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The NCAA inked a 10-year data and technology deal with Genius Sports on Monday that will centralize the collegiate league’s data collection and look for new ways to monetize. The same day, the U.S. Supreme Court moved to legalize sports betting.

In a partnership that will affect more than 1,100 member institutions, Genius Sports will help the NCAA modernize the collection and distribution of intercollegiate sports data. Previously, college sports stats and records have existed in hundreds of different places, with individual schools and conferences managing their own collection, aggregation and distribution.

The NCAA’s new data efforts will begin in 2019 with the men’s and women’s NCAA basketball tournaments. The league will then roll out data capture technologies to individual schools for other sports, including volleyball, football, soccer, baseball and softball.

Genius Sports will provide NCAA member schools with new data capture and distribution services, coaching insights and real-time statistics that can be used to build fan and media experiences across a variety of platforms. The NCAA will offer the software to its members at no cost for an introductory period. It’s unclear how much it’ll cost schools to maintain the service long term.

“This digital transition comes at a time when data for all intercollegiate sports are increasingly important to our fans, our institutions and our partners,” said Oliver Luck, executive vice president of regulatory affairs and strategic partnerships for the NCAA, in a statement. “This initiative will transform the way we collect, use, and distribute the vast amount of sports data being consumed across all sports at every level. It will allow our schools to upgrade to state-of-the-art technology.”

Genius Sports will assist the NCAA with development, promotional, and technical support for the data software. It will also serve as the NCAA’s exclusive agent to license real-time official data from championship events (including NCAA March Madness) to media platforms and other companies.

“We’re delighted to be playing a pivotal role in the NCAA’s digital transformation, implementing one of the most advanced technology systems in sports,” said Genius Sports CEO Mark Locke.

SportTechie Takeaway

The landmark deal was announced on the same day that the U.S. Supreme Court lifted a ban on sports betting. In siding with New Jersey, the court alleviated restrictions on sports wagering outside of Nevada and paved the way for states to make their own decisions on sports and betting.

The NCAA was fighting to maintain the ban, fearing its league would be severely debilitated by sports gambling as unpaid athletes (the NCAA has nearly 500,000 of them) would be more incentivized than high-paid pros to throw a game.

But with illegal gambling a major problem in the U.S. and the Supreme Court siding in favor with a state’s right to make its own decisions on legalization, the NCAA will now benefit from a technological framework to help it navigate the evolving landscape of sports betting.

A number of companies that offer sports data and analytics services, including Sportradar and Genius Sports, are promising to help leagues manage legalization to ensure they’re maintaining the integrity of sports. The NCAA’s long-term partnership with Genius Sports indicates that it will lean on Genius Sports as it works to adapt to sports betting in New Jersey and potentially around the U.S.