Formula One is set to sign up betting partners around the world after announcing a new venture with Sportradar and media group Interregional Sports Group (ISG).
Liberty Media, the owner of the motorsport championship, and its data and media rights partners will work with information taken directly from races to enable the development of in-play betting markets during Grands Prix.
ISG, which has worked with Serie A and La Liga, will have the right to sub-license betting partnership rights to betting operators, giving access to regionalised branded on-screen graphics, physical and virtual trackside signage and digital integration across F1’s digital and social platforms.
The Financial Times newspaper suggests that the betting sponsorships could be worth at least $100m over five years.
Sean Bratches, managing director of commercial operations at Formula 1, said the championship wants to enhance fan engagement through the partnerships and improved offering.
He said: “Data and sponsorship partnerships like this are common practice across almost all premium sports and this is the latest step in our mission to make Formula 1 the world’s leading sports entertainment experience.
“This deal allows us to develop new and exciting ways for Formula 1 fans around the globe to engage with the world’s greatest racing spectacle, while ensuring integrity with best practice oversight from Sportradar.”
Formula One will utilise Sportradar Integrity Services to track evidence of race-fixing. The service is already used by major rights holders such as Fifa and NBA.
David Lampitt, managing director of group operations at Sportradar, said: “Through this collaboration with Formula 1, we’re delighted that fans will receive an exciting and safe betting experience and we look forward to further developing the F1 fan experience.”
The move was welcomed by Simon Antonio Vumbaca, head of motorsport specialist Pit Stop Betting. However, speaking to iGamingBusiness.com, he suggested that if the figures quoted by the Financial Times were accurate it could make it difficult for operators to achieve value for money.
He said: “The F1 deal amounts discussed would make the deal and cost of acquisition per player very high and out of market range, particularly if one considers the reality of regulated licensing markets, geographical limitations – such as no betting allowed in Asia, Russia and Middle East, and the US very restricted – and caution around betting.
“It would indicate that the aim may be more to talk to F1 fans and take them to bet on other sports rather than on F1 necessary. But, if someone is prepared to pay that amount, then great.”