Last week, Genius Sports subsidiary Betgenius announced its biggest and most important commercial agreement to date, becoming the ‘exclusive live data supplier’ of Football DataCo servicing the global betting industry.
Valued as one of the most important data contracts in sport, starting season 2019/2020 Betgenius will supply entire data provisions for the Premier League (EPL), English Football League (EFL) and Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) to all global betting stakeholders.
Speaking to SBC, Jack Davison, Chief Commercial Officer at Genius Sports, detailed the significance of Betgenius servicing Football DataCo through an agreement that will be fulfilled during a transformative period between football-&-betting, with all incumbents emphasising higher ethics and responsibility.
SBC: Can you expand more on the importance of the Football DataCo partnership, in terms of Genius Sports Group’s history and existing data portfolio?
Jack Davison, (CCO Genius Sports): The exclusive partnership with Football DataCo is a huge milestone for our business. The partnership reaffirms our long-held commitment to driving a sports betting ecosystem that recognises the value of all stakeholders, all the way from the sports to the sportsbook operators and through to their customers. Official live sports data is a key component of this ecosystem and Football DataCo have understood that our technology, combined with our unique expertise and insights will help make this a reality.
Most importantly for Betgenius customers, this partnership demonstrates our determination to invest in an expanded portfolio of premium content that will provide the fastest, most accurate and reliable feeds on the market. We understand that when it comes to competitions such as the Premier League, whose data is virtually priceless to sportsbook operators, having access to the best data available to run your in-play product is vital.
SBC: How is Genius Sports Group confident that it can expand and enhance existing FootballDataCo provisions and partnerships?
JD: Over the past decade, we have invested in the development and optimisation of technology at every stage of the sports data value chain, from capturing the data in-stadia to delivering it to our partners within milliseconds.
Benefiting from years of experience and expertise honed from working with over 500 sports leagues across the globe – we know that our business provides some of the most secure and highest quality data feeds in the industry. Football DataCo’s competitions, including the Premier League and Championship, are amongst the most bet on leagues worldwide. We realise that providing our customers with complete confidence in the source of the feed and the guaranteed supply of data is fundamental to their business fortunes.
Ultimately, Football DataCo understands the needs of the betting industry and wants to maximise the distribution of their official data in regulated markets across the globe. We believe that providing a premium product at a fair and reasonable price will achieve this.
SBC: Why is official live content on English and Scottish Football Competitions so valuable to bookies?
JD: The popularity and unpredictable nature of the sport means that in-play betting on Premier League, EFL and Scottish football continues to be hugely valuable to bookmakers across the globe. Their customers expect to be able to bet on not only who will win the game but hundreds of other markets as the action is occurring.
These days customers expect their in-play betting experience to be of the highest quality, and if the product fails to satisfy their expectations – for example markets are suspended too often or bets aren’t being settled fast enough – a significant amount of turnover can be lost within seconds. Not to mention losing a customer to a competitor the next time they bet. Punters care about this and notice when it’s not right. Maybe a few years ago it was different but in mature markets at least, the contrast between a premium feed direct from the stadium and an inferior feed has grown increasingly obvious.
SBC: Why has the sports betting sector’s attitude towards official data changed on a global scale?
JD: Sports that engage with betting and invest in an official data product are seeing an increasing trend amongst sportsbooks that understand the real value of their offering.
For sports betting, we see the use of high quality and secure data as a sign of the sector maturing. Historically many sportsbooks have turned a blind eye to their data feeds’ origins. However, the industry can no longer afford to ignore the warning signs of increased public scrutiny and tighter legal and regulatory controls.
Proper businesses need to have total confidence in their supply chain and bookmakers need confidence in the live data behind their odds. So long as this is offered through a fair and sustainable commercial model, which we are committed to delivering, then it’s a move that will benefit everyone.
Jack Davison – Chief Commercial Officer – Genius Sports Group