Sportradar joins forces with ESSA to combat match-fixing in tennis

Sports and betting-related services company Sportradar has agreed a partnership with the European Sport Security Association (ESSA) to tackle match-fixing in tennis and has joined forces with sports marketing and advertising firm FanServ to develop a platform to increase the impact of sports advertising.

Sportradar’s partnership with the ESSA will initially focus on addressing match-fixing in tennis, an issue that has hit the headlines in the sport in recent months. The two parties will work together to provide an extensive overview of the betting market within tennis and monitor any suspicious activity.

Sportradar’s Fraud Detection Service, which covers over 450 betting operators, will be used alongside the ESSA’s comprehensive portfolio of transactional data to track betting patterns. The partnership will initially cover tennis, with expansion into other sports to be considered at a later date.

“The arrangement has clear benefits for both parties and represents a growing desire to complement each other’s efforts around match-fixing,” ESSA chairman Mike O’Kane said. “By utilising the core strengths of both systems we have the potential to create an unparalleled level of data from which to detect betting-related corruption. That can then be used to stamp out attacks on betting operators and protect sporting events; put simply, everyone wins.”

In February, the ESSA issued a report that stated tennis was responsible for almost three quarters of all the suspicious betting alerts issued in 2015. The report found that 73 of the 100 events that raised concern last year involved tennis, and that tennis accounted for 24 of the 35 events deemed suspicious in the final quarter of 2015.

The report was released a month after the four governing bodies of international tennis – the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), International Tennis Federation (ITF) and Grand Slam Board – confirmed that an independent review into the sport’s anti-corruption procedures would be launched. The announcement came after media reports suggested that tennis officials had failed to act on knowledge that a supposed “core group” of 16 players ranked among the top 50 in the world had been involved in match-fixing.

Meanwhile, Sportradar’s partnership with California-based FanServ will see the two parties launch a first-of-its-kind advertising platform, SportServ. The platform will incorporate digital and video advertisements alongside Sportradar-provided real-time data and updates.

SportServ will seek to facilitate targeted advertising campaigns by clients during specific parts of sports events or matches. The platform will merge live feeds with advertising technology standards for multiple users across various platforms.

FanServ founder and chief executive Brad Friedman said: “SportServ brings the game to your ads by combining Sportradar’s incredible real-time stats coverage, play-by-play and game results with our proprietary take on sports ad technology … including specific fan, stadium and event targeting that affords brands the opportunity to engage audiences when they are the most fanatical.

“We think of it as the advertisers’ seat at the bar, where they can join in on the fan’s conversation with messaging that is both timely and relevant. We know that all sports are local and that fan engagement spikes correlate directly with live game action.”