100% Opta Data Visualisation Competition | Winner

100% OPTA


Opta, the world’s leading sports data company, held a professional graphic design competition in which I participated and won. As the excitement of the 2014 World Cup in Brasil was at its height, the competition was centered on football.

The goal of this competition was to highlight a particular narrative through an Infographic, using supplied data sets.

The category that I chose required me to compare player stats. Excited for the start of the world cup too, I communicated a narrative based on the world’s greatest goal scorers.

My winning design utilised illustrative graphics of the players to communicate the data in simple way.

A Functional Illustrative Solution

With any design project, there are always challenges and obstacles to navigate. Due to copyright laws, no photography of football players could be used in the design.

I believed the best way to show the data was through a visual representation of the players. Not being able to use photography, I started to explore different ways of illustrating the players instead.

I’m an avid football supporter, which meant I already knew a lot about the players. This prior knowledge let me immediately focus on five of the best players to use in my comparison.

Consequently, I was familiar with the players’ goal scoring celebrations and characteristics that made them unique. I started researching a bit more and collecting reference photographs.

By illustrating the world’s best goal scorers in their unique poses it gave a powerful visual solution to the photography copyright problem.

Next I sought to give these illustrative silhouettes a more functional purpose. Conferring with the data sets provided by Opta, I started to add goal scorer data to the design.

Filling in sections of the silhouettes with colour, I included graphical representations of how many goals were scored. Each section relating to the right foot, left foot, head and total goals scored were added for each player.

An additional touch to make the comparison easier to understand came in the form of colour coding the players. Each player was assigned a colour related to his country – an ode to the imminent world cup.

These colours were also applied to the other graphical icons for each player found in the design. This helped inform the data further down the infographic, where the names of each player became distant.


The expert judging panel on this competition was compiled of five professional graphic designers and sports analysts, including: Andy McLane, Olivier Legris, Russell, Stopford, Paolo Estriga and Alex Edney.

After the judging for the competition was finished I was contacted and invited down to the London HQ. On my visit to London I met with the Opta design team for a brief tour around their offices. Additionally, I completed a photo op which was featured on the Opta website.

Infographic Detailed Images