Why Sportradar’s Deal With AP, VICE Could Be A Game Changer
Sportradar inked partnership deals earlier this week with two of the largest media providers in the world.
The Associated Press and VICE, an alternative news company, will receive content from Sportradar, a sports data company that maintains its U.S. operations in Minneapolis. Announcement of the deals came back-to-back with the AP alliance dropping on Monday and VICE on Tuesday.
Jorge Arangure, the editor-in-chief of VICE’s sports division, said the publication chose Sportradar for its Live Sports Centre, a multi-platform content hub that will be geared toward coverage of the Copa America and Euro 2016 soccer tournaments. The partnership will provide VICE Sports with live scores, player profiles, and match commentary, along with predictive content, which can be win and draw percentages for each team.
“We are always looking for new ways to engage the VICE Sports audience with unique content,” Arangure said. “The innovative Sportradar Live Sports Centre…will give us tremendous in-depth soccer coverage as we head into a summer with two major international tournaments.”
Sportradar’s deal with VICE, however, is notably smaller—both in scale and cost—than its AP partnership, which is estimated to be in the high six figures annually.
Moreover, AP’s audience spans exponentially wider than among solely VICE Sports readers. Approximately 1,400 daily newspaper members and thousands of television and radio broadcast customers will now receive sports content from Sportradar, which includes scores, player and game stats, box scores, leaderboards, schedules and standings—essentially the information contained within the average daily newspaper’s sports section.
Chicago-based Stats LLC was the previous sports data contract holder with AP, a partnership that it had maintained since 1992. Sportradar spokesman Nick Stamm told TCB the company attracted AP through a combination of its ready-to-go data gathering capabilities and down-the-road content aspirations.
“Although AP’s [sports data] agate feed is pretty much a structured template that we fill in for them,” he said, “AP partnered with Sportradar because we have better backend technology and high-quality data distribution.”
Long term, Stamm said the company aims to provide AP with online-focused apps, widgets and products that its competition was not offering. Comparatively, last year, after Sportradar secured deals with the NFL (which also previously belonged to Stats LLC), the company began implementing what it calls “next-gen stats.”
“Essentially, that is the speed and tracking data you see during the Thursday night football games,” Stamm pointed out.
Those future digital add-ons, according to Sportradar, should prove beneficial to AP’s members—which span from the New York Times to the Star Tribune—when enhancing website functions and displays of sporting events.
Switzerland-based Sportradar established its U.S. presence with the 2013 purchase of SportsData LLC, a Minneapolis company that was founded, as Stamm said, “because Stats had this monopoly on the sports data business in the U.S.”
Since then, the company has acquired exclusive agreements with the NFL, NHL, NASCAR and the International Tennis Foundation. In total, Sportradar serves more than 300 media clients, many of which previously held contracts with Stats LLC. (In fact, AP once owned Stats LLC along with FOX Sports, but the two companies sold Stats LLC in 2014.)
Sportradar currently employs 200 workers in Minneapolis and 1,500 globally. The company’s U.S. advisory board includes former America Online head Ted Leonsis, investor and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, and retired NBA star Michael Jordan.