IMG Arena enters data partnership with European Tour

05 Feb 2019

By: Sport Industry Group

The European Tour has announced a new partnership with IMG Arena, providing an enhanced statistical offering at tournaments through real-time, shot-by-shot data.

IMG’s sports betting and content hub believes the partnership, more than a year in the making, will deliver “one of the most sophisticated sports data products ever created.”

As a result, fans of the European Tour are to benefit from significantly enhanced statistics and insights.

As part of the partnership, IMG ARENA, which launched last year, will live stream two selected Par 3 holes per week for syndication to data rights clients in selected territories.

In a long-term arrangement, IMG Arena will distribute and license the Tour’s official scoring data on an exclusive basis to worldwide media organisations and international regulated sports betting and gaming markets.

It was revealed that all European Tour events will have real-time, shot-by-shot data collection systems installed, providing golf fans with new insights across European Tour platforms and global broadcasters.

A fully trained scoring team will use leading GPS technology, connectivity systems and greenside cameras to collect data from every shot in European Tour competition.

Successful trials have been completed and further testing will take place across a host of events during 2019, with a view to the system being fully operational for the 2020 season.

Rufus Hack, Chief Content Officer of the European Tour, said: “This partnership will help us to grow our fan base and increase engagement through improved data and insights for fans across all our platforms.

“Licensing the data for regulated sports betting markets will allow fans around the world the opportunity to engage with our product in a different way.”             

Max Wright, Senior Vice President and Head of Commercial at IMG ARENA, added: “Our state-of-the-art, live scoring capture system will deliver a wealth of data and power a range of exciting new live betting markets.

“There is a huge opportunity for golf to become a global leader in sports betting. IMG Arena is at the forefront of the efforts to deliver this, with the European Tour a significant and complementary addition to our portfolio.”

Under its agreement, IMG ARENA will also work closely with the European Tour’s Integrity Unit.

London-based IMG Arena last month announced the launch of The Alliance, its new integrity-focused partnership programme for the sports betting industry’s leading organisations.

Launched in 2018, the European Tour’s enhanced integrity programme protects the Tour from corruption relating to sports betting.

The European Tour’s Golf Integrity Unit leads its integrity strategy, forging relationships and facilitating communication with betting operators and regulators.

Working closely with IMG ARENA, the Tour’s investment in this area will look to combine the latest thinking and technology to disseminate official scoring data to betting markets and protect its tournaments from the threat corruption.

The Tour will utilise Genius Sports’ bet monitoring system, which is also employed by Major League Baseball and the English Premier League and will also co-ordinate with betting regulators and operators, who play a part in preventing corruption.

Keith Waters, the European Tour’s Chief Operating Officer, added: “We will educate and support all professionals to ensure they have the right guidance and understand the latest golf betting regulations.

“We are also conscious of our duty to the game of golf and its outstanding reputation for integrity, so our education and coverage will extend to all player support personnel, including the caddies, friends and families of the players.”