Genius Sports Nabs NFL Data Deal, Sends SPAC Shares Soaring

Posted on: April 2, 2021, 09:13h. 

Last updated on: June 30, 2021, 10:20h.

Sports betting data provider Genius Sports has won a deal with the NFL rumored to be worth up to $1 billion. It’s news that sent shares of the blank-check firm on an upside tear, while dealing a blow to rival Sportradar.

Genius Sports NFL
Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski celebrates a touchdown in the 2021 Super Bowl. Genius Sports won a data deal with the NFL. (Image: Newsweek)

Financial terms of the agreement weren’t disclosed. But media outlets report, citing unidentified sources, that the pact could be worth $1 billion over of the life of the accord. The reports say that the NFL is taking an equity position of less than five percent in London-based Genius. The league is also an investor in Sportradar.

In addition, Genius will represent the NFL’s legalized sports betting advertising inventory across the NFL’s owned and operated digital platforms in the US and international markets,” according to a statement issued by the league. “These assets will equip Genius with the necessary tools to drive key sports wagering metrics of turnover and player acquisition over the lifetime of the deal.”

The aim of the Genius/NFL collaboration is to develop a feed that’s so comprehensive that media companies and sportsbook operators prefer it — and pay up for it — over traditional live feeds. The partnership arrives as the sports betting industry is preparing for massive growth in in-game betting — an endeavor that’s data dependent and one that’s forecast to be a hit among football bettors.

SPACtacular Implications

News of the Genius/NFL partnership arrived just a few days after dMY Technology Group, Inc. II (NYSE:DMYD) — the special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) the data provider is merging with — announced a special shareholder meeting on April 16.

At that time, dMY investors will vote on the transaction. If the vote is affirmative, the deal will close on April 16, setting the stage for Genius Sports to debut as a freestanding public company on April 20. The data provider will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “GENI.”

Following the announcement of the Genius/NFL deal, speculation swirled among SPAC experts and traders that Sportradar’s own blank-check deal was being delayed pending the NFL’s decision. The league had an agreement with the Swiss company and owns equity in the firm dating back to 2015.

Chatter emerged yesterday that Genius winning the NFL deal could alter the rumored $10 billion valuation for Sportradar. Reports surfaced last month that SPAC Horizon Acquisition Corp. II (NYSE: HZON) is close to a deal with the company, but no official announcement has been made.

Coup for Genius Sports

Genius has long been a dominant name in the European sports betting data market, previously winning deals with the English Premier League (EPL) and Germany’s Bundesliga, among others.

Prior to the NFL accord, the company’s US footprint consisted of partnerships with the NCAA and PGA Tour, as well as non-exclusive arrangements with Major League Baseball (MLB) and the NBA.

Genius gaming clients include BetMGM, FanDuel parent Flutter Entertainment, PointsBet, and William Hill.