Snapchat Deal Helps Genius Sports Recoup NFL Official Data Investment

Written By Derek Helling on September 15, 2023
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Genius Sports’ acquisition of the NFL’s exclusive official data provider title wasn’t cheap. Thus, every way in which Genius Sports can bring in revenue using that title helps lessen the burden and brings the company closer to profitability.

Genius recently announced a new partnership with Snap, the company that operates the Snapchat social media platform. Although there is no immediate gaming utilization, it does bear some potential in that regard.

Genius Sports is spending money to make money

Genius first became the NFL’s official data provider in 2021 and recently extended that contract through the end of the 2027-28 season. While there has been no confirmation of the cost of that tag for Genius, estimates pegged the initial annual cost at around $20 million per year.

Among the primary utilization of that data is gambling on NFL events. That alone has gone a long way to help Genius recoup the cost. For example, revenue from its betting technology, content, and services grew by almost 27% in the second quarter of this year.

Those services include providing data to sportsbooks to settle bets with. Furthermore, the annual cost includes live-streaming access for select NFL games. Some of Genius’ sportsbook clients have already availed themselves of that option.

Some fans at this weekend’s San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams game will have a chance to try out Genius’ latest ploy to monetize its data rights.

Snapchat Lens will feature Genius’ NFL data

According to a Genius Sports press release, the alliance with Snap will “power immersive augmented reality fan experiences via Snapchat Lenses.” The access to the Lens is exclusively for Verizon customers, however.

The debut of the Lens will occur Sunday, Sept. 17, at SoFi Stadium while the 49ers and Rams see who can score the most points in the allotted time. The Lens will feature:

  • 3D interactive map of SoFi Stadium
  • Real-time statistics from the game
  • Virtual dressing room for NFL accessories and apparel

Online sports betting remains illegal in California and that’s unlikely to change any time soon. Tribal casino leaders in the state don’t expect 2024 to feature any ballot measures to alter that status quo.

Therefore, the gaming application for this Lens will be restricted to perhaps daily fantasy sports contests upon its debut. Should the Lens become available in other NFL stadiums that lie within jurisdictions with legal sports betting, that utility could improve.

At the same time, it’s fair to ask how many Verizon customers who have bets on live NFL games and are in attendance will use a Snapchat Lens to track the stats associated with their wagers. In certain circumstances, though, that could soon be an option.

Photo by Matt Slocum / AP Photo
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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is the assistant managing editor of PlayUSA. Helling focuses on breaking news, including finance, regulation, and technology in the gaming industry. Helling completed his journalism degree at the University of Iowa and resides in Chicago

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