When sports betting first became a possibility in 2018, there was no way we could fully understand the impact it would have. It’s become a massive industry for both the sportsbooks themselves and the sports tech companies that provide them data.
Across the United States, sports betting brought in $4.3 billion in revenue last year.
That number is especially impressive considering less than 30 states had sports betting available in 2021.
However, sports betting is impacting more than we could have ever imagined. It feels like more people are watching and betting on sports than ever before–and the numbers back it up.
The NFL’s total viewers increased by 3 million in the 2021-22 NFL season, and the NBA’s viewership rose by 19%.
Moreover, viewership is not the only aspect of the sporting world that is seeing an increase. Sports data and technology companies, such as Genius Sports and Sportradar, are growing like never before.
With thousands of people betting on sports in Illinois, it’s important that gamblers know about the rapid changes impacting this growing industry.
This isn’t completely unfamiliar for bettors in IL. Last year we reported that DraftKings hired an in-house sports tech company to provide the lines.
So…what exactly does a sports tech company do?
That’s actually a very good question–these companies help various sportsbooks optimize their potential. They do so by offering state-of-the-art infrastructure and the best odds on the market.
However, they also work with individual sports leagues to ensure fair play. On its website, Sportradar describes itself as a company that:
“offer[s] bookmakers everything from full business solutions to essential content like data, odds, statistics, and video streams to all-round marketing and management services.”
Genius Sports, Sportradars’ number one competitor, expresses a similar sentiment on its website.
“Why just stay competitive when you could get ahead,” it says. “We help you optimise your sportsbook, from better content to sharper odds and more compelling player CRM.”
The growth of Genius Sports and Sportradar
Now that we know what these companies do, it’s really no surprise they’ve been seeing success since the sports betting boom. Genius Sports, which is much smaller and newer than Sportradar, is coming off of its best year ever.
Genius Sports made $85.9 million in revenue in the first quarter alone, which is up 59.9% year-over-year. In addition, its betting technology sector rose 27.6% year-over-year to $49.7 million.
Revenue numbers like that are no suprise given the size of the industry. Gamblers in Illinois wagered nearly $1 billion on sports during just the month of March. Toss in the rest of the states with legal wagering, and it’s easy to see where the massive revenue numbers are coming from.
In the past few years, Genius Sports has also partnered with a number of different sports leagues and sportsbooks, including:
- Premier League
- PGA Tour
- FanDuel Sportsbook
While Genius Sports is thriving, it has a lot of ground to cover if it wants to catch up with Sportradar. Sportradar has a market cap of $2.91 billion, which is nearly five times that of Genius Sports.
Sportradar offers its integrity services to leagues worldwide, such as:
- The Asian Football Confederation
- Electronic Sports League
- International Olympic Committee
Is sports tech competition healthy for the sports betting industry?
The sports betting boom we are witnessing right now is a consequence of the digital revolution. We have taken mobile technologies to new heights, and online betting is just one rung of the ladder.
However, because of it, more people are betting than ever before–which is why these companies are important.
It’s so important to have companies out there focused on the integrity of sporting events. Due to the sheer amount of people betting, the risk of match-fixing or disingenuous play is at an all-time high. The competition between companies like Sportradar and Genius Sports should only make the integrity services stronger, which is key.
Also, from a bettor’s perspective, this kind of competition is important because it has a direct correlation on odds. If the odds that one company offers are better than another, that will quickly be sorted out.
The set odds are the backbone to sports betting, so we as bettors want those to be as precise as possible.