Endeavor Co, the NYSE-listed sports and entertainment fund, has announced that it has integrated the business of IMG ARENA “under the banner of OpenBet”.
The strategic decision to combine both technology businesses is required to execute commercial opportunities servicing key clients within the global sports betting and gambling sectors.
As announced this morning: “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.”
IMG ARENA was launched in 2012, as the data rights and intelligence business of the heritage sports agency IMG Corporation. In 2018, it was expanded to capture new sportstech and data innovations for the sports betting market following the federal repeal of PASPA laws in the United States.
The Endeavor fund acquired OpenBet in 2022 from the former owner Scientific Games for $800m, adding the leading sports betting technology systems supplier to its portfolio of sports assets.
From the offset of the acquisition, Endeavor had cited that OpenBet and IMG ARENA would work together to unlock commercial opportunities in a disrupted sports betting marketplace.
Endeavor President & COO Mark Shapiro detailed: “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 Mark Shapiro. SBCNews was notified 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.
Taking charge of an enlarged OpenBet, Jordan Levin stated: “We are uniquely positioned as a leading, end-to-end sports data, technology, and content ecosystem for betting operators, rights holders, and media. 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.”
A successful 2023 saw OpenBet win new accounts from Finland‘s state-owned betting firm Veikkaus and Greek gaming company OPAP SA to boost their digital and retail sportsbook offerings.
OpenBet further expanded its technology services into the disciplines of regulatory compliance by acquiring Neccton.
IMG ARENA continued to expand its data rights portfolio, securing exclusive distributor rights with Cricket West Indies, the Australian Professional Leagues football, and as the official data collector for Conference USA’s (CUSA) football.