SBD/Issue 54/Sports Media

Stats LLC Buys Tel Aviv-Based Optical-Tracking Company SportVU

Deal Expands Stats LLC's Data Profile
Stats LLC has purchased SportVU, a Tel Aviv-based company specializing in optical tracking technology. The deal expands Stats’ data profile beyond its base in core sports statistics, and into location-based data collection such as the distance and speed a soccer player travels during the course of a game. SportVU, a roughly two-year-old outfit, has quickly made a name for itself in portions of Europe, Asia and Mexico with its system that uses a series of cameras and mathematical formulas to track virtually anything that moves within a sporting event, and analyze it in real time. The system to date has been primarily used within soccer to track the movements of both players and the ball, but SportVU also recently partnered with digital graphics outfit Vizrt to produce the much-discussed “hologram” interview segments used during CNN’s recent election coverage. Financial terms of the purchase were not disclosed. Stats bought out some investors in SportVU, including founder Miky Tamir, but will retain the Tel Aviv headquarters and all of the lead execs. “We spent about a year really looking at the entire optical tracking industry and analyzing the market, as we knew this was the next big space for us to get into, and these guys were the clear choice in terms of both scale and flexibility,” said Stats VP/Strategic Planning Brian Kopp. “There’s so much you can do with this technology -- how fast a player is running, where he is tending to run, is he slowing down during the course of a game, where shots are going, and so forth. So that opens up a really big opportunity for us, and also opens up more of a conversation for us with TV broadcasters.”

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