IMG Arena will acquire Leap Gaming, a virtual sports and casino games provider, setting its sights on further development of its betting and gaming operations.
The sports data company, which maintains long-term ties to the betting sector as well as media and performance, has purchased Leap for an undisclosed sum.
Expected to close in the first half of 2023, the acquisition follows previous collaborations between the two parties, and will see IMG Arena integrate Leap’s 3-D and motion capture technologies with its own ‘Event Centre’ product suite along with its 58-strong team.
Freddie Longe, IMG Arena President, said: “When we invested in Leap Gaming in 2018, our aim was to create official products and unlock new revenue streams and forms of fan engagement for our clients.
“We are delighted to extend that partnership and officially welcome Leap into the IMG Arena team. The acquisition will enable us to build on the work we have already done with Leap to take the virtual sports experience to new levels and continue to enhance our sports betting content portfolio.”
As mentioned above, IMG and Leap have been involved in a long-term partnership with a vision to ‘officialise’ virtual sports by adding official logos, team names, venues and other branded assets.
The working relationship between IMG and Leap – the former headquartered in London as a subsidiary of Endeavor, and the latter with offices in Malta, Ukraine and Israel – has seen the launch of NASCAR and EuroLeague basketball virtual sportsbook products.
As a live streaming and data feed provider, IMG delivers its products to 45,000 sports events and for on-demand virtual sports for clients such as the FA, PGA Tour, UFC and MLS, whilst Leap has developed connections with 120 operators since its founding in 2014.
“Leap joining the IMG Arena business is a natural union born out of synergies in product, customer base and, most importantly, culture and vision,” added Yariv Lissauer, Leap Gaming CEO, who will become IMG Arena’s Senior Director and General Manager – iGaming.
“This will enable us to leverage our knowledge, strengths and resources to deliver an enhanced range of best-in-class virtual sports products.”