Sports data provider Genius Sports has appointed Couchmans’ Steven Burton as director of integrity, governance and sports partnerships.

As part of his new role, Burton will head up the customer-facing side of Genius Sports’ integrity services division. 

Regarded by the independent legal directory Chambers and Partners as “the foremost legal authority” in sports data, Burton brings seventeen years’ expertise in the “collection, exploitation and protection of sports data and sports integrity matters.”

Burton joins from Couchmans LLP, one of the world’s premier sports law firms, where he was a partner and head of sports data, betting and integrity. Previously he was also legal director for sports at Addleshaw Goddard between 2004 and 2009.

Genius Sports CEO Mark Locke said he was “delighted” with the appointment of Burton to such an important role for the business.

“The combination of innovative technology and official partnerships is crucial in enabling sports federations to maximise commercial revenues whilst protecting the integrity of their competitions. Steven’s track record in these areas speaks for itself.”

During his time at Couchmans, Burton advised numerous international sports leagues and federations including Football DataCo Limited (Premier League, English Football League and Scottish Professional Football League), ATP Tour, WTA Tour, The International Tennis Federation (ITF), Israeli Professional Football League, the Football Association of Ireland and Liga de Futbol Profesional (LFP Spanish Football).

From a sports partnerships perspective, he has advised Football DataCo Limited since its creation in 1999 and recently helped the ITF to negotiate a new five-year data rights deal covering more than 90,000 tennis matches per year, and worked with La Liga to implement its first ever official data rights scheme in 2014.

“I am incredibly excited about this new role,” said Burton, following his appointment. “Having spent my entire professional career helping sports leagues and federations to exploit their official data, maximise their revenues and protect their integrity, it was important for me to join an organisation that has a proven track record of working in partnership with sports.

“Over the last few years, many of the sports that I have represented have chosen to collaborate with Genius Sports and I have been impressed by their integrity, innovative technology and commitment to working with sports to help them to realise their full commercial potential. Joining Genius Sports was an obvious choice.”

Nick Maywald, chief commercial officer and executive director heading up sport for Genius Sports, added: “I am very excited that Steven is joining the team at Genius Sports.

“With his expertise in the collection, commercialisation and integrity of sports data, he is an invaluable appointment as we continue our rapid growth within the industry.”