Building an Advanced NFL
Quantitative Analysis Tool

A Brief Overview

Nearform_Commerce partnered with SumerSports to create a cutting-edge product for player acquisition and roster management for teams within the NFL.

The Challenge

Disrupting the conventional approach

Across the 32 NFL teams, each general manager and their support staff employ unique, multifaceted approaches to team decision-making. This encompasses in-house engineering and data analytics, a variety of analytical tools, and a complex network of resources.

This process places a significant cognitive burden on managers, and this crucial challenge becomes especially daunting in the lead-up to, and during, the annual draft — the event that shapes a team's prospects for the upcoming season.

American Footballer running with ball
Our Approach

Delivering a novel product, grounded in research & co-created with industry experts

As a new product, thorough research played a pivotal role in comprehending the behaviours, obstacles, and requirements of the primary users. Comprehensive interviews were conducted with subject matter experts, including both former and current General Managers. MARVAL, the resulting product, delivers a cutting-edge analytical experience. It's built on innovative data models and designed for customisation to cater to the unique needs of each team.

Dual tools for building winning teams

During the product beta phase, the focus was directed towards two core aspects of the application: ‘Roster management’, designed to assist in strategy development and planning for the existing team, and the ‘Draft dashboard’, a tool tailored for draft scenario planning, both in the pre-draft phase and during the live event.

Examples of dashboards tailored to draft scenerios

Conveying trustworthy data

Collaborating with SumerSports' expert data modelling team, in conjunction with feedback from users, directed the building of a product that provided reliable data where available and indications of confidence where it dropped off, allowing teams to use the product in critical decision making with assurance.

Building for the future

Exploring uncharted territory brings valuable insights. As the product undergoes testing and trials with users, feedback is incorporated, and the product evolves based on newfound knowledge.

In light of this approach, a pattern library was developed in parallel with the beta product. This ensures alignment with engineering, scalability for the future, and maintains a consistent design throughout the platform.

The Impact - A robust MVP for Draft Day

The ImpactA robust MVP for Draft Day

Along with a wealth of user insights compiled for use in SumerSports backlog of future product and feature ideas, a well-crafted UI kit, and comprehensive design documentation, a strong MVP was successfully delivered in time for the draft season.

This timely delivery allowed testing and validation for the product during a crucial period. The feedback collected from users during this phase was actively integrated into subsequent iterations of the product, resulting in a significant improvement that aligned the product more closely with users' real-world behaviours and needs.

Hear from the client
[Nearform_Commerce]'s product design team's ability to balance creativity with feasibility, understanding technical constraints and timelines, ensured a practical and impressive product for our pilot NFL teams. From comprehensive research to innovative and user-friendly design, their dedication was evident at every step.
Christa Hayes, VP of