Formula One and Interregional Sports Group (ISG) announced their partnership in the development of live in-play betting at Grand Prix events around the world. Formula One is the latest sports league to sign a deal with a sports betting company for a live betting app.
When Formula One announced the sponsorship and data rights deal with sports marketing company Interregional Sports Group (ISG), it press release said the dealer will enable the development of live in-play betting at Grand Prix races. F1 said in its statement, “As part of the deal, ISG will have the right to sub-license betting partnership rights to select betting brands around the world, subject to regulations.”
The $100 million deal includes access to regionalized and branded onscreen graphics, as well as trackside signage, both physical and virtual. Advertising also will be integrated with Formula One’s digital and social platforms. Sean Bratches, the managing director of commercial operations for Formula One, said, “Data and sponsorship partnerships like this are common practice across almost all premium sports and this is the latest step in our mission to make Formula One the world’s leading sports entertainment experience.”
“F1 is delighted to partner with ISG, which has demonstrated its impressive global capabilities through working with the likes of Serie A and La Liga. We are also hugely excited to work with ISG and Sportradar on making the most of the data which is generated at every Grand Prix.”
Liberty Media Takeover
Liberty Media has talked about teaming up with a gambling sponsor as potential revenue streams since its 2016 buyout of Formula One, which was purchased from Bernie Ecclestone. Two years ago, Ecclestone was reported to be hesitant about the partnership and what it might mean the brand’s image. Before he sold Formula One, Bernie Ecclestone said, “I looked into gambling three or four years ago. But in the end the gambling concept was not found suitable.”
The public image of sportsbooks has undergone a revolution of sorts in the past six months, since the US Supreme Court struck down a federal ban on sports betting.
Liberty Media has revamped the existing race structure, while making adjustments of potential prize pool for racing teams. F1’s calendar currently has 21 races between March and November, however, some of those have laws against the advertising and promotion of gambling in their facilities.
Formula One Sponsorships
Historically, Formula One had a full line of tobacco companies as sponsor, so F1’s leaders considered gambling to have a worse public image than tobacco products. Liberty Media has a different opinion.
With the turn of the century, the tobacco sponsors were phased out, though and replaced with brands like Rolex, Heineken, and Emirate Airlines as its principal partners.
While gambling was considered off-limits a generation ago, the growth of lottery betting, tribal gaming, commercial casinos, Internet online gambling, and mobile betting apps has changed the way the public looks at the gaming industry these days. Gambling seems to be everywhere, and a public that can bet online in the privacy of their home on a desktop computer or on the go on their mobile smartphone no longer sees such activities as taboo.
Sportradar Integrity Services
Sportradar Integrity Services joined the live in-play betting deals between ISG and Formula One. The two entities will use Sportradar’s collected data to spot suspicious betting patterns, while also choosing new gaming markets to invest in. ISG will have the access to sub-license Betting Partnership Rights to work with betting brands around the world.
David Lampitt, the Managing Director of Group Operations at Sportradar, said of his company’s role, “Sportradar is the global leader in the area of sports data distribution and monetization; as well as integrity services in the fight against betting-related fraud and sports corruption.”
“Through this collaboration with Formula One, we’re delighted that fans will receive an exciting and safe betting experience and we look forward to further developing the F1 fan experience.”
Sportsradar calls itself the world’s leading ‘integrity solutions’ supplier works with several sports federations, leagues, clubs and state authorities. Sportradar’s Fraud Detection System is a part of most of the world’s leading sports rights holders such as FIFA, NBA, NHL, IIHF, ITF, World Rugby, ICC, UEFA, AFC and CONMEBOL. Their service is designed to stop match-fixing, point-shaving, and other corrupt practices in sporting events.
Sean Bratches praised Sportradar’s services, saying, “Sportradar are world leaders in data distribution and share our passion to make F1 a significant player in this field.”
ISG Group Statement
Joint Executive Chairman of ISG Group, Tony Ragan said: “We are industry leaders in helping rights holders’ segment global audiences through the use of regionalized virtual advertising. F1’s worldwide audience is a perfect fit for that approach. Across the ISG Group we enhance rights holder and brand relationships using our expertise in technology, unique content development and comprehensive activation programs.”
“We will be working with Sportradar to create products that will be both exciting and engaging for the global betting public helping them feel even more involved in what is one of the most thrilling sports in the world.”
Given the sheer number of countries Formula One operates in, it was high time that Grand Prix racing had a live in-play betting app. The complications of operating in so many gaming jurisdictions make it hard to devise applications, which is why the partnership with ISG and Sportradar is so important. Sean Bratches added, “This deal allows us to develop new and exciting ways for Formula 1 fans around the globe to engage with the world’s greatest racing spectacle, while ensuring integrity with best practice oversight from Sportradar.”