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Beware - Sports Data Journalist/Collector Job Ads

Here is my experience applying for one of these jobs. Two companies post ads on expat websites to recruit these sports Journo's (Otherwise Known as Scouts). They are sportsdata.ag and livescout. My experience is only with sportsdata, however, after visiting the livescout website, I can safety say that it dosen't look that promising either. Why?. Have a look at the website.

http://www.livescout.net/

Notice that it's no way a professional outfit. Looks like it was created on the fly using some web design tool. Notice the spelling error "Sports Coverd". Their email address is a [at]yahoo.com. A free email address!!.

The ads sound really attractive. Have a look for yourself:

https://jobs.justlanded.com/en/South-Ko … outh-Korea

https://jobs.justlanded.com/en/Vietnam/ … st-7238127

https://jobs.justlanded.com/en/Vietnam/ … in-Vietnam

https://jobs.justlanded.com/en/Vietnam/ … in-Vietnam

They say "We cover your expenses + 35 EUr payment per game + cost of ticket for the game". Sounds good right?. Wrong!. 

What they don't tell you is:

1) You need to train for this. It could take from a bare minimum (this is a very unlikely minimum) of 5 hours to a maximum of say 20-30 Hours.

The training you have to do by logging on to their website, completing tutorials, downloading a full game, and then 'scouting' that game. There is no way anyone can pass this first time or even second time. When I asked the sportsdata supervisor about this my email went unanswered for two days. Of course, when you first sign-up, my supervisor said "if there are any questions feel free to ask" because thinks may seem "confusing". I also asked her, how come they don't have a demo (promo) video of a scout covering a 'live' game, where they are tracking each and every ball movement, throw-in, goal kick, free-kick. I reckon they don't do this because it would not be so much a promo video if they showed this. Instead, they have this youtube clip:


Yes, we see a scout tracking a game (not football mind you) on a notebook computer. Whereas, if you signup for football scouting, you will be scouting games with a smartphone using their in-house custom built software iScout. The youtube video just shows the scout enter two bits of info in the computer. No big deal right?, wrong.

I've done one training game on a smartphone, and you are tracking each and every ball movement, throw in, free-kick, goal, etc. Apparently, the youtube video is a scout doing advanced coverage. Wouldn't you rather see what YOU will be doing not what the advanced coverage is all about?.


2) Travel time - At least 30 mins each way. Yes you will probably get reimbursed the travel expenses, if you keep the receipts. But don't forget you have to make you way to the stadium, using your time.

The time you spend doing this, is on you.

3) They tell you to be at the stadium 1 hour before kick-off.

- to prepare, get setup, enter pitch conditions, take a picture of the stadium etc. etc..

4) You have preparations BEFORE the game. Get all your gear in order. Spare batteries, find out how to get to the venue etc.

Things to do AFTER. Report on the match result, upload pics of the pitch/stadium.

All together I reckon you will spend: Game time: 3.0 hours minimum (90 mins ++ incl. half time + injury time = 120 mins + be at stadium 1 hour before kick-off)
                                      travel time: 1 hr (min.)
                                      preparation for game: 0.5 hrs (min)
                                     
                                     
                                   All together (minimum) =  4.5 hours 
                                     
                                     
Time you spend training, that's on you. I've been told it takes at least 2-3 attempts to pass the training. Even if you complete it in 2 games. Thats 4 hours, on top of the time you spent on tutorials. Don't forget if you download a training video and don't complete the training on that video in 10 hours, that's an automatic fail. They probably think we are cheating if we take more than 10 hours (but they fail to see how inconvenient it may be for the trainee).

The first video was 700Mb, it was taking time to download, so I left it hoping to do it the next day, I had received an automatic fail, because it "hadn't been completed in 10 hours". The next video was 1.5Gb (this one took 2 hours to download).

Sportsdata do not make it clear, that you have to complete the training on a video within 10 hours.

There's a lot of information missing from there notes, guides, and procedures. Sometimes, info given on the guide conflicts with what the supervisor tells you.

