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IMG Arena hopes Ryder Cup data deal will ‘catalyse’ interest in golf betting product

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland and team Europe plays his shot from the fourth tee during a practice round prior to the 43rd Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images).

  • Ryder Cup added to European Tour and PGA Tour rights
  • Revenue share model underpins bookmaker deals to reflect immaturity of in-play golf betting product
  • Agency wants to grow golf betting to as much as 10 per cent of overall sports betting revenues
IMG Arena, the sports betting arm of the IMG agency, is hoping its data rights distribution deal for golf’s Ryder Cup will help to "catalyse" interest in live betting on the sport and increase the appetite among bookmakers for its Golf Event Centre in-play betting product.

The data services company announced a long-term agreement with the joint rights-holders, the PGA of America and Ryder Cup Europe, in early August ahead of the latest edition of the biennial tournament, which takes place at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin from September 24 to 26. But Max Wright, IMG Arena’s senior vice-president of commercial, told SportBusiness the deal was agreed “many months earlier” to allow time for the company to reformat the algorithms in its data product and plan the on-site data capture for the unique characteristics of the matchplay golf event.

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