The XFL, the American football league set to return in 2023 after a three-year hiatus, has today (February 17) announced a betting data distribution deal with Genius Sports, the intentional sports data technology company.
Through the tie-up, Genius has been named the XFL’s official betting data distribution partner and official free-to-play provider, which gives it exclusive rights to distribute data from every XFL fixture to its worldwide media and betting partner network.
A joint release said sportsbooks will “be provided with the fastest, most accurate feed of XFL data, while brands and advertisers will be able to access XFL data through the Genius Marketing Suite.”
The free-to-play gaming element of the deal, meanwhile, involves the creation of an ‘XFL Pick’Em’ game, which asks fans to predict (by betting) the outcomes of upcoming XFL matchups. Fans will be asked to bet using tokens, while winners will “be eligible for a variety of prizes.”
Wendy Bass, the XFL’s chief business and legal officer, said: “Genius is a leader in exploring the new frontier of next-generation fan engagement. By working with Genius, we can leverage their expertise across technology and data management to make the XFL a more compelling and dynamic viewing experience for the benefit of fans, partners, and stakeholders.”
Sean Conroy, executive vice president at Genius Sports, added: “We’re thrilled to partner with the XFL, connecting their games with the media and betting sectors while creating meaningful fan interactions through the bespoke XFL Pick’Em solution.”
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The deal comes the day before the start of the latest iteration of the XFL, which is part-owned by former professional wrestler Dwayne Johnson.
The eight-team XFL will be broadcast domestically across the ABC, ESPN, and FX networks through a four-year rights deal with US media giant Disney, which is their parent company.
Last month (November), the league announced the names and logos of the eight teams that will take to the field in February, while Under Armour (which has an existing commercial arrangement with Johnson) has been unveiled as its official uniform partner.
The XFL has been working towards a relaunch since it was bought by a group including US investment firm Redbird Capital Partners, Johnson, and Dany Garcia in 2020. The $15-million deal included all the intellectual property such as team names and colors.
It was first relaunched by WWE majority owner Vince McMahon in February 2020 – 19 years after its first and only other season in 2001 – but was suspended five weeks into its 10-week season due to the coronavirus pandemic and filed for bankruptcy.
Genius, meanwhile, launched its Marketing Suite last week, as a platform designed to help partners identify, engage, and retain sports fans.
The suite of products “combines a sports-centric media buying service with a dynamic creative solution that makes it easy to design, automate, and distribute personalized video and display adverts at scale.”
The NFL, Genius Sports' other American football partner, has become the first sports property to utilize the Genius Marketing Suite, with the two parties collaborating to launch a range of free-to-play games in select international markets.
As the NFL’s exclusive distributor of official league data, Genius Sports will provide knowledge-based predictor, bracket, and personality quiz-style games to boost engagement with NFL fans in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Mexico, and the UK.