SAS’s Batting Lab improves kids’ swings while coaching data

(Courtesy McCann)

As All-Star Weekend approaches, we’re reminded that half of American kids play baseball and softball. But less than half understand data. However, the ability to read, work with, and communicate using data will be the most in-demand job skill by 2030. To get kids ready for their future, SAS relied on kids’ love of the game to pitch them on the power of data.

SAS, the leader in analytics, and our friends at McCann New York created The Batting Lab. It features a custom, AI-powered batting cage designed to track a batter’s stance and ball-flight statistics while collecting more than 50,000 data points per swing. And an online Data Playbook extends the reach of the cage, helping turn player data into real-time coaching instruction.

Over six weeks, an initial group of kids aged 9-13 were invited to The Batting Lab to improve their swing. And in the process, they also improved their confidence in using data and analytics.

The Battling Lab analyzed each kid’s swings by comparing them to an optimal form, created by collecting data on thousands of swings from elite players—including those from North Carolina State University’s baseball and softball teams.

Inside the Batting Lab, swing analysis happened in real-time using cameras, sensors, AI, machine learning, computer vision and IoT analytics. The Batting Lab provided instant feedback and suggestions on how to improve each kid’s swing. At the end of every session, kids were able to dig into the numbers.

By the end of the program, the kids were able to read and interpret the data and pinpoint areas for improvement. Not only did every single kid improve their swing, they also boosted their comfort with and confidence in using data. That’s The Batting Lab’s true home run.

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“Just as SAS analytics change raw data into better decisions, The Batting Lab has the power to transform. The Batting Lab is marketing with a purpose. It improves baseball and softball swings, but most importantly, it boosts the confidence of young people in using data. That’s a skill they’ll use throughout their lives,” says Jennifer Chase, CMO, SAS.

“Statistical competency is a requirement in so many fields now. I know that I would have no career in a baseball front office without an understanding of data and analytics,” said Sig Mejdal, Assistant General Manager for the Baltimore Orioles, sabermetrics expert and former NASA engineer. “I can see that through The Batting Lab project, SAS seeks to inspire a new generation of data-savvy citizens who will work to solve many of our most pressing challenges with data and analytics. The project introduces skills that kids will need when they go pro, in business, engineering, medicine, government and so many other fields.”



  • Jenn Chase, Chief Marketing Officer
  • Susan Ellis, Brand Director
  • Natalie Osborn, Senior Director, Brand Marketing and Creative
  • Mirko Mueller-Goolsbey, Director, Brand Marketing
  • Cassie Lutterman, Brand Content & Experiences
  • Katherine Powers, Associate Marketing Specialist
  • Chris Patti, Creative Director       
  • Shawn Gillen, Strategic Creative Leader
  • Nikki Gusse, Senior Producer       
  • Jared Dean, Data Scientist
  • Lucy Kosturko, Education Initiatives Manager
  • Jennifer Sabourin, Research Scientist and Senior Software Developer
  • Mike Nemecek, Public Relations Lead
  • Suzanne Sprajcar Beldycki, Director Integrated Communications
  • Shannon Heath, Corporate & Executive Communications
  • Elizabeth Creech, Senior Marketing Manager       
  • Mibbie Plouvier, Principal Digital Media Marketer
  • Melissa Hannah, Data-driven Social Media Specialist
  • Pamela Meek, Global Head of Communications
  • Mark Lawrence, Studio and Location Production Manager
  • Jesse Olley, Senior Multimedia Production Specialist
  • Brie Boothby, Senior Associate Social Media Specialist
  • Evan Markfield, Corporate Social Innovation and Brand Storyteller
  • Scott Calderwood, Director of Digital Marketing, Global Web Strategy and Digital Experience
  • Eric Morales, Sr Manager, Web User Experience Design
  • Jeff McFall, 3D and Motion Graphics Design Manager
  • Thomas Richardson, Sr Event Design Project Manager
  • Mike Weiss, Sr Artisan/Designer


  • Sean Bryan, Co-Chief Creative Officer North America
  • Pierre Lipton, Co-Chief Creative Officer NY
  • Shayne Millington, Co-Chief Creative Officer NY
  • Jason Ashlock, SVP Executive Creative Director
  • Dominick Baccollo, SVP Executive Creative Director
  • Daniel Kim, SVP Group Creative Director
  • Justin Chen, SVP Group Creative Director
  • Kassandra Pollard, Associate Creative Director
  • Gabby Gonzaga, Junior Art Director
  • Kayla Andersen, Junior Copywriter
  • Adam Koehler, VP Creative Director
  • Elana Sasson, Design Ops Director
  • Ethan Buller, Design Director
  • Herman Awuku, Senior Designer
  • Kevin Nelson, Managing Director McCann NY
  • Liz Der, SVP Executive Account Director
  • Pat Six, VP Account Director
  • Bill Powers, Account Director
  • Shenea Walker, Assistant Account Executive
  • Dominic Poynter, SVP Executive Comms Strategy Director
  • Will Zweigart, VP Comms Strategy Director
  • Sam Chotiner, SVP Global Strategy Director
  • Daniel Lammon, VP Strategy Director
  • Caitlin O’Malley, Senior Strategist
  • Camille Dagorn, VP Creator Partnerships
  • Christine Lane, Executive Director, Innovation & Production
  • Mihae Mukaida, SVP Executive Director of Innovation
  • Jeannette Subero, Senior Innovation Producer
  • Melanie Olar, Innovation Producer
  • Diane Knarr, Digital Producer
  • Nathy Aviram, Chief Production Officer, McCann and CRAFT North America
  • Aaron Kovan, Chief Production Officer
  • Chris Badano, Senior Producer
  • Kelly Krincek, Junior Producer
  • Annie Panousopoulos, UX Architect
  • Julia Brown, Associate Director of Project Management 
  • Amanda Lang, Senior Project Manager
  • Jeremy Miller, Global Chief Marketing and Communications Officer
  • Victoria Park, Director of Communications
  • Terry Marcello, VP Director Talent Payment
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  • Colleen Dahlstrom, Music Producer
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  • Design Studio: OBJ
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  • Consultant on Curriculum Development
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  • Kamil Nawratil, Partner / Creative Director
  • Ben Forest, Technical Director
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  • Matthew Ross, Technologist
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  • Yalan Wen, Motion Designer
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  • AJ Sapala, Fabricator
  • Ciara Smith, Fabricator / Seamstress


  • SVE Head of Content NA: Adam Hirsch
  • Director(s): Brett Berman & Sam Rimland
  • Senior Producer: Zoey Greene
  • DP: Brett Berman & Sam Rimland


  • Editor: Nicholas Schneider
  • Asst Editor: Julie Walsh
  • EP: Corina Dennison
  • Producer: Jen Milano
  • Finishing: Mark Reyes
  • Colorist: Matthew Rosenblum
  • Mix: Gerard McConville (Craft)

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