Hearst Ventures has invested $2 million in ShotTracker parent company, DDSports Inc., as the startup continues pursuing media deals. DDSports previously secured $11 million from Evertz Microsystems and Verizon Ventures as part of the now-completed funding round.
ShotTracker uses player, ball and court sensors to create a live log of advanced stats, while also offering tools to help interpret the data. Its systems are currently deployed across the Mountain West, Big 12 and (with some work to be completed) Big Ten conferences, with SEC, ACC and Pac-12 installations planned, according to CEO Bill Moses. The company gives the data to its partner schools, while also selling it to media companies. With data being collected automatically from the sensors, Moses said ShotTracker can deliver true real-time data in a way competitors cannot. “We think we have a decisive market advantage,” he said.
Moses said ShotTracker has been in conversations with representatives at CBS, ESPN and Turner Sports and has already made one-off agreements. His plan is to complete longer term deals by the beginning of the next basketball season. Hearst’s connection to ESPN, as a minority owner, should only help in that process.
“ShotTracker’s autonomous, low-latency data collection is giving broadcasters, fans and other sports data consumers unprecedented insights in real time,” Hearst Ventures managing director David Famolari, who will join ShotTracker’s board of directors, said in a statement. “We see this as key to innovating the viewing experience and delivering data-driven storylines and visualizations that bring fans into the action in new and compelling ways.”
ShotTracker has also begun experimenting with how its technology could be leveraged for football.
“This investment, on top of our work with Evertz and Verizon Ventures, gives us a much wider runway and a greater opportunity for scaling success of our business going forward,” ShotTracker co-founder and president Davyeon Ross said in a statement. “We will continue to focus on our platform for NCAA men’s and women’s basketball, but additional opportunities are now coming into focus that will make this partnership very important for us.”
Earlier ShotTracker investors include late NBA commissioner David Stern and Hall of Famer Magic Johnson, as well as SeventySix Capital and Elysian Ventures. The company was founded in 2013 in Overland Park, Kansas.