Sports data, insight and analyses has become big business in 2014, with the sector witnessing several mergers and acquisitions.
Now forming a vital part of sports betting operational value chain, Team SBC speaks to Roy Clements Managing Director of STATS Europe, on his companies European ambitions. Clements tells the SBC team, that his firm’s data on US sports is provided so quickly and accurately that other providers will struggle to keep up.
SBC: It’s been a big year for STATS since being taken over by Vista Equity Partners. How did the new ownership change operations for your firm?
Roy: The new ownership has given us a clear direction to support our growth initiatives both organic (through investment in new products and services) and through targeted acquisitions, although this has very little direct impact in Europe up until now.
Bloomberg Sport is an exciting addition to our offering, particularly with its predictive solutions for football and US Sports. This is very complementary to STATS as we can leverage the significant historical database we have for many sports and expand both the number of sports offered and the depth of analysis available per sport.
SBC: So did all that make your first deal under the new ownership, the acquisition of Bloomberg Sports, easy to justify?
Roy: As mentioned Bloomberg Sports has a great foundation and background in predictive analysis. Today we have solutions for football and major US Sports but using the combined resources of STATS data collection and historic databases, and Bloomberg Sports’ predictive capabilities, we can expand into many other major sports such as cricket, F1 and golf.
Our football product is showing a great success since the beginning of the season when following our Home, Away, Draw predictions.
SBC: You obviously intend to target the betting industry with your data and analytics – what do you bring to the table?
Roy: A complete range of data both live, post-match and historical data for the betting industry to build its product range and expand its offering as well as complete information solutions that can be used to provide the bookmaker clients with additional content to consider before placing a wager. We are particularly strong in the big six US Sports where we cover live every game of the four major professional sports. This is almost 5,000 matches and we complement that with another 2,000+ live matches from College Basketball and Football.
SBC: Which bookmakers are you already working alongside? How is your data being used?
Roy: We are either under contract or in discussions directly with five of the largest bookmakers and looking to finalise agreement with a distribution partner very soon to reach another 50+ organisations.
SBC: You’re very strong in US sports – are European operators missing a trick when it comes to marketing and providing data for these sports?
Roy: I believe that all of the major European data operators are either already offering or will launch services in 2015 for US Sports. Remember we have been operating and collecting data for US sports for more than 30 years and as such have built a top class network of scouts who can operate across various sports. Our data is the most accurate in the industry and delivered at speeds that our competition will find it difficult to match.
SBC: What are STATS’ ambitions in the betting sector for 2015?
Roy: In 2015 STATS will offer data collected at venue from close to 4,000 matches covering MLB, NHL and College football and basketball. This is forecast to grow to over 5,000 matches in 2016/17 and the long term target is 10,000 matches on offer. STATS has more than 95% market share in the US, mainly from US Sports and has many years of experience in managing the support infrastructure required to staff, collect and support accurate, fast data distribution.
Roy Clements – MD STATS Europe