With the big final between the Netherlands and Spain coming up this weekend, SAP wants to change the way soccer fans experience the World Cup.
Since the launch of the games, SAP has made available a dedicated 2010 Football Experience website where it gathered all the relevant World Cup statistics since 1966. It then made its BusinessObjects business intelligence software available to any fan who wants to analyze a World Cup trend or simply settle an argument over any previous match.
According to Joe King, who manages the "Experience SAP" program, SAP is using the World Cup games to expose more people to what business intelligence software can do in hopes that they will want to use it in their jobs.
SAP has created similar sites for yachting races, golf events and major tennis matches, but this is the first time the company has build a site for a global sporting event. As websites and television converge on the Internet, they provide ready access to a trove of statistics that is likely to change the way fans watch any major sporting event and solve arguments before they lead to barroom brawl.
In addition, the SAP business intelligence software can be applied to a whole range of fantasy sports leagues that rely heavily on statistics to pick the best players and determine which teams win.
Of course, there's no word whether bookies also will be applying business intelligence software to determine the odds they want to give on future sporting events. But you can be sure that somewhere in Las Vegas, sophisticated software for managing that process is already in place.