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Stats gurus talk about the influence of new ESPN contributor Nate Silver, author and founder of FiveThirtyEight

Nate Silver (Allen Kee / ESPN Images)
Nate Silver
(Allen Kee / ESPN Images)

There are stories to be told everywhere in the world of sports, particularly in the myriad numbers created by our favorite teams and players. Uncovering and telling those stories in new and insightful ways is at the heart of everything we do at ESPN.

So it only makes sense that Nate Silver is joining ESPN. Silver is not only a world-class statistician who gained national attention for his innovative and highly accurate projections during the last two presidential elections. He is also a sports fan like all of us.

Though Silver’s new role will not intersect directly with ESPN’s Stats & Information Group (SIG), he has been a great influence on this team for quite some time. Front Row asked SIG leaders to provide some perspective on what it means to have Silver join ESPN.

Edmundo Macedo, Vice President, ESPN Stats & Information Group:
At ESPN, we believe analytics are an essential tool for accurate storytelling, helping us dig deep to break from preconceived notions. Nate is a pioneer in this field, from PECOTA to authoring ESPN’s Soccer Power Index (SPI) in 2008. SPI spurred the creation of ESPN’s Analytics Team, which produced ground-breaking metrics, such as the Total Quarterback Rating (QBR) and the Basketball Power Index (BPI). We owe a lot to Nate, and we welcome him into the family.

Dean Oliver, Director, ESPN Sports & Information Group:
Nate’s work at FiveThirtyEight is a great application of sports analytics outside of sports. Political races really are — as my professors taught me in college — just a game, so it made sense for Nate to translate sports analytics to politics. I’m very proud to have another sports analytics guy show that our tools apply outside of sports. And very happy to have him back in sports and at ESPN.

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