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Man Utd’s Ed Woodward moves into Artificial Intelligence

Ed Woodward, the former Executive Vice Chairman at Manchester United has joined an AI sports specialist.

Woodward will be a Strategic Advisor for SentientSports and take up a non-executive board role.

SentientSports was set up in 2020 and works with professional sports clubs on player recruitment, using risk assurance, simulation and “forward-looking analytics.”

It says that its tech and AI models are now used by more than 30 teams, as well as sports agents.

The company, which recently received investment from Azur Sports, is aiming for further growth over the next year.

“I am excited to be joining the SentientSports board,” said Woodward.

“The blend of sports and AI technology at SentientSports is truly cutting-edge. 

“With some of the industry’s leading AI talents involved, I see tremendous potential for innovation and expanding global digital fanbases. I’m thrilled to be part of such a dynamic company with the potential to revolutionise the global digital sports landscape.”

Founders, PhD students, Dr. Ryan Beal, Tim Matthews, and Professor Gopal Ramchurn, said that they wanted to take research from the lab into sports industry and change the way that sports teams interact with data, using AI.

“We are thrilled to welcome Ed Woodward to SentientSports”, said CEO, Beal.

“Woodward brings unparalleled expertise from his time at one of the world’s largest sports brands, along with a proven track record in driving commercial success, Ed’s insights will be an invaluable asset to our team.

“As SentientSports continues to grow, Ed’s understanding of sports tech will help us to optimise our advanced AI technologies to help our partner clubs grow their global digital fan bases.”

Woodward’s successor at Manchester United is now also looking for a new job, with Richard Arnold announcing that he was to leave next month. This coincides with the expected arrival of Sir Jim Ratcliffe as a minority stakeholder in the club.

The new interim boss, will be United’s General Counsel, Patrick Stewart.

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