Red Sox CTO: Baseball teams need modern tech stack as much as any other biz

You know a modern Major League Baseball team like the Boston Red Sox is built on a steady diet of data and analytics — this is true on the field just as much as in the front office.

While the main focus of a professional baseball club is building a competitive team that takes advantage of the unique talents of each player, when you get down to it, the Red Sox are no different from most businesses when it comes to their tech stack.

They make choices about sales and marketing tools, data storage, analyst dashboards — everything any company needs to run a business these days. The Red Sox, like many companies, are part of a larger corporate entity — in this case, the Fenway Sports Group — so they need to understand when and how to share tech with other members of the corporate family when it makes sense.

There’s another wrinkle that most businesses don’t have to take into consideration: The Red Sox are also a part of Major League Baseball, which has its own technology priorities that it shares with individual clubs.

As an example, Vasanth Williams, MLB’s head of engineering and chief product officer, earlier this year told TechCrunch+ that the league has established a relationship with Google Cloud, which could impact each individual club’s cloud infrastructure decisions:

We created a base platform that all clubs can leverage. That’s one of the things we’ve done in the last few years that is both on the fan side as well as on the baseball data side. We wanted to bring all the data and make that accessible in an easy way. Back in the day, it was all on-premise and in different data centers. We put it all in the cloud and made it much easier for them to query and build analytics on.

To learn more about how the Boston Red Sox uses technology to run its business (and play the game), we spoke to Brian Shield, the club’s chief technology officer.

A look at the stack

Shield said his job is similar to that of a CTO at any large organization trying to define and drive the company’s technology strategy, but the requirements of a baseball club aren’t always the same.

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