Sports and entertainment giant Endeavor has integrated its sports data rights business IMG Arena under the banner of its sportsbook platform, OpenBet.
By doing so, the company hopes to better service its key clients within the global sports betting and gambling sectors by better executing commercial opportunities. The two holdings constitute some of Endeavor’s core technology brands.
IMG serves as the data rights and intelligence asset of Endeavor, having been launched by IMG Corporation in 2012. Its operational scope was expanded in 2018 to cover more sportstech and data innovations for sports betting after PASPA was repealed in the US.
Meanwhile, OpenBet was acquired by Endeavor in 2022 from Scientific Games, an igaming product platform. This further enhanced New York-based Endevor’s standing in sports betting through the integration of a high-profile, widely utilised B2B platform.
An Endeavor statement explained the integration: “The integrated entity will leverage the individual strengths and operational expertise of both global businesses, marrying OpenBet’s industry-leading betting technology, content, and services with IMG ARENA’s data rights and capabilities to create an end-to-end sports data, technology and content ecosystem for betting operators and rights holders.”
Endeavor President & COO Mark Shapiro added: “When we acquired OpenBet in 2022, we envisioned a holistic integration with IMG ARENA that would create a leader in the global betting, sports data, and technology industry. Today marks the culmination of that ambition.
“Leveraging Endeavor’s complementary sports and entertainment capabilities, we will unlock meaningful value for the sports rights and IP of our owned and operated properties, and most importantly, for our partners.”
Moving forward, IMG ARENA will operate as a brand under the OpenBet banner, continuing to offer its suite of sports data, integrity, and fan engagement products to rights holders, federations, leagues, events, media outlets, and betting operators.
The combined business will be led by Jordan Levin, CEO of OpenBet, reporting to Endeavor’s Shapiro. SBC News was notified yesterday that Freddie Longe, former President of IMG ARENA, will be moved into a strategic advisory role within OpenBet’s new business.
OpenBet welcomed the integration of IMG ARENA to maintain its status as a leading technology systems supplier of tier-1 gambling operators. Furthermore, the integration will help OpenBet deliver new modular components, data intelligence, and content to customers worldwide.
Significantly, OpenBet has highlighted IMG ARENA’s extensive data and media rights coverage, in which the sportstech firm delivers live streaming and data feeds for more than 65,000 sports events annually, as a principal partner of the UFC, MLS, PGA Tour, DP World Tour, USTA, EuroLeague, and the NWSL.
“We are uniquely positioned as a leading, end-to-end sports data, technology, and content ecosystem for betting operators, rights holders, and media,” Levin remarked.
“Putting our customers and their players at the heart of our product and tech innovation remains the key to our ongoing success. As an integrated business, we are focused on providing a unique solution to leagues, federations, and sportsbooks worldwide.”
Following an active 2023, it is clear that Endeavor is not letting up with its commercial strategy, as it continues to seek innovative ways to position itself as a leading company in sports and sports betting.
Of note, last year saw the firm acquire WWE, the world’s largest professional wrestling entertainment company. Under Endeavour plans, WWE merged with the world’s largest MMA promotion, UFC, to create a multi-billion dollar combined entity.