Former badminton player and current chief national coach of the India National Badminton team Pullela Gopichand will now be playing a new role. Well, after being a player, coach, and mentor and having seen the game in 360 degrees, the sports star is now plunging into the business side of the game by becoming the co-founder of Hyderabad-based Matchday.ai, which developed a sports analytics platform using artificial intelligence.
The artificial intelligence-based platform will give insights into shot accuracies, rate attacks and defense, court coverage, winners and errors, rally length, and also tells if it’s a forehand, backhand, or overhead shot, among others.
Being associated with badminton for so long and having seen the game grow and players being more open to adopting technology, Gopichand feels it’s the right time to enter the domain. He shares that today’s youngsters read and decipher data much quicker, and that’s where Matchday.ai comes in. As of now, Gopichand will be taking care of the growth, channel partnerships, and new product development at the company that was founded in 2019.“
The effort is to make sports analysis, which earlier was available only at the professional level, accessible at various levels and places. This is useful for players and can make a huge impact on the sport,” says Gopichand. “Today, Hyderabad is the badminton capital of sorts. It is only right that something is a product of the future that is developed here. We are on the cusp of producing an innovation that can disrupt badminton and also sports gradually,” he adds. Harsha Vardhan Kommana and Ganesh Yaprala are the other co-founders of Matchday.ai.
According to them, more than 200 players have already used the product. Incidentally, the company rolled out the beta version during the Olympics and subsequently rolled out the analytics for most of the international tournaments thereafter. In India, it was rolled out for BAI senior badminton tournament in India, and the founders say that badminton federation coaches of Germany, Finland, Denmark, and the UK have shown interest in their product.
However, their overall plan is to roll out to at least 100 academies in India in one year and scale to other sports eventually.