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As General Manager of the Oakland Athletics Major League Baseball team, Beane’s pioneering use of sabermetrics – empirical analysis of baseball statistics to drive fundamental decisions – brought historic success to the franchise, with the team winning 20 games in a row in the 2002 season having made stars of undervalued and unfashionable players. And while Beane was not the architect of the data revolution in sport, he is unquestionably its most influential exponent.
Beane is now Executive Vice President at the A’s, having led the franchise as GM from 1997 to 2015. The recipient of the Inspirational Leader award at Leaders last year, Beane sat down for a brief interview backstage at the Leaders Sport Business Summit.
The man behind the ‘Moneyball’ moniker gives his view on how to maintain an edge with data when every team now has an analytics department; explains who’s use of analytics has surprised him; and reveals the basis behind his growing passion for football.