A pair of private equity-owned sports data providers are teaming up with the NBA.
Sportradar and Genius Sports have announced non-exclusive agreements with the league to provide real-time game data that will be distributed to sportsbooks and other gambling providers in the US. The arrangement, which is set to begin this season, comes after the US Supreme Court in May struck down a federal law that banned sports gambling in the US everywhere except Nevada. Legal sportsbooks have since opened in eight states, including New Jersey, Delaware and Mississippi. The NBA, in turn, has taken advantage, striking a pact in July to make MGM Resorts its official gaming partner.
Sportradar has an existing relationship with the league, having distributed NBA data to gambling operators outside the US since the 2016-2017 season. The Swiss company's relationship with the private equity industry stretches back even longer.
EQT originally backed the business in 2012, investing €44 million (about $50 million at today's conversion rate) at an enterprise value of €127.5 million. In 2015, Revolution Growth, the VC firm co-founded by Washington Wizards owner Ted Leonsis, made an investment in Sportradar alongside both Michael Jordan and Dallas Mavericks owner/"Shark Tank" star Mark Cuban. Then, this past July, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and TCV purchased a 35% stake from EQT in a move that valued Sportradar at €2.1 billion, beating out PE heavyweights Blackstone and KKR. EQT also re-invested in the deal.
The NBA's other new US gambling partner has its own ties to PE. The same month CPPIB and TCV invested in Sportradar, Apax Partners agreed to acquire Genius Sports from the company's founders, management and Three Hills Capital Partners, the latter of which had backed the London-based business since 2015. Founded in 2000, Genius Sports makes software currently used by Major League Baseball, the English Premier League and the PGA Tour to distribute in-game statistics and fill other gambling needs, including combating fraud.
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