Stats Perform pledges new insight into women's tennis in WTA data deal
By Susan Lingeswaran
Stats Perform, the international sports and data technology provider, has considerably strengthened its association with the WTA, the organiser of the top women's tennis tour, in a wide-ranging betting and media fast data partnership.
Under the six-year tie-up, announced today and described by the company as a "landmark deal for women's sport," Stats Perform becomes the WTA's official data supplier and will use its Opta analysts to collect detailed player performance data and rally statistics courtside for distribution to licensed betting operators, fantasy operators, over-the-top platforms, broadcasters, media, sponsors and fans.
It added that the statistics will also feed Stats Perform’s machine learning and AI algorithms to provide viewers with in-depth insight on their favourite players.
The deal builds on Stats Perform's existing relationship with women's tennis, with the data to enhance the live WTA betting streaming service offered to licensed sportsbooks.
In addition, as part of the agreement, Stats Perform’s Integrity Unit will support the WTA in protecting the integrity of tennis, including monitoring global betting markets, employing an extensive integrity intelligence programme and using its performance integrity analysis service.
Stats Perform claims the new deal shows its commitment to growing the profile of women's sports and female athletes by offering new content and products to fans and betting customers.
The company had strong links with the WTA in its former guise as part of DAZN Group, which retains a 10-year, $525-million live media rights and production deal with the governing body, which came into effect in 2017.
Last year, the Perform's data and betting business was sold to Vista Equity Partners, the US private equity firm, which merged it with its USA-based Stats business.
Carl Mergele, Stats Perform chief executive, said today: “The WTA has very ambitious goals for their tournaments and players and we’re proud to be trusted to help them reach new levels of fan and bettor engagement through our AI, tech and data capabilities and global distribution network.
“Our broadcaster, media and betting network is already excited because they’ve seen first-hand how high quality information helps elevate sport’s appeal, which helps them attract and engage their customers.”
Opta already collates and distributes data from games across sports including men's and women's soccer, cricket, rugby, basketball, NFL American football and Major League Baseball.
Micky Lawler, WTA president, said: “Stats Perform has a history of creating innovative, trusted content and products that drive entertainment levels and new revenue streams for the professional sports ecosystem.
“We’re looking forwards to discovering new and unique storylines surrounding the WTA Tour and our players available in new, exciting and comprehensive ways.”
In 2020, the WTA Tour has been heavily impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, which resulted in the suspension of play for five months until the start of August.
The tour was also forced to cancel or postpone many of the tournaments scheduled for the rest of the year, including seven events in China, after the government’s General Administration of Sport announced the country would not host any international sporting events other than those linked to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.
Among the casualties was the season-ending WTA Finals in Shenzhen, which is in the second year of a 10-year hosting deal for the prestigious event.