by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago
Two major data companies, Champion Data and Catapult Sports International, have bid to become the AFL's GPS data provider. Champion Data was founded by former Carlton player Ted Hopkins (best known for his four second half goals which helped the Blues overcome a 44 point deficit to win the 1970 Grand Final) and has been the official statistical provider for the AFL since 1999. It is Champion Data which provides live stats during match broadcasts as well as post-match statistics. They also have a hand in fantasy football and tipping. Champion is not exclusive to football as they also have contracts with world cricket, rugby and netball. Part of Champion's consortium is US-based Zebra Technologies which has contracts with the NFL as well as Irish company Stats Sports. Champion is 49% owned by the AFL. Two of the company's directors are AFL Legal Consul Andrew Dillon and general manager of broadcasting Simon Lethlean.