Thuuz Sports, an automated short form sports video production company and metadata service, in collaboration with IBM and Fox Sports measured the excitement levels of all teams/games throughout the World Cup; using the insights gained to create customizable highlights in real time. The proprietary algorithm determined that Spain (scored 93.5), runner-up Croatia (91) and Belgium (91) were the most exciting teams to participate in the 2018 World Cup (France finished 7th); game pace, team parity, play novelty, momentum shifts, social buzz and historical context of all matchups throughout the tournament were all considered. The Croatia-Russia match received a perfect score of 100, making it the tournament’s most exciting matchup. You’ve heard the term, ‘the excitement was palpable’; as CEO Warren Packard says, “we can now verify it.”
Howie Long-Short: Thuuz, a privately held entity, has raised $10.7 million over 2 rounds of funding. You can play the company via Liberty Global (LBTYK), who led their $4.2 million Series A round in ’12 or through ITOCHU Technology Ventures; the VC arm of Itochu Corporation. Itochu is among the largest Japanese general trading companies (#215 on ’17 Fortune Global 500 list), with an expertise in textiles, metals/minerals, food, machinery, energy/chemicals and ICT/general products/real estate; the company trades over the counter under the symbol ITOCY.
Fan Marino: France finished 7th despite winning the tournament, because overall suspense/surprise throughout all team matches carries the most weight in the algorithm. That’s logical. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who says the Warriors run to the NBA Championship was more exciting than the Eagles run to the Super Bowl. Expectations, or the lack thereof, matter.
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