One of their info sheets has a whole host of punishments for scout errors. If "you enter details incorrectly or delay" you could be docked wages from the 35 Euros. Entering incorrect info..that's fair enough, but how do we know that their system is actually "real-time"?. What if their is a delay in their processing the info entered.

To cap it all, their website brochure has this:                                                                 
     

potential data journalists need to complete successfully a complex and extensive training. Only 1% of all applicants are confirmed for real live matches.

5,000+ data journalists are efficiently managed and quality-controlled by the SMP.

They seem to be proud of their "5000+ recruits". Another marketing ploy, whats with the 5000+, how about just saying we have over 5000. Just plain facts, would do nicely. By the way, their ad: https://jobs.justlanded.com/en/South-Ko … outh-Korea

says “We have got our own network with 2500 scouts worldwide, who forward us live statistics directly from the venues.”

See what I mean, the inconsistencies!.

By the way, Sportsdata is based in switzerland, and you will notice that their website is .ag domain. Thats Antigua and Barbuda. Ever heard of it?. I rest my case.

It turns out that .ag can be companies based (registered?) in Germany, Switzerland, or Austria. Companies in the Agriculture business can also have .ag domain extension, as can companies "referencing the atomic symbol for silver".

However, it doesn't take anything away from the fact that they are based in Switzerland. Since leaving this review I've discovered that AG's are "particularly complicated to set up without an outstanding network of professionals, know-how and expertise."

This raises the question, why are they head quartered in St. Gallen, Switzerland. Do they have anonymous shareholders?

Here is another "review" from a scout. Although, I've got my doubts if sportsdata/sportsradar didn't have anything to do with it. It somehow gives the info about the job a little too neatly (see the bold headings) and _________.

By the way, (according to this source) around February 2016, sportsradar had claimed they employed 1,300 people in more than 30 locations. If only they were as upfront about how many shareholders they had/have.

..not being snarky... 

..but have you thought investigative reporting  might just be the Bees Knees for you..?

- and yes, I know cases do not rest for the wicked.   Or the wise...            :happy:

Ok. So basically you wrote this review because you can't pass the training and therefore can't get the job.

I am a sports data journalist for sportsdata.ag and I am very happy. I actually prefer the work I do for them to my day job.

The training was horrible and I was feeling pretty down at the time but it is worth it. When you go to real matches you will understand why the training is so strict. The clients that use this data need it to be perfect and without delay...for obvious reasons.

I can believe the 1% statistic. The training is hard. I'm sure they get thousands of applications but the fact is the vast majority won't be able to do this job. Most people want easy money coming from a job they enjoy. Welcome to the real world.

Yes this job involves huge pressure. Yes it is hard. Yes you might lose money if you make a big mistake (this has only ever happened to me once and it was because I have a yellow card without realizing the player was already on a yellow. Mistake which delayed the red card by about 15 seconds. Yes the admin are sometimes slow to reply (understandable when they cover over 500 events a day and have thousands training not to mention ally e admin they do for us with accreditation etc). Yes the sites don't always look great but a lot of them are agents.

I can vouch for them. They provide me with petrol expenses at an excellent rate of 10l/100km even though my car only does 6l. They give me accreditation letters and press passes for all games here so I sit in the press box and get into all games free. They pay me the agreed price per game on time every month.

I see why you wrote this utter misinformed 'review' but you need to get your facts right. I have 2 friends failing the training at the moment. It's not for everyone but those of us doing this in stadiums every week are quite happy!

Welcome to the forum. I see that you are from England and it's your first post.

I'm afraid you've "got the wrong end of the stick" (as they say in England).

monsieur (yours truly here) didn't even complete a single training session. when I discovered the inconsistencies and the lack of detail about the job, I quickly wrote to my supervisor and said "i'm out". I even provided her with good feedback. By that I mean extensive feedback, I can't praise the quality of my own feedback, wouldn't be very impartial. But the supervisor did thank me for it and I guess we've gone our seperate ways.   

