Sports Analytics and Business Initiative
Leading the rapidly growing field of sports analytics and advancing the dynamic sports business landscape
Wharton Sports Analytics and Business Initiative (WSABI) is a student-focused initiative that uses sports analytics as a vehicle to teach fundamental ideas in statistics and data science to fuel the next generation of data-driven leaders and create pathways into the business of sports.
Our summer programs for high school students provide rising juniors and seniors time to spend on Penn’s campus, in our classrooms, and learning from faculty experts while exploring business, analytics, and statistics taught through the lens of sports.
What Role Can AI Play in Sports?
Wharton professors Adi Wyner and Cade Massey join Eric Bradlow, vice dean of Analytics at Wharton, to discuss how AI — along with statistics and data science — can assist with tracking data, player evaluation, making predictions, and more. This interview is part of a special 10-part series called “AI in Focus.”
Cade Massey is a Practice Professor in the Wharton School’s Operations, Information and Decisions Department. He received his PhD from the University of Chicago and taught at Duke University and Yale University before moving to Penn. Massey’s research focuses on judgment under uncertainty – how, and how well, people predict what will happen in the future. His work draws on experimental and “real world” data such as employee stock options, 401k savings, the National Football League draft, and graduate school admissions. His research has led to long-time collaborations with Google, Merck and multiple professional sports franchises. Massey’s research has been published in leading psychology and management journals, and covered by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, The Economist, and National Public Radio. He has taught MBA and Executive MBA courses for 15 years, receiving teaching awards for courses on negotiation, influence, organizational behavior and human resources. He also co-teaches Wharton’s “People Analytics” MOOC on Coursera. Massey is faculty co-director of Wharton People Analytics, co-host of “Wharton Moneyball” on SiriusXM Business Radio, and co-creator of the Massey-Peabody NFL Power Rankings for the Wall Street Journal. He lives in Center City Philadelphia.
Practice Professor Operations, Information and Decisions Department
Faculty Co-Director, Wharton Sports Analytics and Business Initiative
Professor Adi Wyner received his Bachelors degrees in Mathematics from Yale University, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude with distinction in his major. He was the recipient of the Stanley Prize for excellence in Mathematics. His PhD in Statistics is from Stanford University, where he won a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship, the Abrams Prize and the Herz Foundation fellowship. After graduating from Stanford, he received the NSF post-graduate fellowship and a visiting Professorship at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Wyner has been a Professor of Statistics at the Wharton School of Business for the last 11 years. He is a tenured Professor and the Chair of the Undergraduate Program in Statistics for the University of Pennsylvania.
Professor Wyner is an expert at Probability Models and Statistics. His principle focus at Wharton has been research in Applied Probability, Information Theory and Statistical Learning. He has published more than 30 articles in leading journals in many different fields, including Applied Statistics, Applied Probability, Finance, Information Theory, Computer Science and Bio-Informatics. He has received grants from the NSF, NIH and private industry. Professor Wyner has participated in numerous consulting projects in various businesses. He was one the earliest consultants for TiVo, Inc, where he helped to develop early personalization software. Dr. Wyner created some of the first on-line data summarization tools, while acting as CTO for Surfnotes, Inc. More recently, he has developed statistical analyses for banks and marketing research firms and has served as consultant to several law firms in Philadelphia, New York and Washington, D.C. In addition, he has served as statistical faculty advisor for the University Pennsylvania Law School. His interest in sports statistics has led to a collaboration with ESPN where Dr. Wyner was the PI on the ESPN funded MLB player evaluation research project. He has worked has also served as a statistical expert for hedge funds and private equity concerns.
Professor of Statistics and Data Science
Director of Undergraduate Program in Statistics and Data Science
Faculty Co-Director, Wharton Sports Analytics and Business Initiative
Michelle Young is the Director of Sports Analytics and Sports Business Initiative for the Wharton Sports Business Initiative. She joined the organization in September of 2015 after accumulating more than a decade of experience in various facets of the sports industry.
Michelle began her career in sports business for the Philadelphia Eagles, promoting premium suite and club seat licenses at the newly-constructed Lincoln Financial Field.
She then joined the athletic apparel manufacturer, AND 1, where her management of various aspects of the company’s famed Mix Tape Tour helped expand the Tour’s value as a global sales tool for the brand across Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.
After her time at AND 1, Michelle immersed herself in the collegiate side of sports, occupying positions of increasing responsibility over a seven-year span at Temple University. She first joined the Temple Athletics Department, where she engaged in a broad range of fundraising activities for the men’s basketball and football programs and served as stewardship manager for the Owl Club.
While with the Athletics Department, she also planned a variety of high profile events for NCAA tournaments and bowl games. This experience led to a position in the University’s Office of Special Events, where her event planning responsibilities expanded to include leadership hospitality at sporting and other events and coordinating across multiple University departments to ensure the successful planning and execution of the University’s annual Commencement ceremonies and the Inauguration of University President Neil D. Theobald.
Director, Wharton Sports Analytics and Business Initiative
We are a dynamic hub for the sports and business community connecting Wharton’s world-class faculty, students, and accomplished alumni network with sports industry professionals and our cutting-edge researchers, offering a unique array of opportunities to advance both student education and professional practice.
We support and advance a strategic approach to expanding the sports business industry. We connect students to a vast alumni network as well as strong industry connections to apply what they learn in the classroom, tackling real-life issues. Let us know if you are interested in getting involved.