Mexican soccer team Club Necaxa has signed a data and video-analytics partnership with Genius Sports, aimed at helping the Liga MX club enhance offerings to fans while aiding coaches and players in maximizing performance.
Under the deal, Genius (NYSE: GENI) will install a full array of cameras at Necaxa’s stadium in Aguascalientes, and implement technology the group acquired last year when it purchased Second Spectrum for $200 million. Those cameras track stats like player position, running speed and shot velocity, and can be adapted into augmented video feeds for fans watching live or on social media.
“We believe that Genius Sports will greatly improve the product and experience we provide to our fans both on and off the pitch, in exciting new ways,” Necaxa co-owner and co-managing partner Sam Porter said in a statement. “The Second Spectrum technology will also provide us with a greater ability to analyze our players’ health and performance, which is of the utmost importance to our club.”
Terms of the agreement weren’t released.
Genius Sports, which went public last year via IPO, is working to diversify its business. The London-based firm serves as a sports betting data middleman for many pro leagues and teams around the world—including Liga MX—but it is increasingly prioritizing other ways to use data and video to help its partners. The Second Spectrum acquisition, and deals like this with Nexaca, are part of that push.
Club Necaxa was recently valued over $200 million when a trio of new investors joined its ownership ranks. That group bought into the roughly 50% stake that was acquired in 2021 by Porter and Al Tylis, the first major investment from the U.S. into Liga MX. The group is hoping to capitalize on the league’s massive popularity, both in Mexico and the U.S., where it draws larger TV audiences than the English Premier League or MLS.
The U.S. investors have moved quickly to push Necaxa into new areas of technology and fan engagement. Last year the club sold a 1% ownership stake as an NFT. In March, it sold a popular Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT for $330,000 to benefit Ukrainian refugees (Tylis was born in Ukraine).