Tennis betting markets powered by an umpire generated data feed have met the needs of betting operators for a long period of time, but as demands for more entertaining betting markets increase, the provision of the data that fuels those richer experiences must evolve as well, Shane Gannon, Senior Vice President of Stats Perform told an audience at SBC Summit Barcelona, SBC’s flagship event in 2021.
“Stats Perform was awarded the exclusive and official rights to the WTA Tour for six years from the start of 2021,” he said. “It’s been our long-held belief that tennis data can be done better. Tennis betting markets can be done better.
“We are very excited to get our hands on this data and start executing our vision. But firstly, what exactly is our vision? And how are we making it a reality?
“Alongside the umpire feed, which we know has been serving the industry well for a long time, we now have a dedicated official betting data collector courtside for every single match.”
The dedicated betting data collector means that Stats Perform can improve what data it collects as well as the method in which it is collected.
This, believes Gannon, ensures that the data is optimised for betting operators’ main requirement, confidently keeping markets open as long as possible, while also helping unlock new betting options to power further growth.
“We’ve already seen in all the tests that we’ve done that we’re delivering data faster. We’ve also examined how a dedicated betting data collection process can extract further gains, such as sending the ‘service’ datapoint on the server’s ball-toss: that is, at the end of their service routine, instead of at its start. Over the course of a game this creates valuable additional minutes of in-play betting uptime.
“A parallel feed also means redundancy. We have two feeds from a technical point of view; should there be an issue with an umpire feed, our RunningBall Ultrafast Shot-by-Shot feed ensures that markets can remain.”
Gannon noted that a dedicated data analyst also enables “deeper data” for Stats Perform clients, marking another uplift from the core data provided by umpire data feeds. “We collect new shot-level metrics across the entire Tour. Think forehand and backhand winners, net winners, rally lengths and more.”
The increased volume of data collected (3.5x more per match versus the umpire), marks a major shift away from the core set of derivative binary tennis markets that currently exist. This new, richer data will “fuel operator innovation and lead to more engaging markets and stories like those we’ve helped create in football involving player shots, passes and tackles.”
Insight about player playing styles has historically only been available at the four tennis Majors. With Stats Perform’s whole new deeper dataset across the entire WTA Tour, its connections into the world’s sports broadcasters, and its AI to convert data into interesting insights, Gannon claims it “won’t be long before fans see data-driven storytelling about player styles and rally trends in mainstream tennis TV and media coverage, and bettors enjoy innovative experiences that bring them closer to tennis. This is exactly what we have driven for football. The knock-on effects will provide a giant boost to the WTA’s popularity.”