Genius Sports Group has reached an agreement to purchase Sportzcast in a fold-in technology acquisition that should enhance the London-based company’s data capabilities in the U.S., particularly in college sports.
Sportzcast takes data directly from scoreboards, automating and accelerating a process that often requires manual input from scorekeepers. It works with more than 190 scoreboard systems and roughly 6,000 venues, including high school gyms, NBA arenas and colleges such as Central Florida.
Terms of the deal, the company’s first U.S. acquisition, weren’t announced.
The purchase “is yet another milestone in GSG’s rapid, continued growth,” Genius CEO Mark Locke said in a statement, adding that it should make Genius “even more compelling to sports leagues and federation partners.”
As data collection and distribution becomes a bigger part of the billion-dollar sports economy, companies like Genius Sports are competing to access and distribute to the fastest, most reliable feeds. The data can then be packaged in myriad ways for broadcasts, livestreams, coaching platforms and betting operators.
That’s especially tricky in college sports, where there is no central rights holder. Some data comes from the NCAA, other data from conferences and most from the individual schools themselves, a patchwork that can be difficult to navigate at scale.
Sportzcast approaches that problem in a unique way, with a physical box that plugs directly into the scoreboard and pulls data in real time. The company was founded in 2008 as a video streaming service but pivoted quickly to data. Though it distributes some info to media companies, the majority of its deals hand that data back to the rights holder, be it a high school, college or pro team. That’s where Genius Sports comes in.
“Now Genius is going to be able to repurpose, re-sell and monetize that data with third parties, since they’ve got the rights for the data distribution,” said Sportzcast president Mike Connell.
Following the acquisition, Genius will make Sportzcast’s technology available to its current partners, which include the NCAA, FIBA and many other organizations.
Genius Sports is in the process of going public through a $1.5 billion deal with blank-check firm dMY Technology Group II.