• Global elite sports is a multi-billion dollar market
  • ASX listed Catapult and HITIQ won deals with German sporting bodies
  • Sports betting in the US is rapidly growing

More and more companies want a slice of the multi billion dollar revenues that elite sports teams make each year.

The global elite sports market is huge, and can be broken down into subcategories that operate in unrelated markets.

First you have submarkets in broadcasting, sporting goods, and sponsorships. Then according to Statista, you have the next two big markets which are the food and nutrition market, and the sports gambling market.

Just last week for example, Aussie giant Canva signed deals with A-Leaguer Melbourne Victory and NFL team Philadelphia Eagles, where it will become both teams’ official design partner.

Catapult scores deal with German soccer

On the ASX, sports tech company Catapult Group (ASX:CAT) has also just announced a multi-year deal with the German Football Association (FA).

Beginning this season and ahead of this year’s FIFA World Cup, Catapult’s video technologies MatchTracker and Focus along with Vector wearables will provide data insights to the German National Football Team to optimise player performance and reduce injuries.

All 15 German men’s and women’s teams will use Catapult video technology, and 10 teams will use Catapult wearables data.

Catapult’s technologies can be used to cover all aspects of a football match – including analysing the opposition’s playing strategies, and providing teams with insights into tactical playing patterns.

Catapult’s GNSS/LPS wearable device, Vector, can deliver live algorithms, communications, and enhanced performance insights and functionality to the coaches and players.

Currently, elite-level teams around the world including 24 Olympic medallists from the Tokyo Games, all 32 NFL teams, English Premier League clubs, and NCAA schools, are using Catapult’s products.


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HITIQ and Motio signed deals too

Last week, Aussie medtech HITIQ (ASX:HIQ) also entered into a trial agreement with the German Ice Hockey Federation (DEB) for its smart mouthguard technology.

The smart mouthguard will be deployed into the German Men’s National and U18s Programs, and will be used in the upcoming IIHF Men’s World Championships.

That deal expanded HITIQ’s coverage in elite sports markets, with its mouthguard already being trialled or used in US college football and Australia’s AFL, AFLW and the NRL.

In addition to elite sports deals, there are the lower tier sports contracts being signed by ASX listed providers.

Motio (ASX:MXO) has just acquired UK-based Liquid Thinking to deepen its business in the amateur indoor and team sports in Australia.

Liquid Thinking is the owner of the Spawtz software, a platform specialising in indoor and team sports.

The software provides efficiencies to venue operators via scheduling, automation of fixtures, court bookings, real time online scoring and statistics and facilitating online payments where people play for fun.

US sports betting is a huge business

Sports betting continues to make exponential ground, especially in the US.

The practice has been heavily regulated in the US until 2018, when the Supreme Court struck down a 1992 federal law that prohibited gambling on sports in most states.

Now, it’s legal in more than two dozen states and suddenly the US is fast becoming the holy grail for the sports betting industry.

Two ASX-listed sports bookmakers that are making ground in the US are Pointsbet (ASX:PBH) and Bluebet (ASX:BBT).

Pointsbet has just taken its first sportsbook bet in Pennsylvania in February, following authorisation by the State’s gaming body for a soft launch.

Philadelphia represents the company’s 10th online sportsbook operation in the US, following successful launches in New Jersey, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Colorado, Michigan, West Virginia, Virginia, and New York.

Bluebet also continues its US expansion with a new ‘skin’ agreement in Colorado.

A skin agreement allows BlueBet to conduct its online sportsbook operations as an extension of an existing casino licence in the state, thereby making it possible to also enter into the state’s sports betting market.

The company had previously named six priority US states for its initial entry: Virginia, Iowa, Tennessee and Maryland, Arizona, and Colorado.

The race to get into online sports betting has also seen traditional ASX gaming companies like Aristocrat Leisure (ASX:ALL)  entering the market. Aristocrat recently acquired UK-based Playtech, a sports betting software company, for $4bn.


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