Data provider Genius Sports Ltd. is exploring ways in which it can help online sports betting sites sell newer and more advanced wagering opportunities to customers — and perhaps much more.
London-headquartered Genius bought "cutting-edge data tracking and visualization solutions" company Second Spectrum Inc. in 2021 for approximately $200 million, and has since been able to market the latter’s wares to clients.
For example, Genius announced in October a long-term extension of its official data partnership with bet365. In doing so, Genius said the two companies would start exploring how Second Spectrum's tech could be incorporated into the mix — a “first,” Genius noted
?? From #RomoVision to #ClipperVision, @MLS streams and much more, we're powering the next generation of augmented broadcasts.??????????— Genius Sports (@GeniusSports) October 21, 2022
???? See how through our @SecondSpectrum tech, we're creating immersive live experiences here. pic.twitter.com/7oOr7Gdeda
On Thursday, Genius executives were asked what that betting experience could look like, and what other opportunities could be created. While the vision remains a bit fuzzy, and the options are still being explored, Genius CEO Mark Locke responded that they think there's a way to enhance the user experience and the interface through which bets are placed at legal sportsbooks.
Genius also sees the growing potential for cross-selling users on new bet types and for products that may not be related to betting at all, such as merchandise and tickets. The first step, though, is getting players interested in a game in general, which could be through the video streams and “graphical representations” that Genius and Second Spectrum technology could provide.
“So we think that the future of sports betting and the future of that user experience is going to be based around having further products cross-sold into it, whether they're betting products or external products, as the user is involved in the game,” Locke said. “Whether that's [audio-visual] in the traditional way, or whether that's graphical representations of the game… that will evolve, but we think initially it will be both, and over time that will change.”
Do not adjust your sets
This all fits into Genius’ description of itself as the company that “powers the global ecosystem connecting sports, betting and media” around the world. Furthermore, the vision being outlined by Genius comes as the company, which is used by online sportsbook operators for official league data and technology, is diversifying its customer base.
One example of a non-betting business for Genius is the partnership between CBS Sports and Second Spectrum for “RomoVision” during NFL games.
“By combining the NFL’s Next Gen Stats (NGS) feed with Second Spectrum’s live video augmentation pipeline, RomoVision presents a new form of storytelling,” Genius said in a press release earlier this year. “Precise player movements are tracked and drawn on screen during first replays which are accompanied by Tony Romo’s passion and forensic analysis to provide fans with incredible levels of insight and customization.”
Then, in September, Genius disclosed that Second Spectrum had secured an agreement with Amazon to provide augmented video technology and data-related services for an alternate Thursday Night Football feed in the United States.
“First, as it relates to live sports broadcasts, this is truly a one-of-a-kind feature,” Locke said Thursday during a conference call for analysts and investors. “The ability to identify players, track receiver routes, display quarterbacks’ time to throw all in real-time is something that has never been done before. Front-footed broadcasters are beginning to break new ground by giving their subscribers more ways to watch a game and in turn appealing to a wide and diverse audience.”
Blocking and tackling
Genius also reported on Thursday that revenue rose 13.8% year-over-year for the three months that ended September 30, rising to $78.6 million overall.
The net loss for Genius shrunk to just shy of $9 million for the third quarter, compared to almost $70 million for the three months that ended Sept. 30, 2021. Adjusted earnings flipped positive, however, as the company reported adjusted EBITDA of about $7.7 million for the quarter, up from a small loss a year earlier.
Still, the company's betting-related division provided the bulk of its revenue, as quarterly receipts for the unit rose 12.6% from a year earlier, to $49.2 million. That growth was “driven by new customer acquisitions, increased utilization of available content, and expansion of value-add services and new service offerings,” Genius added in its quarterly press release.