IMG has indicated major developments within weeks after announcing the formation of its new IMG Arena betting and data division.
The sports media giant already works with more than 250 leading sportsbook operators worldwide and a series of major rights-holders, including ATP and WTA tennis, the NHL and Serie A. It provides live streaming, on-demand virtual sports products and live data via its Fastpath Data feeds.
The rebranding of IMG Gaming, which will be led by Freddie Longe (pictured), senior vice-president and managing director, comes after six months of planning. While the division will be targeting major developments in North America, where companies such as Sportradar and Genius Sports have made great strides since the repeal of PASPA, an IMG spokesperson told iGamingBusiness.com that the rebranding exercise is unrelated to the changes in regulation in the US.
The spokesperson said: “The new name reflects the vision of the group and our aggressive growth plans. It also provides the foundations for our desire to expand our footprint in a range of worldwide markets, including the US.
“Our main aim is to continue to deliver great value to our federation clients and sportsbook customers. The new name is designed to help us cement our position within the market and increase understanding of our unique offer.”
IMG Arena processes official data for more than 45,000 sport events per year, including tennis feeds from three Grand Slams and major ATP and WTA events. Its streaming portfolio features NHL ice hockey, Serie A, the English FA Cup and Football League and EuroLeague basketball, with more than 70 million hours of content and 39 million unique views achieved in 2017.
IMG last month extended its multi-territory streaming rights partnership with the NHL for a further three years, and the company said it expects further developments in the US market very soon.
“The US is an exciting opportunity and one we are exploring,” the spokesperson told iGamingBusiness.com.
“There are potentially 133 million US sports fans that are back in the game – we want to help our federation clients and sportsbook customers to deliver a best-in-class experience to each and every one of them. In the coming weeks you will see more news from us on our growth plans.”
IMG Arena, part of IMG Media, will be headquartered in London, with Longe assisted by a senior team that includes industry veterans Max Wright and head of product Brad van Wely. It expanded its offering when signing a partnership with virtual sports developer Leap Gaming in May, at the time citing a desire to “provide the broadest portfolio of technology driven betting and gaming solutions”.
Longe added in a statement: “Backed by the considerable global scale, network and resource of IMG, IMG Arena will build on our existing advantages and well-developed offering to positively disrupt the market, with a strong fan-first innovation pipeline that drives incremental value to our clients and customers.”