Stats Perform may be harboring resentment after being defeated in a lucrative football data rights contest by IMG Arena two years ago. Its adversary has now launched a lawsuit against it, alleging its illegal acquisition of European soccer league data which it should not have access to.
The sun sets outside Stats Perform’s office in Aveiro, Portugal, perhaps also casting a shadow on the company’s alleged utilization of “spies” to collect data from soccer events in Europe. (Image: Stats Perform)
Last week, a lawsuit was submitted by IMG Arena, which is owned by Endeavor, to a London court, as reported by sports media outlet Sportico. The suit claims that Stats Perform is using “spies” at English Premier League (EPL) games and other European leagues to obtain data to which IMG has exclusive rights.
In 2021, the two companies were in a heated bidding competition for these rights which included access to soccer in England, Portugal, the Netherlands and other countries. IMG was the victor yet this did not necessarily mean Stats Perform was out of the running.
Monitoring The Competition
The suit charges that Stats Perform is deploying data analysts at events, usually in disguise, to snatch data which they then can offer to operators, media organizations and other gambling sectors.
IMG Arena is seeking damages totaling at least $1.6 million, which is the amount they believe these operators would pay for the instant betting statistics. Additionally, it wants reimbursement for its costs in researching Stats Perform’s unethical conduct and any other damages that may result. This includes any income Stats Perform may have earned from its claimed misbehavior.
“Stats Perform is fully aware that they are infringing our rights and our exclusivity, and this is undermining the value of rights holders’ data rights and IP,” said IMG Arena President Freddie Longe.
IMG is also calling for a court order to prevent Stats Perform from gathering data that it believes the company may be obtaining unlawfully. To support its suit, IMG stated that it has evidence from soccer games across Europe, including in Austria and Germany.
As the relevance of sports data rises, media companies and sports betting operators are utilizing the information to extend betting markets for popular sports. Professional sports leagues frequently engage in nine-figure deals which give data firms access to reliable data, thus amplifying the betting experience.
Sportradar and Genius Sports had been in a similar dispute for years until they settled their differences last year. Sportradar, after initially denying it had breached any laws, finally agreed to cease its scouting efforts in exchange for a data license from Genius Sports.
Endeavor May Be Looking To Slim Down
This week Sportico reported that Endeavor might be seeking to reduce its business operations yet again. It is reportedly seeking a buyer for its IMG Academy, a specialized school system for athletes in the US.
At its primary campus in Bradenton, FL, IMG Academy has over 1,400 enrolled students, according to the company. Each year, it also receives another 15,000 athletes who take part in various camps.
The school has been around since 1978, when it was the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy and only covered tennis. Bollettieri assisted a number of tennis players in reaching the top, including Andre Agassi, Jim Courier and others.
Endeavor purchased the school in 2014 before changing its name to develop its sports activities. It then added golf, baseball and soccer and football.
This then led to the introduction of new academic chances the following year and even a 150-room hotel, the Legacy Hotel. The extended operations provide greater leverage, which appears to have elicited someone’s attention.
Sportico reported that Endeavor is in talks about a potential sale after receiving interest. Nonetheless, it is not actively searching for a buyer. The topic of a sale has come up before, however the company dismissed it. Since no one’s talking about it, it’s uncertain if Endeavor is taking the revived interest seriously.
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