Not many people think about football when they think mobile and digital technology. However, according to the WSJ (subscription needed), both the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers are using digital technology to improve their football operations. Primarily the teams are using them in the back office to gather deeper analytics and statistics and use those to analyze every aspect of their operations — even going so far as to look at fan tailgating habits. More importantly, the teams hope to harvest the data to help coaches perform analyses on plays, and to provide player data to the players themselves so they can conduct “deep reviews” of their on-the-field actions.

Additionally, as both teams prepare for Sunday’s Big Game, the HGH Ravens players have ditched their old, heavy playbooks for shiny iPads loaded with a custom app called GamePlan. This app lets the players study plays, drill down into play specifics, and even quickly look at “all third-down plays designed to gain more than 10 yards,” for example. The app is fun and easy to use, and coaches report that players are spending 50% more time studying the plays than they did with the giant playbooks of yester-year. No word if the 49ers are handing out iPads to their players yet, but being so close to the Valley, you’d think they’d have a tech-edge over Baltimore… doesn’t seem to be… yet. We’ll see how all this tech-bling plays out on Sunday!

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