IMG Arena to extend data technology tools to more sports with FlightScope swoop
IMG Arena, the sports betting arm of the international sports and entertainment giant, has today announced the acquisition of partner FlightScope Services, the Poland-based data collection, audiovisual production and tracking technology company, to enhance its offering in the sector.
FlightScope specialises in sports including golf and tennis.
London-based IMG Arena has worked with FlightScope since 2013, with the two companies having co-developed the data collection system used by the betting operation to record data on every shot played on golf’s European Tour, by tracking and marking each player’s ball to its precise position on the course.
It has also provided a large amount of previously unavailable data and helped power new live betting markets.
IMG Arena and FlightScope have also teamed up to produce live streaming and data collection across ATP Tour tennis events.
FlightScope, which is headquartered in Gliwice in Poland, is to be fully incorporated into the IMG Arena offering, with the data company’s vice president rightsholder services Jacek Gronek and head of technology Wojtek Szumilas joining the parent business with around 160 employees.
IMG Arena has said it “will invest significant funds and resource” to expand the FlightScope technology to other sports in its portfolio, including soccer, basketball, volleyball and major US Sports.
In addition, IMG Arena will use the technology to introduce additional products and services to federations and rights holders through IMG Arena Rightsholder Solutions.
Freddie Longe, managing director of IMG Arena, said today: “This is a very exciting acquisition for IMG Arena. The integration of FlightScope Services technology is a fundamental part of our growth strategy and provides the foundation for the launch of our new Rightsholder Solutions. This new pillar within IMG Arena will see us enhance the services we provide to rightsholders to include automated and manual content creation, content governance and operational excellence.
“The acquisition allows IMG Arena to enrich our innovation in fan engagement via the development of data and audio-visual content, while creating new content and commercial opportunities for federations and rights holders across our portfolio.”
Gronek added: “FlightScope Services joining the IMG Arena business is a natural union born out of synergies in product, customer base and, most importantly, culture and vision. It will enable us to leverage our knowledge, strengths and resources to deliver an enhanced range of best-in-class services and technologies across multiple sports.”
The original FlightScope business was founded by Henri Johnson in 1989 and FlightScope Services was formed in 2008 after a merger with the business of Gronek and Szumilas.
Following today’s acquisition, Johnson will retain the FlightScope brand name and continue to operate professional and consumer product divisions.
IMG Arena delivers live streaming video and data feeds for more than 45,000 sports events per year, and for on-demand virtual sports products such as mixed martial arts’ UFC Event Centre.
Other clients include US golf’s PGA Tour and, in soccer, England’s Football Association and Italy’s Serie A.