Emerging Tech, Data & Media

PSA’s Sports Data Labs deal sees squash pushing boundaries

Technology provider will provide in-game physiological statistics of players.

by Nick Friend

PSA’s Sports Data Labs deal sees squash pushing boundaries

The Professional Squash Association (PSA) has announced a ground-breaking partnership with global technology provider Sports Data Labs that will see squash become the first professional sport to make in-game physiological data statistics available for commercialisation.

After a successful trial, the PSA has decided to make use of Sports Data Labs’ tracking technology to monitor real-time human information throughout the 2018/19 season, with the deal also being the first season-long agreement of its kind in professional sport.

The data provided by the technology company will be incorporated into official broadcasts of the sport in order to enhance audience experience. The figures will also be available to betting companies and other commercial partners.

In another professional sport first, money taken by the PSA as a result of the commercialisation of the Sports Data Lab figures will be shared between the technology provider, the PSA and the players themselves. The athletes will also be given access to the data in order to assist with performance analysis.

Lee Beachill, chief executive of PSA, said: “Sports Data Labs have extensive experience of capturing and monetising athlete data and this partnership will help position squash at the forefront of using physiological data in professional sports.

“We trialled Sports Data Labs’ technology at various points during the 2017/18 season and the data highlighted the true physical demands of squash, along with proving that our athletes are amongst the fittest in the world.

“We are excited to incorporate this data into future tournament broadcasts which will bring a new dimension to the sport, and we are perfectly placed to explore the numerous commercial opportunities that will come about as a result of having access to this data.”

Ali Farag, men’s president of the PSA and the world’s second-ranked player, added: “It is great news that we are finally partnering up with Sports Data Labs officially. The work they've done over the past season through the trials was tremendous, it really showcases the severity of our sport. The tangible data proving that squash players play for a few consecutive minutes over the 180+ bpm heart rate acquired by Sports Data Labs has definitely raised the profile of our sport and this can definitely have a positive effect on the growth of our game.

Mark Gorski, chief executive of Sports Data Labs, said: “We are thrilled to partner with the PSA and pioneer how in-game physiological data, and assets derived from that data, can be utilised for real-time performance applications and commercial use cases in professional sport, including sports betting. We look forward to providing our turnkey solution for the 2018/19 season and creating entirely new value for PSA stakeholders.”