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Big data continues to be big business in the world of expanded sports betting.
Look no further than Sportradar for a prime case study. As one of the leading suppliers of sports data services, its valuation soared to $2.4 billion among a group of new investors this past summer. And that figure has grown since.
On Tuesday, Sportradar announced itself as the integrity partner to NASCAR, the most popular auto racing league in the US. Under the agreement, the company will deploy its Fraud Detection System (FDS) to monitor all races across NASCAR’s three primary circuits:
More than 75 international sports bodies use Sportradar to monitor integrity, including the NBA and NHL. And now, NASCAR.
Read the press release here.
That integrity component is the key selling point of this deal, with Sportradar hired to run its FDS for stock car and truck races. Using this year’s schedule as a guide, that should be close to 100 races in 2019.
The company is also developing an integrity program tailored to NASCAR, complete with “robust betting-related rules and policies.” Sportradar’s Education & Prevention Services team will provide on-site workshops for drivers, teams, stakeholders and officials.
NASCAR executive Brian Herbst gave his thoughts on the partnership in the press release:
“It is critical to be proactive in developing safeguards that protect NASCAR’s on-track product from any potential integrity threats. Sportradar is the leader in this space and knowing that our races will be monitored extensively, while also equipping our industry with the tools and knowledge they require, gives us peace of mind in being able to preserve the integrity of NASCAR as the US wagering market continues to open.”
NASCAR betting (and viewership, for that matter) is a niche market in the US and practically nonexistent in other markets. But the organization seems keen on changing that.
In October, Dover International Speedway, in Delaware, became the first US sporting venue to set up on-site betting windows.
Sportradar bills itself as the “nexus between sports and entertainment,” and its role in the US is expanding alongside legal sports betting. Eight states now have single-game wagering, up from just one a half year ago.
Although the company has nurtured partnerships with dozens of sports leagues around the world, its US business is entering a new era.
Here’s Andy Cunningham, a director of Sportradar’s integrity unit:
“We are honored and excited to partner with NASCAR in what is an important time for US sports following the Supreme Court sports betting case decision earlier this year. We look forward to supporting NASCAR in installing a best-in-class integrity framework to protect their sport and its constituents.”
Sportradar’s primary competitor, Genius Sports, offers similar data and integrity services to league clients that include MLB. As of November, the NBA uses both companies as its partners for data distribution.
Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images