IMG Arena secures PGA Tour data deal

19 November 2018

The new IMG Arena business has secured an exclusive partnership with the PGA Tour, under which it will distribute the US golf organisation’s scoring data for media and sports betting purposes.

The multi-year agreement covers the worldwide distribution of data to sports media companies, news services and other media organisations.

IMG Arena also gains exclusive rights to distribute official data and select live video of the PGA Tour competitions to regulated sports betting and gaming markets around the world.

The PGA Tour organises many of the golf world’s most prestigious events, including The Players Championship and FedEx Cup. PGA Tour data is collected through ShotLink, its proprietary system powered by cloud computing solutions provider CDW that deploys a network of walking scorers, lasers and greenside cameras to gather the information.
 
As part of the agreement, IMG Arena will have responsibility for providing security and data protection, as well as implementing controls to prevent the unauthorised use of information by outlets licensing the data.

“We see golf as a sleeping giant," IMG Arena managing director Freddie Longe commented. "It is one of few major sports that doesn’t yet offer consistent in-play betting markets.

“The PGA Tour is an undisputed leader in golf and we feel this long-term partnership will allow us to work hand in hand to grow the game and protect the sport via the launch of a truly innovative digital experience that captures the next generation of sports betting and entertainment.”

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said the new link-up with IMG Arena will also enable the organisation to better engage with fans around the world.

“Creating a bigger, more diverse, more engaged fan base around the world is key to any league’s success, and sports betting is part of how we plan to do that,” he said.

IMG Arena was established earlier this month as the new betting and data division of sports media giant IMG. It currently works with major rights holders such as the ATP and WTA in tennis, US ice hockey league the NHL, and Serie A, Italy's top football league. In addition, IMG has deals in place with around 250 major sportsbook operators worldwide.

Most PGA Tour events take place in the US, where sports data has been a major talking point since the repeal of PASPA earlier this year.

This month, Sportradar agreed a deal to become the exclusive provider of sports betting data in the US for the MGM GVC Interactive joint venture. The agreement came after Sportradar in July brought in new North American investors as part of plans to expand its business in the US.

Elsewhere, MGM Resorts’ deal with the NHL, which was announced last month, includes “proprietary game data that will be generated by the league's state-of-the-art tracking systems currently under development”.

Similarly, MGM’s deal with basketball’s NBA grants the firm access to use official NBA and WNBA data and branding on a non-exclusive basis across its land-based and digital sports betting offerings throughout the US.

Image: U.S. Air Force