IT Pro Live: How Pro Football Focus became the NFL's secret weapon

The NFL relies on data to make key decisions - and it's all thanks to one man from Luton

It's hard to believe that the deep, rich analytics that NFL fans enjoy as part of sports broadcasts are largely thanks to one man - and it's even more surprising to learn that man is an English superfan from Luton. In this Q&A, we'll talk to Neil Hornsby, founder of Pro Football Focus, about how his hobby of tracking statistics turned into a multi-million dollar business that now powers a huge amount of the NFL's data analysis efforts.

Justin Cupler

Managing Editor, ITPro.com

Justin is an 11-year veteran in the world of journalism in a wide range of verticals, including automotive, personal finance, landscaping, technology and more. He’s also spent years behind the microphone and in front of the camera. He’s appeared on local and national networks, including Cheddar, NBC, CBS and Fox. Cupler’s a professionally trained broadcaster from Connecticut School of Broadcasting and an ACES-Poynter-certified editor. His favorite pastime is spotting grammatical errors in national ads and billboards.

Neil Hornsby

Founder & CEO, Pro Football Focus

Neil Hornsby founded PFF in 2006 as nothing more than a hobby. Somehow it took on a life of its own and in 2014, with 13 NFL teams as customers and 8 full-time staff, the then UK based company was purchased by Cris Collinsworth and moved to the US. With Hornsby as Chief Operating Officer, PFF has grown to become the preeminent provider of data and analytics to all 32 NFL teams, 73 NCAA FBS teams as well as virtually every major media outlet covering football. It now has just under 100 full-time employees covering four countries and nine time zones.

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