IMG Arena to focus on ‘fan-first digital innovation’

Global sports, events and talent management firm IGM has rolled out IGM Arena, in what has been described as ‘an evolution of its leading global sports betting business’.

IMG Arena works with more than 250 sportsbook operators worldwide providing always-on services including 24/7 live streaming and on-demand virtual sports products designed to evolve and inspire engagement by placing fans at the heart of the action.

Its innovative data collection system ensures that the accurate, high-speed sources of data are delivered live from the action to the end user in less than a second.

IMG’s experience of sports betting dates back to 2012, when it began developing a client and partner base of tier one betting operators and rights holders. Since then, IMG has created partnerships with more than 40 leading federations, including the ATP, MLS, Serie A, NHL, EuroLeague and the US Open.

As the group’s reach has grown, it has added new layers of expertise, including ultra-realistic virtual sport products via a strategic investment in Leap Gaming in June 2018. Throughout its development, IMG has remained committed to distributing only official sports federation data and streaming content.

IMG Arena, which sits within the IMG Media division, is led by Freddie Longe, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, whose career at IMG spans more than 12 years. Longe is supported by a senior team that includes industry veterans Max Wright and Brad van Wely.

Longe explained: “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.

“The move to IMG Arena underlines the business’s aggressive growth plans and a desire to expand our footprint in a range of worldwide markets, including the US as the region continues to regulate.”

IMG Arena processes official data for more than 45,000 sport events per year. Among these data services are its unparalleled tennis feeds, incorporating the ATP, WTA and ATP Challenger Tours, as well as three of the Grand Slams: Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the US Open. Data is entered directly from the umpire’s chair, meaning real-time, official, point-by-point data goes from court to fan in less than one second.

In 2017, the business delivered more than 70 million hours of content and 39 million unique views.

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