IMG Arena acquires computer vision firm Signality

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  • Signality’s co-founders to continue overseeing company’s operation
  • Acquisition follows IMG Arena takeover of FlightScope in April

IMG Arena, the agency giant’s betting data subsidiary, has secured a controlling interest in Swedish computer vision firm Signality.

The deal will see IMG adopt data from Signality’s artificial intelligence (AI) software, computer vision and camera technologies.

Signality’s cloud-based platform uses AI to generate real-time event tracking data from sports events. The platform is able to analyse live streams, as well as tracking player and ball movement, to provide data insights.

IMG Arena will use Signality’s technology to build out its offering to rights holders, with founders Mikael Rousson and Michael Höglund continuing to oversee operations as the company merges its two Swedish offices with the London-based data firm.

For IMG Arena, it adds to the April acquisition of ball-tracking technology firm FlightScope.

“This is a very exciting and important investment for IMG Arena,” said Brad van Wely, chief product officer at IMG Arena.

“It will enable us to build a next-generation data collection system, which will generate new and exciting insights across a multitude of sports. This compelling data will underpin both our current and future suite of products for rights holders and fans alike, combining real-time data, and analytics with innovative front-end solutions to enhance the fan experience.”

Mikael Rousson, co-founder and chief executive of Signality, added: “Signality was born from a vision of enhancing sport at a fundamental level using computer vision technology.

“Joining the IMG Arena business is a natural union born out of synergies in product, customer base and, most importantly, culture and vision. It will accelerate our joint desire of having a global impact on the future of sports and sports fans.”

IMG Arena delivers live-streaming and data for more than 45,000 annual sports events. It also powers virtual sports products and solutions such as the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s (UFC) ‘Event Centre’ product.

In addition to the UFC, the sports betting data firm’s roster of rights holder partnerships includes tennis’ ATP Tour, golf’s DP World Tour, Major League Soccer (MLS) and English soccer’s governing the Football Association (FA).

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