Zebra's John Pollard talks about what he and others experienced at the Senior Bowl 2020.
By Therese Van Ryne | January 29, 2020

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the 2020 Senior Bowl (and a Super Bowl Preview)

Check out what this Zebra got to see (and what Zebra RFID technology helps coaches and players see) during the big games.

Are you ready for some (American) football?! We sure are!

Though we’ve technically had a front-row seat to the whole pro football season thanks to Zebra’s role as the NFL’s Official On-Field Player-Tracking Provider, nothing quite compares to the energy we’ve experienced over the past few weeks – or what we expect this weekend at Super Bowl LIV in Miami!

We’ve been right smack in the middle of all the end-of-season action, starting last week in Mobile, Alabama, where we supported the 2020 Reese’s Senior Bowl. The talent and athleticism we witnessed during this annual college football all-star game was stunning. These players have very bright futures ahead of them – and NFL scouts agreed.

Getting a Sneak Peek at the “Future” of the NFL

Thanks to the Zebra RFID sensor technology that has been embedded in the footballs and player equipment, coaches and recruiters from every NFL team were able to meticulously analyze the speed, acceleration, orientation and overall performance of each Senior Bowl player on a level not feasibly achieved using the human eye and speed guns alone. That’s huge for the college players who are hoping to get drafted into the professional league as well as the NFL teams who are evaluating draft candidates, as it helps teams objectively analyze player skills and make better recruiting decisions.

But that’s not the only benefit of these RFID tags – and it’s certainly not the only reason why NFL coaches such as Sean Payton are such big fans of this new technology system.

Zebra’s John Pollard explains in this short interview captured at the Senior Bowl:

Curious what else players, coaches, commentators and even fans (like us!) were able to see at the Senior Bowl thanks to the RFID-powered, real-time locationing system – and what you can expect to see during the Super Bowl broadcast and the NFL’s Next Gen Stats reporting?

Zebra will be hosting a press conference later today during which time I’ll be talking with John Pollard and Matt Swensson, Vice President of Emerging Products and Technology for the NFL, to showcase key data captured from the 2019-20 NFL season using our best-in-class ball tracking and player tracking technology. We’ll also talk about how the data benefits the league, teams, broadcasters and fans leading up to the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers Super Bowl matchup on February 2.

Tune back into Your Edge later this week for highlights from the press conference and a link to watch the replay.

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Therese Van Ryne
Therese Van Ryne

Therese Van Ryne is Senior Director of External Communications for Zebra Technologies. She joined Zebra as part of the acquisition of Motorola Solutions Enterprise business in October 2014. She and her team are laser focused on growing the company’s brand awareness globally aligned with business objectives. Her accomplishments include leading Zebra events with Harvard University and TED as well as the creation of the annual Intelligent Enterprise Index, resulting in positive media coverage, customer engagement and revenue growth.

Prior to Motorola Solutions, Van Ryne worked at SC Johnson where she led corporate communication strategies and drove PR and branding efforts for leading consumer products. One of her top achievements was leading the Windex® placement in the film, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” resulting in a 25% sales increase for the brand.

One of PR News’ 2019 Top Women in PR and Crain's Chicago's 2021 Most Notable Executives in Marketing, Therese also has experience as a journalist, editor and producer, reporting nightly from Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Van Ryne holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications and Journalism from Marquette University and an Executive Leadership Master’s Certificate from Cornell University.

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