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European Tour announces data distribution partnership with IMG Arena

The European Tour has announced a new partnership with IMG Arena for the collection, distribution and licensing of its official scoring data.

Under the deal, IMG Arena will distribute and license the Tour’s official scoring data on an exclusive basis to worldwide media organisations and international regulated sports betting and gaming markets.

To fulfil the partnership, IMG’s new sports betting business says it has developed a real-time, shot-by-shot data collection system which it will install at all European Tour events. The collected data will be made available to fans via European Tour platforms and global broadcasters. As part of the partnership, IMG Arena will also live stream two selected Par 3 holes per week for syndication to data rights clients in selected territories.

“This partnership with IMG Arena will provide an enhanced statistical offering from our tournaments through real-time, shot-by-shot data,” said Rufus Hack, chief content officer of The European Tour.

“It will help us to grow our fan base and increase engagement through improved data and insights for fans across all our platforms. Licensing the data for regulated sports betting markets will allow fans around the world the opportunity to engage with our product in a different way.”

The European Tour said Genius Sport’s bet monitoring system, which is also employed by Major League Baseball and the English Premier League, will be employed to protect against suspicious betting activity. In addition, the European Tour’s Golf Integrity Unit will focus on player education.

“Our primary responsibility is to our players. We will educate and support all professionals to ensure they have the right guidance and understand the latest golf betting regulations,” said Keith Waters, the European Tour’s Chief Operating Officer.

“We are also conscious of our duty to the game of golf and its outstanding reputation for integrity, so our education and coverage will extend to all player support personnel, including the caddies, friends and families of the players.”

IMG Arena is a new sports betting service announced last November which serves notice of IMG’s designs on the betting space. The market has become even more attractive since a Supreme Court ruling in the US rolled back the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act which prohibited sports betting in most states. Since the act was repealed, several US states have legalised sports betting.

Shortly after its creation last November, IMG Arena announced a similar deal to distribute the PGA Tour’s official data for media usage and sports betting purposes.