Technology company Genius Sports wins a data partnership with the NBA’s Basketball Africa League

Genius sport.

Genius sport

Sports technology company Genius Sports works with the League of the National Basketball Association of Africa to provide official real-time statistics and incorporate new technology.

The deal, announced on Monday, could be the first step in rolling out a wave of new sports data and gaming features for media and betting companies.

UK-based Genius is working with media companies to improve broadcasting and providing data to sports betting companies to set betting lines. The partnership with the Basketball Africa League does not extend to sports betting, but Genius would like to use the agreement to introduce new technologies based on artificial intelligence, including augmented reality functions.

Financial terms of the deal were not specified.

“Through this partnership, Genius Sports will provide BAL with the FIBA ​​LiveStats data collection tool, which enables advanced play-by-play statistics to be collected from the field side of every BAL game, including shot, foul and turnover locations to highlight the top of the league. ” Performers and provide critical updates for fans to follow the live action, “said the company.

Details and information will be 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 closed a $ 1.5 billion deal with a special purpose vehicle to go public. It is now traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol GENI. The company has a market capitalization of $ 3.2 billion and is chaired by former Turner Sports chief executive David Levy.

Why this partnership is important

Genius is a major player in sport. This deal allows the company to innovate with BAL and create second and third screen engagement for viewers. Genius has clients like top sports betting companies Penn National, DraftKings and Fan Duel, as well as networks like Disney’s ESPN and ViacomCBS.

Genius paid $ 200 million to acquire Second Spectrum, which is supported by Steve Ballmer. Second Spectrum is already working with the NBA, using artificial intelligence and player tracking via high definition cameras in areas to collect data. The company is also behind the technology used for ESPN’s NBA Marvel broadcast.

Ballmer, owner of Los Angeles Clippers and former CEO of Microsoft, will remain a shareholder after the acquisition. In 2018, Ballmer helped develop Clippers CourtVison, a two-image experience that gives subscribers to regional sports networks the ability to watch and consume games in a variety of ways using real-time statistics and AR to help viewers better control themselves can feel.

Steve Ballmer, former CEO of Microsoft Corp., gestures during 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 gaining exclusive rights to data from the National Football League in April, it could attempt to introduce Second Spectrum to professional football and use the technology to capture a variety of new data and camera angles. In addition, media networks such as ESPN with streaming, positioning for betting and gamification viewing experiences are shifting to more options for the second screen.

With the detailed data and technology in place, Genius positions itself to capitalize on. The company developed the NBA’s next generation statistics system and intends to introduce new features to the viewing experience with BAL.

The league started its inaugural season last weekend and was delayed by a year due to Covid-19. The NBA teamed up with the International Basketball Federation in 2019 to create BAL. The league will consist of two conferences and 12 teams. The six best clubs will compete in an individual elimination tournament after the season to determine the champion. Amadou Gallo Fall is president of the league.

“The BAL will showcase and develop the most exciting talent from across African basketball. We are very proud that our statistics technology will be the focus of this new competition,” said Mark Locke, CEO of Genius Sports.

Genius Sports will receive its first call to win on May 20th. The company’s shares rose 6% on Friday to close at $ 18.35 per share.

Disclosure: CNBC’s parent company Comcast and NBC Sports are investors in FanDuel.

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