attendance (from Experience LLC):

Better knowing demand for seats to upcoming games can help teams plan and price ticket sales and manage inventory to better accommodate the needs of fans and maximize revenue opportunity.

Experience LLC works with teams to better understand market trends in ticket sales and drivers of fan interest. Using Experience technology, teams create ticket solutions that best meet fan needs and capture opportunities in the marketplace.

For this challenge, Experience is asking the question, "What events or conditions are correlated with increases or decreases in game attendance?"

This challenge will focus on predicting attendance to Major League Baseball games. Data for this challenge are available at  https://www.baseball-reference.com  (e.g.,  https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/ATL/2019-schedule-scores.shtml). Teams are asked to create a solution that best predicts game attendance and provides insights into what features drive increases and decreases in attendance.  More data and guidance to be provide at the HACK.

 #6 Open CategoryTeams are welcome to build any sports or athletics-related projects of their choosing.  Additional challenges from sponsors and GT athletic likely.

The event will feature free food, prize bundles full of tech goodies, appearances from professional players and coaches, and a chance to meet with Management Teams to potentially enter into a POC agreement with one or more sports organizations.

What is a Hackathon? 

A hackathon is a building sprint where teams of students and community members build new products or hack at an existing problem in 24-hours. The event engages design, development, and marketing talent, hears their ideas, prioritizes solutions, and prototypes/experiments to discover if the solutions work. Participants pitch final projects at the end of 24-hours to a panel of school and community leadership in hopes of winning prize bundles full of tech goodies, a chance to meet with management teams after the event to learn more about what it takes to pilot commercially, and one GT student will land a spot in CREATE-X's Startup Launch program.

Who should participate?

This event is open to both students and members of the Atlanta community.

Engineers, developers, designers and anyone with experience or interest in sports and athletics are invited to attend.

What's in it for you?

  • Build cool stuff in an awesome venue
  • Eat, drink and be merry. All sustenance will be provided.
  • Meet important people in the Atlanta professional sports industry.
  • Prize bundles of tech goodies
  • Garner interest from pro teams, corporate sponsors, and GT athletics to move your concept forward and/or enter into a possible pilot agreement.  Last year GT athletics contracted with 15 GT student hackathon participants to build out their ideas for GT athletic teams.
  • One winning team with at least one GT student will be guaranteed a spot in CREATE-X’s 2020 Startup Launch program, which includes $4,000 in seed investment to pursue idea further along with several resources including legal, accounting, co-working space and server credits.
  • Keep what you build. If you building something of interest to Georgia Tech Athletics or one of the sponsoring professional sports organizations, you may be offered a contract to continue building your project and potentially run a pilot. All we ask for is right of first refusal.


Saturday, February 22nd

12:00 - Lunch + Kickoff

1:00 PM - Start hacking

6:00 PM - Dinner

Stay as late you want.


Sunday, February 23rd

8:30 AM - Breakfast

12:00 PM - Lunch

1:00 - Public Expo + Judging

3:00 - Winners Announced. Prizes Awarded.


Anyone 18 and older can participate - individuals, teams and organizations. There are no limits on team size, but we recommend 3-5 people. 

Existing companies or developed/active products are not allowed.  This is NOT an event to market or sell items to GT.  



Must be focused on sports or athletics and have some data / data analytics aspect to it.

Hackathon Sponsors


$34,270 in prizes

First Place

Fitbit - Charge 3 Activity Tracker + Heart Rate - Black/Graphite or some other cool technology and various swag

Runner-Up (2)

Choice of Earbuds or Headphones or Echo Dots and other swag

GT Student Team Grand Prize

A spot in CREATE-X's 2020 Startup Launch program, which includes $4,000 (cash) in seed investment to pursue idea further along with several resources (value $30,000) including legal, accounting, co-working space and server credits. (Need at least 1 active GT student on team to qualify.)

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:


Scott Doyne

Scott Doyne
SVP, Turner Sports Data Strategy and Insights

Karl Pierburg

Karl Pierburg
Vice President of Technology, Data, and Analytics at AMBSE (Falcons/United)

Lara Hodgson

Lara Hodgson
Co-Founder, President & CEO at NOW Corp

Todd Stansbury

Todd Stansbury
GT Director of Athletics

Judging Criteria

  • Functionality
    Does it solve the challenge? Does it work as is or does it require additional resources? Can it be scaled in a cost-effective way?
  • Design
    Is it easy to understand? Is it easy to use? Is it creative?
  • Awesomeness
    Wow factor. Did you build something no one thought was possible in the scope of a weekend? Did you use techniques that are abnormal, often impractical, and weirdly elegant?
  • CreateX Prize
    One winning team with at least one GT student is guaranteed a spot in CREATE-X’s 2020 Startup “Launch” program, which includes $4,000 in seed investment to pursue idea further along with several resources including legal, accounting, and co-working space.

Questions? Email the hackathon manager

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Hackathon sponsors

Organizer: Georgia Tech Athletics
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