You can now bet in two dozen states, and in more than half of them, you can bet online or on your phone. To settle those bets, online bookmakers like DraftKings (ticker: DKNG) need play-by-play game data, and that’s spawned sports-data suppliers like Genius Sports (GENI), which listed in April on the NYSE.
Another way to bet on the growth in sports betting appeared Tuesday with the Nasdaq debut of data vendor Sportradar Group (SRAD). The Swiss company’s revenues were three-times those of Genius’s in the first half of 2021, and unlike Genius, Sportradar has consistently reported profits. After opening at $27, Sportradar stock slipped 7% to close at $25.
Disseminating the results of 83 different kinds of sports, on behalf of over 150 leagues in 120 countries, Sportradar grew its revenue at more than 25% a year annually in the past five years. It works with groups like the National Basketball Association and Germany’s pro soccer leagues. It supplies data to many of the world’s big bookmakers, including Bet365, Caesars Entertainment (CZR), DraftKings, FanDuel and its owner Flutter Entertainment (PDYPY), as well as William Hill. And its marquee investors include the team-owners Ted Leonsis. Mark Cuban and Michael Jordan, the former NBA player.
“We are a software play,” Sportradar chief executive Carsten Koerl told Barron’s, “And we are selling, now, the biggest portfolio of data around the world.”
At its initial offering, Sportradar was valued at $8 billion, or 12-times the annualized level of the $321 million in revenue that it had in this year’s first half. On those revenues, Sportradar earned about $65 million before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (adjusted for one-time items), and net profits of $21 million.
By comparison, after falling 6% Tuesday, the $20 stock price of Genius values it at $4.3 billion, or 20-times the annualized level of its 2021 first-half revenue of $110 million. On those revenues, Genius had $14.5 million in adjusted-ebitda and a net loss of $469 million.
A key in the competition between the two data firms is the efforts of Genius to secure exclusive data deals with sports leagues. Its exclusive deals with soccer’s English Premier League and the National Football League broke an industry tradition of nonexclusive deals by a league, with many data vendors. Exclusive deals could lead to higher data prices, if adopted by other leagues. Genius hopes that its exclusive data will lead to bookmakers’ paying more for Genius’ services.
Sportradar has a different business model. “Exclusivity isn’t our preferred formula,” says Koerl. “We are a strong believer in innovation and competition.”
Both companies are serving the fast-growing global market for legal sports-bets, which could total some $47 billion this year. Betting in the U.S. was about $1 billion in 2019, says the Sportradar prospectus, but could eventually rise to $23 billion. The biggest volume of online betting arises from in-play wagers on events like the next tennis serve, or the next dart throw. Koerl says he met Monday with Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred to discuss the game’s opportunities for in-play wagering.
“The real game-changer will be when the super states like Florida, Texas and California legalize online sports betting,” says Koerl. Meanwhile, Sportradar will apply the $670 million it raised in its IPO to continue building out an infrastructure that, in some ways, resembles the high-speed, computerized backbones of the securities markets. Sports betting markets have a long way to go, Koerl notes, before reaching the speed and liquidity he saw in his stock’s Tuesday trading.
Write to Bill Alpert at firstname.lastname@example.org