IMG extends exclusive tennis data partnerships until 2020

Global sports and media business International Management Group (IMG) has extended its exclusive partnership with the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) and Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), the governing bodies for men and women’s professional tennis. The agreement comes into effect in 2017 and sees IMG remain the exclusive distributor of official live scoring data until 2020, covering 18,500 matches per year. The deal will see the rights-holder work to develop new products to support the existing data service using in-stadium technologies.

As the only official ATP and WTA event data provider to the gaming industry, IMG said that it ensures revenue raised through the sale of the information can be reinvested in tennis. The company currently works with a number of operators including Betfair, Marathon and SkyBet, having agreed multi-year partnerships in February 2013.

Murry Swartzberg, senior vice president of the ATP and WTA Tour, commented: “We are delighted to have extended our relationship with IMG for the distribution of our official data service for a further four years.

“We believe strongly in being in control of our own data and IP and therefore providing commercial benefits back into the sport of tennis,” he explained. “Our partnership with IMG has proved extremely successful to date and we are excited about building on that success through to 2020.”

IMG Gaming vice president Freddie Longe said he was delighted to continue the partnership with the two tennis associations, describing the length and timing of the renewal as reflecting the success of the service so far, and its impact on live tennis products in the gaming industry.

“We are seeing an increasing appetite for official data over unofficial services, which is testament to the strategy of the ATP and WTA to create the best product in the market as well as control the distribution of their data to the benefit of the sport,” Longe explained.

“The service not only remains the market leading offering by some considerable distance, but will continue to evolve with the extension of our partnership,” he said.

The deal is the first to be signed since IMG divested its stake in data company Enetpulse last October through a management buyout, in which it retained the tennis data business. Czech Republic and Malta-based data provider LiveSport has since acquired a majority stake in Enetpulse.

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