Spotlight on: Yoav Schurder

ODCN Spotlight on: Yoav Schurder

Name: Yoav Schurder
Job title: Regional Coordinator & Data Collector
Location: Israel

Yoav Schurder is an avid Real Madrid fan based in Israel. Attending over 75 live games last year, Yoav’s passion for football led him to his current role as Regional Coordinator at IMG ARENA. From the stadium atmosphere to the details that go into capturing every point, Yoav enjoys every element of his role as a Data Collector. Memorable moments like the pyro-lit Tel-Aviv derby keep his passion for the job alive.


Welcome Yoav, please could tell us a bit about yourself and what it’s like being a Data Collector in Israel?

Hi! I’m going to start with a small confession, before starting my role with IMG ARENA there weren’t many times that I sat down to watch Israeli soccer. I have been a Real Madrid fan since the day I was born. It has been an incredible experience collecting data in Israel, I have discovered a very competitive, exciting, and emotional league. The fans are incredible here, so many games were sold out, some with over 25 minutes added time due to pyro and the infamous “crowd trouble” button. It really has been a fun year!


As a Data Collector in Israel, you have the opportunity to attend live games. What aspects of this role do you find most exciting and enjoyable?

Another confession! I was never one of those football fans who attended stadiums week-in week-out, so to be at over 75 live games this year was insane for me.
The ambience of a live stadium, which is hugely created by the crowd, was definitely the most exciting and enjoyable part of this role.


What motivated you (motivated you) to become a Data Collector, and how has this role allowed you to deepen your passion for sports?

Before I joined IMG ARENA I worked for a different organisation as a Data Collector, however this experience was completely different. At the previous company, you watched the games remotely, so you missed out on the excitement of being in the stadium and didn’t get to experience the game live. This is why the role at IMG ARENA really caught my attention! The understanding that every second and every small detail counts in this role, tells me how big of a responsibility it is and how many fans must be engaged in this, makes this role so important and crucial. The data that we collect at the matches are (is) what makes football so much more interesting, adding in a new perspective to the game.


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?

Fast capturing starts with knowing the system well. If you know the application well, you know where all the buttons are – you should be good to go.

You start watching the game and you automatically press the dedicated buttons with the flow of the match. Plus, it is super important to arrive at the venue 60 minutes before the match. You can peacefully get prepared for the match, edit lineups without pressure and that will make your experience going to the game much more peaceful.


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?

Everything has changed in the recent years. Sport has become an absolute tech monster. Tech helps bring the game to the maximum abilities. If once you had 11 men and a ball, today you have thousands of cameras, performance analytics, data-based decisions. It helps bring the maximum elite footballing experience to the crowd that loves the games so much. The teams, players, analysts, media, all are at their maximum – and we the crowd can only benefit from that.


Can you share a memorable or interesting moment you’ve experienced while collecting live data at a game in Israel?

Blimey, there have been far too many! I think the one that stands out the most is the one game I had 25 minutes added on at halftime! This happened at the Tel–Aviv derby, 16 seconds into the first whistle, both crowds already had hundreds of pyro sticks lit. The whole week before the game the media was talking about how they put nets in the stadium to prevent pyro sticks thrown onto the field to ruin the pitch. Unfortunately the net did not stop any pyro sticks and they went straight through and onto the pitch.

The game was stopped for 25 minutes because each time they renewed the game the crowd would light more pyro. It was truly insane. The game started at 20:30PM and I got home at 1:00AM.


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?

The first thing I did was ask for a joint telegram group of all data collectors in Israel. It’s just super easy to contact in that type of way rather than emailing. The second thing I did was try to put together the most informative Stadium-WIFI spreadsheet, and asked the DC’s if anyone happens to encounter a new WIFI password in a stadium to share it on telegram and I added them to the spreadsheet. It makes the data collecting experience just a little bit easier.


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?

It is definitely an experience! But an experience which you can’t turn down. Everyone who I’ve spoken to about my job is always shocked. With that said, it is also super challenging. With all the craziness a football stadium can bring, you must stay focused, be prepared for any scenario and anticipate plays on the field. It’s not as easy as it may seem.


Are there any specific challenges that you face as a Data Collector in Israel, and how do you overcome them to ensure accurate data collection?

Of course! There are a few stadiums in Israel that don’t supply good WIFI, and service connection is low, therefore the hotspot is tough. The biggest advice in those cases is just to keep on scoring and wait for a period of time to continue trying to fix the connectivity. Also, contact the supervisor in order to ensure the data collected has been received. Another problem that isn’t spoken about much, is that the games are very often at rush hour times, and that makes the time you leave your house much earlier so that you can be at the venue 60 minutes before the match. You just have to be super responsible on the time handling.


Finally, as a sports enthusiast, which upcoming sports events or tournaments in Israel are you most looking forward to, and why?

It would have to be the derbies, they bring the best atmosphere there is! This coming year in Israel we have quite a few of them! Tel-Aviv derby, Jerusalem derby, Petah Tikva derby, Haifa derby etc. Hopefully, they can live up to the high standards this year has set.



Interested in becoming a data collector for IMG ARENA? Click here to read more about our ODCN team, or view our current vacancies.

All news
Related stories
Inside ODCN - Adam Dziuba

05 February 2024

Inside ODCN: Adam Dziuba