Sportradar AG, a sports data company whose clients include global bookmakers, last year took on three high-profile investors with one thing in common: All own NBA teams. The Swiss company hoped Mark Cuban, Michael Jordan and Ted Leonsis could help with its expansion into the U.S., where sports betting — if legalized — could be a multi-billion-dollar industry. So far, it seems to be working. Sportradar and data analytics firm Second Spectrum are said to be close to a six-year, $250 million contract with the NBA, according to people familiar with the negotiations.
The contract covers an array of rights that includes selling official league data to betting houses, data analytics to teams and the development of a streaming product, said the people, who asked for anonymity because the agreement hasn’t been signed. Spokesmen for Sportradar and for the NBA declined to comment. Leonsis, whose private equity firm Revolution Growth led the owners’ $44 million investment in Sportradar, also declined to comment. This will make Sportradar the official data partner for three of the four major U.S. sports leagues, including the National Hockey League and National Football League, which is also an investor. Stats Inc. has Major League Baseball’s data contract.
NBA players participated in the program with Douglas Elliman in three different cities – New York, Los Angeles and Miami and depending on the city got a chance to meet with different people throughout the company, visit properties, listen to speakers and learn the basics of the business. For Jones, that included having lunch with its CEO – an opportunity that NBA Senior Vice President, Player of Development Greg Taylor turned into a pretty important opportunity if Jones ever does want to change careers and try real estate.
After falling to the eventual NBA champs during the Eastern finals, the Toronto Raptors are hungry for a championship title. Thursday’s draft will be crucial in crafting a winning lineup, and when it comes to deciding who makes the team, the Raptors will be able to consult their newest recruit: IBM’s Watson. The partnership dates back to February, when the Raptors’ parent company Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment announced they were partnering with IBM, making the Raptors the first NBA team to use the Watson supercomputer to analyze players. “Watson doesn’t answer questions of who the best trade pick would be—rather it compares them on different dimensions,” explained Jon Lenchner, the scientist who led the IBM Sports Insights Central project.