One of my feedback points was that there was an inconsistency in the time frame a scout had to complete the training by. The material we were provided when taking the course said training had to be completed in 1 month. My supervisor told me it was 2 months.

The other thing is the training course never mentioned that once a training video is downloaded the training on it must be completed within 10 hours. You do see it as a cryptic message on one of the many training manual screenshots, but there is no way I could have guessed that the cryptic message meant we needed to start the training with the video within 10 hours after download. I thought we had to COMPLETE a training session (using however many videos) within 10 hours.

it's funny, because, in a way, I had failed even before I started. Now I can look back and see the funny side while sharing my expereince.

However, sportdata.ag should have clearly mentioned that the training video expires 10 hours after download. What happens if we start the training on the video 9 hours after download, would the video expire mid-game?.

The training videos are of variable length, it took 2 hours for the second video to download. This is when I said "xxxx this for a game of soldiers" (as they say in england).

Before I put in the application to sportsdata.ag, I looked for reviews online, there was "nada", zulch, reviews. Now there is. Instead of being angry with me, how about shaking hands and thanking me. That's what "proper" lads do right?. what i mean by this is, Basically, no one was there to warn me, but I've put in the time to warn others. What's so bad about that.

Anyway, lad. I reckon in most cases we can just say "should've gone to specsavers" and move on. But hey, not on my watch pal, not on this one, I wouldn't want some poor soul going through the same. Is that selfish?

By the way, I'll tell you what my idea of the 'real world' is. If Robert Kilroy-silk ever asks me if I would rather "share or shaft". I'd chose share. Hands down.  What about you?

Sanooku, look again..?

As an 'ex' (has been) 'spurt' (drip under pressure, my yonks in
evaluating human behaviour often comes in handy.

..but I could not have written such a glowing reference for the work
even as a wunderchild (with prerequisite flaws) to lend validity to
Czech's too-pat-to-be-true tale.   Best sophistry I've read!

..and you bit at the bait, as expected.   Your objectivity is obvious
but be aware they have a lot to lose by having their dirty laundry
being revealed.   (hence the cover note)   And reviews can be 'set'
or 'fudged' to carry favour.   It's all about the marketing. 
..so look again to see who will be benefiting from Czech's post..? 

Too obvious to ignore.   Look for the ulterior motive...       :idontagree:

( Keep up the good work )

I agree that it's not perfect, some parts look shoddy and some details aren't clearly available.

It's just the game. I come across things in matches that haven't been mentioned in training. The biggest problem I've had is the failure of referees to do their jobs properly.

Anyway, yes...training matches are 10 hours. Just don't download the video unless you want to do it there and then. Most people expect to pass straight away. Unrealistic. I failed 9 training games. Three of them for technical reasons...but still.

Anyway. I'm not a recruiter I'm just a data scout. I really enjoy the job and wouldn't want other people to be put off by your experience.

It would be nice if everything ran smoothly and these little details were sorted but as I said before....the admin team are ridiculously busy and dealing with hundreds of people daily for all sorts of reasons .

(@ Sanooku)   Pants on fire!

"Anyway. I'm not a recruiter I'm just a data scout. I really enjoy the job
and wouldn't want other people to be put off by your experience. "

Why not?  Integrity is the base virtue all others arise from

Stay with your gut feeling.  Any appeal to your idealism is (again) sophistry
for imperfection is integral to being human.   There is no way to be perfect.

But there are infinite ways to be a better person:
every cat is a Tiger in its own path.

Still, you already know you are dealing with the dark side

    Truth is not always self-evident.

     But always inevitable.         :top:

@ sanooku > These ads are on justlanded and not related to expat.com, maybe you should therefore contact the website and inform them of the ads of this company.  :/

@ All > This is quite a sensitive subject involving a lot of arguing, we are therefore closing this thread.
A a note :  we do not want to be accused of defamation so please avoid launching such threads on the forum in the future.

Thanks,

Priscilla

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