Sportradar and MLB discuss data, media and betting becoming one

June 26, 2023
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Sportradar's Eric Conrad and MLB's Casey Brett speak about their ‘critical' partnership, and where sports data and sports betting are headed.

Gaming America was invited to Sportradar’s London office to witness a fireside chat between Sportradar EVP, Strategic Partnerships - USA & LATAM, Eric Conrad, and Major League Baseball (MLB) SVP of Business Development, Casey Brett.

The conversation covered new growth areas for the sport, commercialization, plans to introduce baseball to new audiences and sports betting. A global, official data partnership between Sportradar and the MLB actually began in 2014, four years before the repeal of PASPA and the potential to use any of the data acquired for future betting markets. However, Brett noted that the partnership has always been “critical for telling the story of the game.”

MLB aims to continue its efforts in ‘data productization,’ with Sportradar innovating beyond initial partnership expectations, including being instrumental in the brand’s first streams with betting partner FanDuel.

Brett said, “We are a data-driven sport from the very infancy of the game. As a fanbase, we are very statistically minded.”

Conrad agrees that the baseball fan is “the center of everything,” which has caused both companies to re-think how they deliver baseball and all of its related content to those who love it.

Brett mentioned the need for a direct-to-consumer product at MLB, as well as the need to keep up with the times in how to deliver that product. He said, “The age-old way of consuming data is out the door. It’s all driven by your phone; digital products delivered by rich data.”

This also includes baseball’s debut in the metaverse, where Atlanta Braves fans can now watch a game virtually from center field. MLB’s first step into this ‘brave new world’ will “reduce barriers to entry” when it comes to watching the game, as well as provide a “supplemental home experience” in addition to fans’ stadium visits.

Conrad also commented on some rule changes within the sport, which could lead to more international viewership, and has already had positive results with more of America tuning in from various timezones. He said, “The pace of the game is more attractive and attendance is up.”

Integrating digital solutions, betting odds and online social content to reach fans is something that has caused a bit of mirroring within two industries. Brett said, “ESPN is acting like a sportsbook, while FanDuel is acting like a media company – like ESPN!”


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