An “industry-first product”
Sportsbook operator BetMGM can now use IMG Arena’s Golf Event Centre after signing a new partnership with the company’s sports betting division.
In a press release published on Monday, IMG Arena described the Golf Event Centre as an “industry-first product.” It offers bettors the chance to place in-play wagers on professional golf.
shot-by-shot data and digital repsentations of courses
The front-end sports betting solution provides golf fans with access to shot-by-shot data and digital representations of courses. The deal will also allow BetMGM customers to live stream the PGA Tour, with bettors able to watch two par-3 holes per week.
IMG Arena announced the new partnership with Bet MGM on its Twitter page Monday:
Commenting on the agreement, Ryan Spoon, chief operating officer of BetMGM, said it will allow the company to “introduce a totally new and captivating concept” to its customers. The agreement adds to BetMGM’s golf betting deals, with the joint venture between MGM Resorts and Entain already acting as official sports betting partner of the PGA Tour.
IMG Arena’s data partnerships
Since the repeal of the US’ federal ban on sports betting in May 2018, IMG Arena has formed several partnerships with major sports leagues.
a multi-year partnership with the PGA Tour dating back to 2018
The company created its Golf Event Centre through various data distribution agreements with the sport’s major tours. Most notably, the company has a multi-year partnership with the PGA Tour dating back to 2018. It extracts exclusive league data through a real-time tracking system called ShotLink.
IMG Arena’s data partnerships do not stop at golf. The company signed an international media rights agreement with the NHL in 2016, which it expanded last February to include live streaming data. Now, IMG Arena can provide chosen US sportsbooks with streams of select NHL games directly through their online platforms.
In another industry first, IMG Arena secured live-streaming rights to NASCAR in May 2020. Through this deal, the company has provided sportsbooks outside of the US and Canada with NASCAR live streaming for the first time.
Golf embraces betting
Prior to May 2018, a number of sports leagues expressed opposition to the legalization of sports betting in the US. This included the PGA Tour which, along with the NBA, NFL, NCAA, and NHL, argued that wagering would negatively impact the integrity of sports.
Now, as sports betting gathers momentum across the US, the PGA Tour and other golf leagues have demonstrated their new found support for the industry. Norb Gambuzza, the PGA Tour’s senior vice president of media and gaming, described the competition’s first ever sports betting partnership with DraftKings in 2020 as “a big deal.” He said it signified the beginning of a “more aggressive entry” into the sports betting space.
In addition to BetMGM, the tour has now sealed sports betting agreements with FanDuel, PointsBet, and DraftKings. Each company can currently use the PGA Tour’s logos and other content in their marketing.