How we feel about Trace, Veo, Hudl, Pixellot & more

Video technologies, and more broadly the tech for monitoring and reviewing athlete performance using the combination of video, GPS sensors, and accelerometers, are complex and constantly changing. At Cincy SC, we try to understand he needs and wants of Cincy SC players and teams, and find the best solution for the best price.

Prior to fall of 2022, we experimented with a few video solutions, including SoloShot, Hudl, and Veo. There was no club-wide solution. Some teams pooled money and purchased a Veo.

Trace for 2022-23

In Aug. of 2022, we entered into a partnership with Trace due to it’s innovative approach to creating player-specific highlights that we believed would lead to more player development. Trace provided 4 sets of cameras, tripods, and GPS “tracers” to be shared across the club. As part of that solution we created a policy on use, a reservation sheet for equipment, and communication channels for managing handoffs and technical support. The Club was able to cover the cost of the service for 2022-23, which totaled $16,800. You can see some of those videos and more about Trace here.

In summer of 2023, Trace introduced their PlayerFocus technology where their AI software uses player jersey number to create personalized playlists rather than the GPS-enabled tracer. Their pricing model changed from a camera-based billing approach (where we were able to take advantage of using fewer cameras across lots of teams), to a player subscription billing approach.

  • Positives: tracers were a pain to manage at the field and were the cause of most technical issues (tracer data sometimes wouldn’t connect to a game, so we would only see the raw game video, not the personalized playlists).
  • Negatives: we lose the performance metrics like Top Speed, Max Efforts, Endurance, Distance Travelled, etc.
  • Pricing change: although we’d get more cameras (like 1 for every 3 teams, or about 16 total), the price to enroll all our players changed from $16,800 to around $42,000.
  • Trace wants clubs to enroll everyone, and just add it to their bill. We don’t want to do that.

Trace Option for 2023-24

Trace’s has pricing listed on it’s website.

  • $300/player annually for PlayerFocus Pro
  • A team-based solution for $3,000/team
  • A club solution with either a camera for each team or a “Shared Kit” 2-teams-1-camera option with every player getting PlayerFocus Pro for between $90-$150. The total price for the Shared Kit option would be between $51,500 – $64,000 for Cincy SC (depending on whether we enrolled all our 7v7 and older players or started at 9v9 age groups):
  • The service change and pricing change led to a lot of negotiation about what Cincy SC players want and need and what price we’re willing to pay. Trace eventually came back with a 3-teams-1-camera pricing model, but with the catch still that they still needed a minimum of 12 subscribers for a “team”, so the model is really 36-players-1-camera. They reduced the minimum players from 150 to 100 and the price per player dropped by $20 at each tier.
  • One option for Cincy SC is to allow players to opt in to PlayerFocus for an annual fee of $99/player (possibly $80/player if at least 150 players enroll or $70/player if 500 players enroll). This pricing tier gets us 1 camera for every 36 players that enroll, and we’d probably need to set a rule that a team would need to have at least half it’s players enrolled to participate.

The changes to Trace have led a lot of back and forth on pricing and equipment needs, and also renewed exploration of other options like Veo, Hudl, and Pixellot. More to come.