Nascar has signed a long-term deal with IMG Arena that gives international sportsbook operators the right to live-stream races for the first time.
Nascar is one of the few U.S. professional sports leagues staging events during the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing it to take advantage of the dearth of live sports.
Fox’s coverage of Nascar’s return to action this past weekend drew 6.3 million viewers. The race from Darlington Raceway in South Carolina was one of the first live sporting events in the U.S since the major U.S. leagues suspended their seasons in March. The race was the most-watched Nascar Cup Series race (outside of the Daytona 500) on Fox since 2017.
The deal also calls for IMG Arena to create a virtual sports betting game that’ll replicate some of Nascar’s iconic tracks, including Daytona International Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway and Watkins Glen International.
Created by Leap Gaming, the virtual game will be
offered to sports betting operators around the world. It adds to IMG Arena’s virtual sports betting portfolio, which already includes tennis, football and horse racing.
Scott Warfield, Nascar’s managing director of gaming, said the sports betting offerings will help the sport to grow outside of North America.
Earlier this year, Nascar named Penn National Gaming as its first authorized betting operator in the U.S.
Nascar has allowed teams and tracks to sell marketing sponsorships to sports betting companies and licensed sportsbooks.
Scott Soshnick is the editor-in-chief of Sportico, Penske Media’s new sports business platform.