Leveraging O.R. to Achieve the Competitive Edge

sports success story

The Chilean Professional Soccer Association (ANFP) has applied Operations Research (O.R.) techniques over the past 11 years to schedule its soccer leagues in Chile. In 2016, they were named a finalist in the Franz Edelman Award for Achievement in Operations Research and the Management Sciences with their paper, "Operations Research Transforms the Scheduling of Chilean Soccer Leagues and South American World Cup Qualifiers." Using integer programming, ANFP has decided where and how matches are played in each competitive round, taking into account various operational and other factors that include cost-management and an effort to create excitement through more competitive tournaments for fans. ANFP has scheduled 50 tournaments using operations research.

Why Should You Apply for the Edelman Award?

Competing for the Edelman award places you and your company among the upper echelons of those within the O.R. and Analytics fields today. 

Click here to Learn More

In the process, the association has found that by accommodating team requirements while keeping in mind its own sporting criteria, it has improved process transparency and schedule fairness, increasing fan interest in local tournaments. At the same time, due to their high portability, these O.R. techniques have also been used to schedule sports leagues in other countries as well as the South American Qualifiers for the 2018 Soccer World Cup.

ANFP has disseminated its scheduling models and methods widely, helping to promote O.R. as an effective tool for addressing logistical challenges. The association has conducted outreach activities to create awareness among thousands of high school and university students in four countries and with millions of general-audience TV viewers and internet users.

ANFP estimates that its overall direct economic impact over the past 11 years is about $59 million, including reductions in broadcaster operating costs, growth in soccer pay-TV subscriptions, increased ticket revenue, and lower travel costs for the teams.

Watch Video of ANFP 2016 Edelman Finalist Presentation