The Mid-American Conference on Wednesday announced a statistical data partnership with Genius Sports, the U.K.-based firm that handles data and sports betting information for the NFL and other professional sports leagues. It is the first NCAA conference to establish such a partnership.
Genius Sports will manage and market the league's game data — which is expected to give the MAC a new revenue stream — while also providing integrity services for sports betting activities.
"This isn't about us promoting gambling or sports wagering, it's about us taking back control of our statistical data," MAC commissioner Jon Steinbrecher told The Athletic. "(We'll be) providing transparency and ensuring integrity while taking assets — our statistics — and levering those assets for the benefit of our student-athletes and our institutions."
Every MAC school is located in a state in which sports gambling is legal. Steinbrecher said he first broached the subject of potential sponsorships with sports wagering entities with MAC presidents more than a year ago, which led to a "lengthy conversation, and ultimately we got to a place where we're comfortable with that." The MAC also signed Genius Sports to a sponsorship deal in addition to the data partnership that is expected to result in the firm selling official MAC game data to sports betting operators.