The Canadian Football League (CFL) has announced a long-term partnership with Genius Sports, a data, technology, and commercial company that connects sports, betting, and media.
The commercial data partnership, expected to come into effect in January, will grant Genius exclusive content for international sports betting operators and allow it to leverage CFL data and video content for commercial purposes including for its sportsbook partners, while also working to assist the league in capitalising on the North American sports betting market.
In return, Genius will provide the league with “a wide range of technology and services” to engage global audiences and support its expansion plans in North America. Those will include live broadcast augmentation, advanced data tracking tools, targeted and personalized fan engagement solutions, play-by-play and scoreboard data collection technology, and integrity services to safeguard the league.
Mark Locke, CEO of Genius Sports, said: “By providing the CFL with an incredible range of sports technology solutions, Genius Sports is setting a new precedent for sports partnerships. Together, we will revolutionise the entire CFL product, delivering truly immersive experiences for their existing fans and attracting new audiences who crave year-round, top-flight football action.”
By partnering with Genius, the CFL said it aims to leverage the company’s data ecosystem with the goal of “transforming its relationships with fans, sportsbooks, and media in North America and globally”.
“Our partnership with Genius Sports has the potential to launch a new era for the CFL,” said Randy Ambrosie, Commissioner of the Canadian Football League. “It provides access to the technology and tools we need to engage our existing fans, and reach new ones, in exciting, innovative and highly customised ways.” He added it can “redefine” the league’s relationship with fans, partners, and other key stakeholders.
Ambrosie added that a big impetus of the deal was the legalization of single-game sports betting in Canada. When asked how much betting revenue the CFL could receive, he said, per CBC: “We’ve done some early-stage forecasting that I won’t share with you, that we won’t share publicly. But it’s an exciting opportunity.”
The CFL didn’t play in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Multiple sources have consistently said that cost the league between $60 and $80 million.