IMG ARENA extends partnership with MLS

Business News

IMG ARENA has extended its partnership with Major League Soccer (MLS) to provide tracking data to MLS NEXT Pro.

The extended agreement will see IMG ARENA integrate its deep tech, cloud-based platform to provide player and ball tracking data to MLS NEXT Pro to enhance their player performance analysis. The data points collected will include players’ total running distances, speed zones, sprints and separation between players, among others.

IMG ARENA will also provide tracking data of match officials to enable the Professional Referee Organization (PRO) to support on-going efforts to develop the next generation of referees in North America.

The innovative event tracking technology was integrated into IMG ARENA’s extensive data collection capabilities through its acquisition of Signality in 2022. It uses computer vision to extract highly accurate sports event and tracking data in real-time, utilising existing camera setups to derive positional data and event information automatically. The product is part of IMG ARENA’s Sports Services offering which helps rightsholders deliver fans a front-row seat to the action with best-in-class data, content creation and production streams.

Last year, IMG ARENA announced its long-term, global partnership to deliver the next generation of fan engagement in MLS and MLS NEXT Pro. Alongside its role as the league’s official data partner,  IMG ARENA is delivering innovative content solutions, next-generation fan analytics, and marketing tools to MLS’ betting and media partners, including the launch of three new MLS live data feeds, designed to enhance the fan experience.

“One of the areas of focus for MLS NEXT Pro is innovation so we are thrilled to be bringing this new player and ball tracking technology to the League,” said Ali Curtis, Senior Vice President of Competition and Operations, MLS NEXT Pro. “IMG is continuing to create new solutions for soccer fans around the world and this is a great example of their commitment to delivering a best-in-class experience.”

Freddie Longe, President of IMG ARENA said: “This expanded partnership means we’re able to provide MLS NEXT Pro with an all-encompassing data collection system. Adding compelling ball tracking data and player analysis will provide enhanced performance insights, on top of our next-generation fan engagement analytics and innovative content solutions which are empowering the future MLS universe.”