On the heels of the Opta announcement is another opportunity for soccer analytics people that I found out about at the SSAC today. There is a startup called StatDNA that has devoted a lot of time to collect in-match data and develop statistical measurements that generate information from those data. They are organizing a contest in which they are opening up a substantial portion of their dataset — first- and second-division soccer matches in Brazil (the national championship, not the state tournaments) and the English Premier League — to analysts for research purposes.
There are some procedures that you have to follow, you can't use the results for commercial gain, and any results and algorithms you develop must be shared with them, but there is a cash prize for the best research as well as an appearance at this fall's New England Symposium on Statistics in Sports (NESSIS).
You can find more details about the contest at their website. It's a great opportunity for the soccer analytics community, and one which I have no problem at all with sharing with everyone. There's more data here than people know what to do with (over 6 million actions!), and there are plenty of interesting research projects to be spread around.