Sports technology company Genius Sports is partnering with the National Basketball Association league in Africa, which will see the company provide official statistics in real time and incorporate new technologies.
The deal, announced on Monday, could be the first step in introducing a wave of new sports data and gaming features for media and betting companies.
UK-based Genius works with media companies to improve delivery and provides data to sports betting companies to set bet lines. The partnership with Basketball Africa League does not extend to sports betting, but Genius wants to use the deal to roll out new technology based on artificial intelligence, including augmented reality features.
Financial terms of the deal were not provided.
“Through this partnership, Genius Sports will provide BAL with its FIBA ââLiveStats data collection tool, which will be used to capture advanced game-by-game statistics on the field at every BAL match, including shot locations. , fouls and turnovers to highlight the best in the league of performers and provide crucial updates for fans to follow the action live, âthe company said.
Details and information are projected on a screen during the announcement of the NBA-backed Basketball Africa League (BAL) at the Museum of Black Civilizations in Dakar on July 30, 2019.
SEYLLOU | AFP | Getty Images
Last month, Genius Sports struck a $ 1.5 billion deal with a special purpose acquisition company to go public. It now trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol GENI. The company has a market capitalization of $ 3.2 billion and its chairman is former Turner Sports executive David Levy.
Why this partnership is important
Genius is a major player in sport. This agreement will allow the company to innovate with BAL and create a second and third screen engagement for viewers. Genius has clients including leading sports betting companies Penn National, DraftKings and Fan Duel, as well as networks including Disney’s ESPN and ViacomCBS.
Genius paid $ 200 million to acquire Second spectrum, who is supported by Steve Ballmer. Second Spectrum is already working with the NBA and using artificial intelligence and player tracking via high definition cameras in zones to collect data. The company is also behind the technology used for ESPN’s NBA Marvel television broadcast.
Ballmer, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers and former CEO of Microsoft, will remain a shareholder after the acquisition. In 2018, Ballmer helped create “Clippers CourtVison, “a second-screen experience that gives regional sports network subscribers the ability to watch and consume matches in multiple ways using real-time stats and AR features to allow viewers to feel more in control.
Steve Ballmer, former CEO of Microsoft Corp., gestures while speaking at a press conference after being introduced as the new owner of the Los Angeles Clippers in Los Angeles, California.
Kevork Djansezian | Bloomberg | Getty Images
With Genius securing the exclusive rights to the National Football League data in April, it could attempt to deploy Second Spectrum in professional football, capturing a wide range of new data and camera angles with technology. In addition, media networks like ESPN are turning to more opportunities on the second screen with streaming, positioning for betting viewing experiences and gamification.
With Genius possessing the in-depth data and technology, it is positioning itself to capitalize. The company has built the NBA’s next-generation stats system and plans to roll out new viewing experience features with BAL.
The league began its inaugural season last weekend, delayed for a year due to Covid-19. The NBA has partnered with the International Basketball Federation to create BAL in 2019. The league will consist of two conferences, and 12 teams. The top six clubs will face off in a one-game, post-season elimination tournament to determine the champion. Amadou Gallo Fall is president of the league.
âBAL will showcase and develop the most exciting talents in African basketball, and we are very proud that our statistical technology is at the heart of this new competition,â said Mark Locke, CEO of Genius Sports.
Genius Sports will have their first call for results on May 20. Shares of the company rose 6% on Friday, closing at $ 18.35 per share.
Disclosure: Comcast and NBC Sports, CNBC’s parent company, invest in FanDuel.