Dunedin animation studio celebrates big win for baseball technology

Source: 1News

Sir Ian Taylor’s Animation Research Limited has thrown its own red carpet event to celebrate winning its third Sports Emmy Award.

The 42nd Sports Emmy Awards honoured the best in American sports television coverage in 2020, but it was held virtually in June due to Covid restrictions.

ARL has just received its trophy in the mail, so it decided to replicate the glitz and the glamour, the red carpet and the champagne, and hosted its own ‘Emmy’s’ from its Dunedin office.

The team won the George Wensel Technical Achievement Award for delivering StatCast 3D to Major League Baseball in the US - a state of the art tracking technology that collects and analyses data from every Major League Baseball game.

Craig McNaughton, senior developer at Animation Research Limited, says the award is huge.

“We were up against every other major sporting event in the world and we got chosen as the technical achievement of the year so it doesn't get much better than that for us, this is what we do, and to be top of the world in it, it's great” he says.

“It’s massive. Baseball is a huge industry, they're playing 3000 odd games a year, there's 31 stadiums they play at, all of which we had to build down to every individual seat and every individual hand railing.

“We get data for every pitch that’s thrown, every time anyone moves anywhere on the field- we get that data so we've just had this fire hose of data coming at us for the last two years that we’ve been trying to make sense of and turn it into something that looks great”

Instead of receiving the award in the US at the Emmy’s, the company hosted ‘The Dowling Street Emmy’s’ instead.

“If it had been non Covid, we might well have got to the States and been there on the day to pick it up but yeah, this is just as good, it’s great," McNaughton says.

Sir Ian, who is in self-managed isolation in Auckland after completing New Zealand’s first Covid-19 business trial, joined the party via Zoom, donning a tuxedo to match the occasion.

“This is the really great thing about the Dowling Street Emmy Awards, there’s only one finalist, and it’s us,” Sir Ian says.

Animation Research Limited has won two previous Sport Emmy’s for its work on the America’s Cup, and American golf coverage.