Major League Soccer (MLS) has formed a deal with IMG Arena, which will become its official data distribution partner after what was described as an ‘extensive’ RFP process.
The pair look to utilise modern technology to ‘create a new standard’ for football data and drive further fan engagement in both the league and MLS NEXT Pro, an affiliate tournament which functions as the US football system’s third tier.
Chris Schlosser, MLS’s SVP of Emerging Ventures, stated: “The extensive collaboration between MLS and IMG Arena will utilise the latest in digital marketing technology to drive fan growth for MLS and MLS Next Pro ahead of World Cup 2026 in North America.
“IMG Arena is a proven global leader in an ever-evolving sports betting landscape. We look forward to working with them to deliver the highest quality data for fans to power their MLS sports betting experiences.”
Additionally, the agreement will see the launch of three new MLS live data feeds, designed to enhance the fan experience via a series of brand new digital, media and betting products.
The partners will also launch various digital products enabling the league, its teams and partners to use data, graphics and insights to ‘enhance the game’ and further engage the digital MLS audience online.
Freddie Longe, President of IMG Arena, added: “We are incredibly proud and excited to have secured this agreement with MLS for an all-encompassing partnership that allows both parties to plan and work on a long-term strategy that will take us to the 2026 World Cup and beyond.
“It is a partnership truly fit for the data age of sport and shows off the full capabilities of the IMG Arena product and service offering. Together, we will empower the future MLS universe.”
Similarly, last month the German Football Association (DFB) also signed a fan engagement agreement with IMG Arena to allow the distribution of content across the firm’s sportsbook operators.
This partnership sees the platform gain streaming and fastpath data rights for all 63 matches in the DFB-Pokal – Germany’s national knockout cup competition.