Name: Emircan Yilmaz
Job title: Regional Coordinator & Data Collector
Meet Emircan Yilmaz, a Duisburg-based Data Collector and Regional Coordinator for IMG ARENA. Emircan’s passion for football and commitment to accuracy, has allowed him to thrive in his role as a Data Collector. From beginning his career in the Football industry, to joining the team in Germany, Emircan’s experience and enthusiasm is perfectly matched for the role.
Welcome Emircan, please could tell us a bit about yourself and what it’s like being a Data Collector in Germany?
My name is Emircan Yilmaz, I am 21 years old and I live in Duisburg, Germany. I am a student and Regional Coordinator/Data Collector at IMG ARENA for Germany. My goal has been to work in the football industry for a long time, and I am thrilled to have achieved this goal.
As a Data Collector in Germany, you have the opportunity to attend live games. What aspects of this role do you find most exciting and enjoyable?
The best thing about this role is being able to experience the atmosphere live. In my opinion, the German fan culture is the best in the world, because I could bet that nowhere else in the world do more than 10,000 spectators come to the stadium every week for a match in the third division. In my role as a data collector, it fascinates me every week how much people here are behind their local team – even if their team is not playing for the championship.
What motivated you to become a Data Collector, and how has this role allowed you to deepen your passion for sports?
I have been actively following football since I was 13 years old, it is my passion. One day I thought I should take advantage of this passion and knowledge and there is no way better than to turn it into a career. So I started looking for jobs in the football industry. When I saw the job description on IMG ARENA’s website, I quickly realised that this was exactly what I was looking for. Working as a data collector taught me that even the smallest things in sport are important and not just goals as an example.
Accuracy and attentiveness are crucial in data collection during fast-paced games. How do you ensure that you capture all the relevant information while maintaining the pace of the match?
The most important thing is to pay attention to the game every moment, even during small fouls or minor interruptions. Another advantage I use is to predict actions, for example a player commits a foul but gets away without a yellow card, 10 minutes later this player commits another foul, so it is likely that this time he will get a yellow card, by this little detail, I prepare myself for the yellow card so it can be entered in the app as soon as possible.
How has technology influenced the evolution of data collection in the sports industry? What impact has it had on enhancing the viewing experience for fans?
Technology has influenced data collection in a positive way, with new technology it is now possible to track everything that happens on the field, even the smallest details. For the fans, the detailed data increases the fan experience, because you can see, for example, how important some footballers are on the field for their team, even if they are not involved in a goal.
Can you share a memorable or interesting moment you’ve experienced while collecting live data at a game in Germany?
Before the game MSV Duisburg vs Erzgebirge Aue I sat directly behind the commentator for the live broadcast for TV. Then I suddenly got a message from a good friend that I was on live TV, because the commentator in front of me was recorded with a drone, and I had been seen on TV directly behind the commentator. Also, I can say that for me every game in Germany is unforgettable because the atmosphere is unique every time.
As a Regional Coordinator, you likely work closely with a team of Data Collectors. How do you ensure effective coordination and communication among team members?
As a Regional Coordinator I am there for the Data Collectors for any problem, whether it is about the Data Collection or other areas such as formal things, for me it is important that every Data Collector knows this, so that you can avoid misunderstandings and have fun with the job. For me it makes no difference how a Data Collector wants to communicate with me, whether via telegram or email, as a Regional Coordinator you should be open to everything, because some people often only feel comfortable with one communication channel.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in the role of a Data Collector? Are there any specific skills or qualities that are particularly important for success in this position?
You should already have the basic knowledge about the sport you want to cover, this will bring you many advantages. Also, you should be a person who can concentrate for a long period of time so as not to miss any important action in the game. If you have confidence in your abilities and are attentive to the IMG Arena training, you will have no problem collecting data, even if you have no previous experience in this industry.
Are there any specific challenges that you face as a Data Collector in Germany, and how do you overcome them to ensure accurate data collection?
To be honest, I haven’t had any problems collecting data so far. For me, this shows the quality and professionalism of German football.
Finally, as a sports enthusiast, which upcoming sports events or tournaments in Germany are you most looking forward to, and why?
I am looking forward to the upcoming European Championship in 2024, because many stadiums of the European Championship are near my city, I hope very much to be able to witness a match in the European Championship.