London-based IMG Arena has been appointed as the official distributor of scoring data for Golf's PGA Tour.
The multi-year agreement will see IMG Arena distribute official PGA Tour data to news services and media organisations worldwide, and serve as the exclusive official distributor of PGA data and live-video to international regulated sports betting and gaming markets.
“The global sports betting market’s access to official data has revolutionised the in-play sports betting experience,” said IMG Arena managing director Freddie Longe. “We see golf as a sleeping giant. It is one of few major sports that doesn’t yet offer consistent in-play betting markets.
“The PGA Tour is an undisputed leader in golf and we feel this long-term partnership will allow us to work hand in hand to grow the game and protect the sport via the launch of a truly innovative digital experience that captures the next generation of sports betting and entertainment.”
The PGA Tour’s official data is collected through its proprietary ShotLink system, with an elaborate network of walking scorers, lasers and greenside cameras collecting and distributing data points from each shot in PGA Tour competitions in real-time.
Utilising the ShotLink data, IMG Arena is developing a range of innovative golf products aimed at providing PGA Tour fans with new and exciting ways to enjoy the sport.
“This is a very important step for the PGA Tour in terms of engaging our fans, serving our players and enhancing our Integrity Program,” said PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan. “Creating a bigger, more diverse, more engaged fan base around the world is key to any league’s success, and sports betting is part of how we plan to do that.”
The PGA Tour’s partnership with IMG Arena will support the golf association’s Integrity Program, which was implemented earlier this year to protect the tour from sports betting related corruption.
The PGA Tour co-sanctions more than 130 tournaments on the PGA Tour, PGA Tour Champions, Web.com Tour, PGA Tour Latinoamérica, Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada and PGA Tour Series-China. Tournaments are broadcast worldwide to more than 1bn households in 226 countries and territories in 23 languages.