SBJ/July 10 - 16, 2006/Marketingsponsorship

Stats Inc. becomes data partner of NBA

The NBA and Stats Inc. have signed a multiyear data services deal that gives the longtime statistics purveyor access to the league’s real-time game information.

Morton Grove, Ill.-based Stats Inc. becomes an official real-time data partner of the NBA, WNBA and NBA Development League and will be able to sell that game data to its stable of media, fantasy gaming and industry clients. Stats Inc. also will play a significant role in redeveloping NBA.com’s fantasy game offerings, most notably a product that will be called NBA.com Ultimate Fantasy Commissioner.

The NBA also maintains a relationship with SportsTicker for data services, and because of that, the new deal is not exclusive. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Stats Inc.’s high-profile roster of clients includes Sports Illustrated, Yahoo!, Fox Sports, DirecTV and EA Sports.

“We’re going to take all the bells and whistles we’ve learned and developed in the fantasy space and put that engine into their game at NBA.com,” said Stats Inc. executive vice president Steve Byrd. “It should be a much different experience than before.”

The NBA-Stats Inc. deal also may lead to the creation of more statistics, said Steve Hellmuth, NBA senior vice president of technology, with one prominent possibility being a more defined counting of contested shots as a measure of individual and team defense. Additionally, the NBA will act as a liaison between its foreign TV partners and Stats Inc. as the company seeks to broaden its non-U.S. business.

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