PSA eyes betting potential in evolving Sports Data Labs tie-up
The Professional Squash Association, the organiser of top competitions in the sport, revealed today that a six-figure sum has been paid out to players under an innovative partnership with international technology provider Sports Data Labs that commercialised physiological data for the first time.
It is also looking at ways in which the data can be further exploited, possibly for betting purposes.
Under a tie-up which came into effect for the 2018-19 PSA World Tour season, players that consented to commercialising their data have received a share of a separate prize pool for Platinum and World Championship events, with bigger payouts the further they progressed in a tournament.
The total amount distributed now exceeds $100,000.
Squash was the first sport in history to make in-game physiological data assets available for commercialisation through the use of Sports Data Labs’ proprietary heart data capture and tracking technology, and players have had access to the information to support their training and performance analysis.
Moreover, the data has been incorporated into official broadcasts of events to complement the viewing experience and provide new insights.
Last December, the PSA strengthened its ties with Sports Data Labs by making a strategic investment in the operation, and the two organisations are working together to explore new ways of capturing and using physiological data, potentially including making it available to betting partners to establish new revenue streams, and make squash a leader in that particular field.
Lee Beachill, PSA chief operating officer, said: “Our partnership with Sports Data Labs has been a game changer in terms of the way we are able to commercialise the physiological data of our players and has had huge benefits for both PSA and our athletes. Not only has this partnership resulted in financial gain for our athletes and the association, we have also been able to enhance our broadcast product, enabling fans and casual players to compare their performances with that of our athletes. The data gained from Sports Data Labs’ technology has highlighted that our players are amongst the fittest in world sport.
"We are incredibly excited about the potential of this partnership and believe it can connect us further with spectators as well as enable us to enhance our relationship with betting partners, who will be able to use this data to engage with customers in a more in-depth way than ever before."
Mark Gorski, the founder and chief executive of Sports Data Labs, added: "Sports Data Labs, the PSA and its athletes are all working towards the same goal, which is bringing in more revenue for players and the tour as well as providing more performance insights for players that will help them optimise their in-match performance.
“Real-time, in-game physiological data opens up entirely new categories for sponsorship and we believe one of the biggest opportunities moving forward will be in sports betting. Our goal is for this partnership to be the model for how in-game athlete data can be utilised across professional sport. We believe that the PSA and Sports Data Labs are set up to really prove the value of human data. With the support of the players and the commercial model that we have in place, we couldn’t be more excited about where our future is going with the PSA.”
The PSA invested in Sports Data Labs in January, having worked with the company for two years. In April 2019, Aser Group, the global investment company founded by Italian sports executive Andrea Radrizzani, became the single largest investor in Sports Data Labs.