Bloomberg L.P., the mega-financial services firm owned by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, expanded its reach into the sports arena forming Bloomberg Sports a little more than a year ago. This venture utilizes their experience in financial data to provide statistical analysis. Bloomberg’s “Pro” level services are marketed to teams, broadcast firms, and agents & players, currently tailored to meet the needs of the baseball industry. And this venture is finally paying off, as Sports Business Journal reported earlier this week that 17 MLB clubs signed on with Bloomberg Sports to use their scouting tools. As baseball arbitration winds up and players head to Spring Training, I’m sure there are a few agents out there questioning their preparation in recent contract negotiations, and possibly some already confident in their analysis.
Every agent has his method of preparing for contract negotiations, but many come down to stats, and the agent showing a club why his client deserves a certain contract. A few months back we looked at RayRubin Sports Analysts, just one firm that agents go to for their statistical analysis. Some agents and baseball professionals use Sabermetrics, a method discussed on SAB in its early days. Whatever program or consultant an agent may choose, one thing is for sure, agents always need to do their due diligence in preparing for negotiations, and a lot of this rests on being prepared to showcase their clients’ stats in the most helpful way possibly. Maybe Bloomberg Sports will be the next big thing in performance analysis for teams and agents. For agents that are perhaps more hands on, this may streamline other processes which they’ve used in the past to prepare. Bloomberg has done things so well in the financial industry, maybe those who specialize in preparing these types of analyses should be scared. If I was an agent, I would certainly want to be on the exact same page as those 17 clubs that are working with Bloomberg now, knowing that at some point in the hopefully near future I would be sitting down with them to negotiate a new contract for my client.
For the GM in all of us, Bloomberg has also created a “Consumer” version of their services to aid the Fantasy player, available for Football and Baseball. I don’t know how much these programs cost for the average-joe, but there are plenty of hardcore fantasy sports players out there pissed about losing their league by a point this season.