Sportradar Sees Strong U.S. Revenue Growth, Eyes Profitability By 2024 – Forbes

FILE – Basketball legend Michael Jordan speaks during a press conference ahead of an NBA basketball … [+] game between the Charlotte Hornets and Milwaukee Bucks in Paris, Jan. 24, 2020. The Charlotte Hornets have two picks in the first round of the NBA draft on Thursday June 23, 2022 — and no head coach in place to help facilitate those decisions. Hornets owner Michael Jordan is still searching for the organization’s next coach after Golden State Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson on Saturday abruptly backed out of a four-year agreement to coach the team. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)
For more than nine years, Andrew Bimson served as an executive at Bloomberg, including seven-plus years as the global head of the financial data and information firm’s marketing operations. But in January, Bimson accepted a job as chief operations officer of U.S. operations at Sportradar, a Switzerland-based sports technology and data company.
Now, Bimson is working with Sportradar’s U.S. region chief executive Arne Rees and others to grow the company’s reach in the United States, a market that is crucial to its long-term prospects.
During the second quarter of 2022, Sportradar generated $30.5 million of revenue in the U.S., a 66% increase from the same time period a year ago. The U.S. accounted for 16.4% of the company’s revenue in the latest quarter.
Carsten Koerl, Sportradar’s chief executive who founded the firm in 2001, told analysts on a conference call this month that the firm’s U.S. operations saw a 57% compound annual growth rate from 2019 to 2021. He attributed the growth to the adoption of online sports betting, the acquisition of data rights from professional sports leagues and increased adoption of data among sports media and broadcast companies.
Still, while Sportradar had an adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of $28.9 million in the second quarter, the company’s U.S. business had a negative $5.8 million of EBITDA in the U.S.
The company has yet to reach profitability in the U.S., but Koerl told analysts that Sportradar expects to be profitable in the U.S. “at least 12 months ahead of the original 2025 target date,” meaning by 2024.
“I hold the same view (with regards to profitability),” Bimson said in an interview on Monday. “We’re confident in where we’re heading. We’re enthused about the future.”
The stock market, though, hasn’t reacted well to Sportradar. Since the company went public on the Nasdaq exchange on Sept. 14 at $27 per share, its shares have fallen by nearly 57.6% to $11.46 at the end of Monday’s trading. The shares are down by 13.4% since the company reported its second quarter earnings on Aug. 17.
The Nasdaq as whole is down by 20% since Sportradar’s initial public offering and by 6.4% since Aug. 17.
Sportradar entered the U.S. market in late 2013 with the acquisition of SportsData, a Minnesota-based company whose clients included Google, Facebook and the Pac-12 Conference.
In 2015, Sportradar struck its first major deal in the U.S. when it paid about $5 million per year to become the exclusive statistics distributor for the NFL, replacing Stats LLC, according to Sports Business Journal. The NFL also took an equity stake in Sportradar. The company soon struck deals with the NBA, NHL and NASC SC A AR R, too.
In April 2021, Genius Sports took over as the NFL’s exclusive distributor of data in a deal valued at $120 million annually over six years, according to Sports Business Journal, six times more than Sportradar had been paying. The deal also included the NFL obtaining an equity stake in Genius Sports, which went public in April 2021 via a merger with a special acquisition company.
Today, Sportradar has deals in the U.S. with the NBA, NHL, Major League Baseball, NASCAR and other leagues. The most recent deal occurred in November 2021 when Sportradar struck a 10-year extension with the NBA, WNBA and NBA G League that starts in the 2023-24 season. The NBA secured an equity stake in the company, as well. NBA owners Michael Jordan, Ted Leonsis and Mark Cuban have been Sportradar investors since 2015. Jordan, who increased his investment in Sportradar in September 2021, serves as an adviser to the company’s board of directors.
Besides the deals with the sports leagues, Sportradar provides data and products for sports book operators such as DraftKings, FanDuel and BetMGM, each of which also licenses some streaming sport rights from Sportradar that appear on the betting companies’ apps. In addition, Sportradar has partnerships with more than 275 traditional broadcast and digital media companies such as ESPN, Fox Sports, CBS Sports and Apple AAPL TV, providing them with scores, statistics and data insights.
“If you think of those three stakeholders (sports leagues, betting operators and media companies), we find ourselves, through our 20-year pedigree, sitting in the middle of all that and help manage those relationships and help manage that opportunity depending on what the commercial outcomes are for those stakeholders,” Bimson said.
Sportradar expects to see its revenue grow in the coming years as more states legalize gambling, particularly in California, Florida and Texas, the U.S.’s three most populous states. As of now, 18 states and Washington, D.C. have legalized in-person and online sports betting, according to the Action Network, while two states (Tennessee and Wyoming) have legal online-only betting and 10 states have legal in-person-only betting.
Sportradar is also developing products to sell to sports book operators that will help them with their technological needs, improve their trading and understand their customers better.
“We’ll see sizeable increases (in revenue) as the states come on (and legalize sports betting),” Bimson said. “But for us, the opportunity is not only selling our core data, but the products and services and intellectual property that (helps betting companies) to be able to operate more efficiently and faster, That comes with a higher margin for us because it’s a product offering as opposed to a data offering.”
Sportradar is particularly bullish on in-play betting such as allowing people to bet on who will score the next basket in a basketball game or whether a pitch will be a ball or strike in baseball. The company claims it support 70% of in-play gaming revenue for U.S. sports books, and it expects that market to grow significantly, particularly as mobile betting becomes legal in more states.
“You need fast, detailed data to be able to react to the (in-play) market,” Bimson said. “The U.S. is really shifting from this pre-match betting to the more in-game betting, which is the way the majority of the betting happens outside of the U.S. now….If you think about it, it’s the most engaging and exciting way to participate, and all the leagues are conscious of it. They’re looking for ways to foster that fan engagement.”
For Bimson, his role, a newly created position at Sportradar, seems like a natural fit considering his time at Bloomberg and previously in sports marketing roles for more than a decade, where he worked on seven Olympics and numerous other major properties like the World Cup in soccer and rugby and Presidents Cup in golf. At Bloomberg, Bimson worked on several products that offered Wall Street traders real-time data and information, which is similar to what Sportradar is doing in the sports industry, particularly in betting circles.
“Bloomberg’s core business is all about data and analytics and cutting-edge technology,” Bimson said. “They have a desire to be best in class, quite frankly. The parallels are pretty similar (with Sportradar)….I felt a kindred spirit coming to this organization.”

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