• The global talent and event agency is close to finalizing a 10-year data deal with the ATP.
  • Tennis is one of the most bet-on sports in the world.
  • IMG would use the ATP’s official data in its sports betting initiatives.

NEW YORK – Per SportsBusiness Media, the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) is reportedly close to closing on a data rights deal with IMG.

Per the report, the pending deal is worth $1 billion over ten years, and it would allow IMG to have exclusive access to and use of the ATP’s official betting data.

The ATP is the governing body for men’s professional tennis. IMG, formerly the International Management Group, is a multinational event and talent management company.

IMG, a subsidiary of the US-based William Morris Endeavor, has global interests across multiple sports and entertainment media. The company operates several significant tennis events, including the Miami Open, Rio Open, Maharashtra Open, and other tournaments.

As part of its tennis portfolio, IMG also represents a number of professional athletes, including Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka, though this deal applies strictly to the ATP.

The ATP data deal, if it goes through, has the potential to substantially bolster IMG’s latest initiative, IMG Arena. IMG Arena is the company’s sports betting and content distribution arm, which became operational in November 2018.

IMG Arena already has similar data agreements in place for the PGA Tour and European Tour in the professional golf space.

At $1 billion, the price tag for the agreement may seem steep, but tennis – while not particularly popular in the United States – is one of the most bet-on sports in the world. Depending on how IMG intends to package ATP data into its future betting products, the deal could be a bargain.

Owning the data rights to men’s tennis (including those for the ATP Masters 100 series, Tour 500 series, and Tour 250 series events) could be a coup for IMG. The move would allow IMG Arena to immediately compete with other data providers in the global sports marketplace, including brands like Sportradar, Perform Group, and Genius Sports Group.

While the reported deal seems likely to close, one undisclosed company has allegedly raised complaints of a lack of transparency in the bidding process.

It is currently unknown if this company will pursue legal action against the ATP, nor is it clear that the ATP is beholden to competitive bidding laws in the licensing of its own properties.

News tags: | | | | | | | | | | | | | |