Rarefied talent in big data technology and analytics

Senior Analytics Specialist


Job Description

Working at ESPN is unlike anything else. That’s because we’re always finding new ways to interact with fans – however and wherever they connect with sports. When you have the latest technology, game-changing ideas and world-class talent on your team, every day is extraordinary.

The Sports Analytics Team is a multidisciplinary group where all members have a deep knowledge of sports, statistics, databases, programming logic and languages, and storytelling. Combining best-in-the-industry data with advanced mathematics and statistical modeling skills, the Sports Analytics Team has created storytelling tools and metrics that have improved the evaluation of team and player performance, such as Total QBR and power ratings for college/pro football, college/pro basketball and soccer. These products make fans better informed and help keep ESPN at the cutting edge of sports statistical analysis.

The Senior Analytics Specialist will assist the leadership team in evaluating potential projects by giving their informed opinion. The Senior Analytics Specialist will work with the Director to define project timelines and delegate duties. The Senior Analytics Specialist will be the lead architect in designing team and player performance metrics and their underlying framework. He or she must demonstrate critical thinking about the execution of the projects and keep analytics leadership informed of progress. Completing work on deadlines is a crucial requirement. A portfolio of successful analytics projects and metrics is necessary to be considered for this position. The Senior Analytics Specialist will have the skills to partner with other members of the Sports Analytics Team as well as Stats & Information staffers outside the Sports Analytics Team. Candidates need to have a background in constructing algorithms and complex formulas that explore new areas of analytics, ideally in sports.

But the role of the Senior Analytics Specialist doesn’t end with the numbers. The Senior Analytics Specialist will be required to turn this information into language that allows integration into storytelling across all ESPN platforms, including TV and digital. The Senior Analytics Specialist will tell stories in the most accurate way, using advanced analysis and matching the storytelling to the medium. Translating the complex into understandable language is a key component.

The Senior Analytics Specialist must demonstrate peer-to-peer leadership and the ability to have 1-2 direct reports, if necessary, and he or she must execute the requisite supervisory functions that entails. The Senior Analytics Specialist needs to demonstrate the ability to fill duties normally reserved for the Director when necessary.

Ideal candidates will possess the following traits:

  • Demonstrated ability to regularly produce ideas on areas of opportunity within performance analytics for ESPN
  • Meticulous attention to detail in striving for 100 percent accuracy
  • The ability to thrive under deadlines
  • The ability to work both independently on a project with little supervision and as part of a team
  • Strong technical skills and the ability to understand ESPN’s data structure
  • Demonstrated excellence working with multiple departments to achieve a common goal
  • Strong verbal and presentation skills



  • Use advanced mathematics and statistical modeling to formulate sports performance metrics
  • Help set the direction of the department by partnering with Sports Analytics leadership to set project priorities
  • Identify the key components in the algorithms and turn them into language that allows them to be readily used in storytelling across ESPN platforms
  • Work collaboratively through conflicts and gain support from internal project partners and stakeholders with various interests and priorities
  • Support the department’s training plan by contributing to the education of other members of the SIG, as well as other members of the Production department, on Sports Analytics storytelling tools
  • Collaborate with the other members of the Sports Analytics Team and ESPN technology partners to write scripts, queries and basic code to transform data into automated metrics across our digital platforms and internal research tools
  • Identify trends and react to news stories on a daily basis, using the new tools the Sports Analytics Team develops, other products available to the Stats & Information Group and tools available in the marketplace
  • Analyze third-party statistics providers with an eye toward recommending potential deals, and collaborate with third-party vendors to produce metrics for ESPN
  • Use strategic analytical approaches and techniques using data to answer sports questions


Basic Qualifications

  • Five years’ experience with sports analytics, or any equivalent combination of education and experience that provides the applicant with the knowledge, skills and ability to perform the job
  • Two years’ experience constructing algorithms to explain or predict performance
  • Two years’ experience using predictive modeling, statistics, trend analysis, and other data analysis techniques
  • Two years’ experience in a programming language such as R, PL/SQL or Python
  • Strong knowledge in using SQL to query and modify data from databases
  • Ability to help develop data warehouses by identifying the appropriate categories and granularity of content
  • A passion for sports and statistics; candidates need to have a working knowledge of players, teams and the rules of the games
  • Full availability for this position, which will include nights, weekends and holidays
  • Demonstrated ability to ensure accuracy of content
  • Effective communication and leadership skills
  • A thorough knowledge of sports statistical analysis in the marketplace
  • Strong sports knowledge, both historical and current
  • Bachelor’s degree in a quantitative discipline such as Statistics, Computer Science, Mathematics or Economics.


Preferred Qualifications

  • Advanced degree in a quantitative discipline such as Statistics, Computer Science, Mathematics or Economics.
  • Expert level knowledge and experience with R
  • Experience turning sports analytics into storylines
  • Experience working with teams in an analytics capacity
  • Experience in digital and/or television sports production
  • Experience writing about sports analytics


Required Education

  • College degree


Additional Information

ESPN is an equal opportunity employer - Female/Minority/Veteran/Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity. Our goal is to create an inclusive workplace for all.

Interested in this position?
Job Location
Bristol, CT
Additional Job Details
Employment Type:
Full Time
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