While the NFL and Sportradar already had a partnership to distribute official play-by-play stats and the league’s proprietary player tracking data to media outlets, it was about time they got started on the next big thing.
The two companies now have a deal to distribute data to sports betting operations for the first time. On Monday, the NFL and Sportradar announced the expansion in what will likely be a profitable endeavor for both sides.
Sportradar also said that the NFL will use their integrity services to monitor betting on pro football games. The company will look for anomalies as a way to spot possible fraudulent activities, something that’s important for the NFL to validate for their standing in sports betting for the future.
“Sportradar has been an excellent partner the last four years and has provided the league, our teams, and media marketplace with innovative data products,” NFL Media executive vice president and COO Hans Schroeder said in a statement. “We look forward to working with Sportradar to deliver fast, accurate official league data that will innovate and improve experiences for our fans across platforms.”
The NFL has actually been behind in terms of moving into the world of data for their sports betting operations. Other pro leagues like Major League Baseball, the NBA, and the NHL have all signed multiple marketing partnerships in selling data to sports betting operators.
“It’s a new world, and it’s a new day as far as the legalized sports-gambling landscape,” said Schroeder. “Our view is, let’s be right. When we actually go to market, we don’t want to worry about being first, we want to be right.”
Both sides declined to comment on terms of the deal, but one can only imagine that it won’t be coming at a discount. In 2016, Sportradar inked a six-year, $250 million deal to allocate NBA data overseas. David Lampitt, Sportradar’s managing director of sports partnerships, said the NFL deal was one of the biggest for the company in its history.
Last year, the American Gaming Association and Nielsen did a study on how much each professional sports league would rake in from sports betting in the United States. The NFL’s projected revenue boost was $2.33 billion, which was more than double of what the next closest league would be, and four times the amount the NBA would have with its opportunity.
Sportradar has already been working with the NFL, which includes innovative in-game data tracking via methods like putting sensors in each player’s shoulder pads and sending it off to media outlets.
Now, Sportradar can send this data to betting operators and create more informative decisions on in-game wagers. For instance, will a first down happen on the next play, or what will the top speed of the kickoff returner be on the next play?
Sportradar will also have the rights to live video for overseas sportsbooks that’ll go right next to the betting odds, something that has never happened for the NFL.
“The NFL is an iconic global brand and an iconic global sports property,” said Lampitt. “This is a landmark deal for us.”