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IMG debuts IMG Arena to focus on fan-first digital innovation

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IMG debuts IMG Arena to focus on fan-first digital innovation
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IMG, a world leader in sports, events, media and fashion operating in more than 30 countries, today announced the debut of IMG Arena, an evolution of its leading global sports betting business.

Headquartered in London, IMG Arena specialises in bringing sport and the sports betting industry closer together. IMG Arena works with more than 250 leading sportsbook operators worldwide, providing always-on services including 24/7 live streaming and on-demand virtual sports products designed to evolve and inspire engagement by placing fans at the heart of the action. Its ground-breaking data collection system ensures that the fastest and most accurate sources of data are delivered live from the action to the end user in less than a second.

IMG’s expertise in sports betting dates back to 2012, when it began developing a client and partner base of tier one betting operators and rights holders. Since then, IMG has created partnerships with more than 40 leading federations, including the ATP, MLS, Serie A, NHL, EuroLeague and the US Open. As the group’s reach has grown, it has added new layers of expertise, including ultra-realistic virtual sport products via a strategic investment in Leap Gaming in June 2018. Throughout its development, IMG has remained committed to distributing only official sports federation data and streaming content.

IMG Arena, which sits within the IMG Media division, is led by Freddie Longe, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, whose career at IMG spans more than 12 years. Longe is supported by a senior team that includes industry veterans Max Wright and Brad van Wely.

Longe said: “Backed by the considerable global scale, network and resource of IMG, IMG Arena will build on our existing advantages and well-developed offering to positively disrupt the market, with a strong fan-first innovation pipeline that drives incremental value to our clients and customers. The move to IMG Arena underlines the business’s aggressive growth plans and a desire to expand our footprint in a range of worldwide markets, including the US as the region continues to regulate.”

IMG Arena processes official data for more than 45,000 sport events per year. Among these data services are its unparalleled tennis feeds, incorporating the ATP, WTA and ATP Challenger Tours, as well as three of the Grand Slams: Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the US Open. Data is entered directly from the umpire’s chair, meaning real-time, official, point-by-point data goes from court to fan in less than one second.

IMG Arena’s premium, multi-sport streaming portfolio features a broad range of high-profile properties, including the English FA Cup, Football League and EFL Cup, Serie A and MLS (football), Roland Garros and US Open (tennis), EuroLeague (basketball) and NHL (ice hockey). In 2017, the business delivered more than 70 million hours of content and 39 million unique views.

 

About IMG:

IMG is a global leader in sports, fashion, events and media, operating in more than 30 countries. The company manages some of the world’s greatest sports figures and fashion icons; stages hundreds of live events and branded entertainment experiences annually; and is a leading independent producer and distributor of sports and entertainment media. IMG also specializes in sports training and league development, as well as marketing, media and licensing for brands, sports organizations and collegiate institutions. IMG is part of the Endeavor (formerly WME | IMG) network.

 

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Bidstack Revs Up In-Game Advertising With Leading Mobile Racing Studios

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Bidstack, the technology company pioneering Intrinsic In-Game advertising, today celebrates the one-year anniversary of its partnership with publisher Fingersoft and announces new partnerships with leading driving and racing mobile game studios The Tiny Digital Factory and Fat Cigar Productions Ltd.

Bidstack’s technology has become increasingly popular among mobile titles of all genres due to its ability to increase revenue through authentic and immersive in-game ads – without impacting gameplay or the player experience. Racing and sports games can be some of the most effective environments for in-game ads, enhancing realism and better mirroring real-world sporting environments.

Antoine Jullemier, VP, Gaming at Bidstack, said:

“I’m so pleased to be working with these three incredible racing studios. Brands are a huge part of racing and mobile games; therefore, they tend to have a lot of spaces suitable for in-game ad content, which can enhance the realism of those spaces. Our lightweight SDK means that game performance is unaffected, which is a critical consideration when it comes to players’ on-track performance. We’re super excited to further develop our relationship with Fingersoft and to add The Tiny Digital Factory  and Fat Cigar Productions Ltd to the Bidstack paddock. As in-game advertising continues to gain traction with brands, we expect to see the channel generate record revenues in the year ahead.”

Bidstack’s technology was first integrated into Fingersoft’s Boom Karts Multiplayer Racing in May 2022. Over the past year, the online go-kart racer, which has had more than 3.5 million downloads to date, has generated almost half a billion in-game ad requests. One of the largest game developers and publishers in Finland, Fingersoft is best known for Hill Climb Racing and Hill Climb Racing 2, which have more than 2 billion installs between them.

Otto Simola, Head of Game Economy from Fingersoft, said:

“We’re always interested in providing players with a seamless and enjoyable experience while driving incremental revenue for the business. In-game advertising is a natural fit for both of these priorities and our partnership with Bidstack over the past year has proved to us that ads can indeed increase authenticity and immersion in games. We’re eager to see how the obvious possibilities of in-game advertising can crystallise further for players and studios alike.”

The duo of newly-signed partnerships injects yet more high-octane racing content into Bidstack’s portfolio of racing games. The Tiny Digital Factory is a world-class publisher of racing and motorsport games based in Lyon and Montreal. Its popular racing simulation, GT Manager, harnesses Bidstack’s technology to authentically bring real-world brands into its immersive on and off-track environments.  Independent British Studio Fat Cigar Productions is utilising Bidstack’s technology in Street Kart Racing, a competitive mobile racer which has been the number 1 paid game on iOS in over 100 countries, to increase realism for users while adding an additional revenue stream.

Stéphane Baudet, CEO & Founder of The Tiny Digital Factory, commented:

“GT Manager is a simulation game that aims to recreate the thrill of running a racing team. Brands are part of the lifeblood of racing and Bidstack’s brand partnerships are contributing to making GT Manager as authentic as possible and supporting our business goals.”

Ross Jones, Co-Founder at Fat Cigar Productions, said:

“As a competitive racing title with a fantastic motorsport-savvy community, we don’t want to integrate any content that impacts on the performance of our game or user immersion. In-game advertising with Bidstack felt like an obvious choice to drive revenue and introduce authentic branded content without harming the user experience.”

Bidstack’s existing cross-platform sports and racing portfolio features Football Manager, Mad Skills Motocross 3, SimWin, Top Eleven and many more, enabling brands to reach an ever-growing and diverse gaming audience.

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With new momentum into the second esport season: Ski Challenge plans Nations Cup

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With new momentum into the second esport season: Ski Challenge plans Nations Cup
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Ski Challenge, the fast-paced esports game by Greentube, has become one of the most popular sports games just a few months after its official launch. For the second season, the developers of NOVOMATIC Digital Gaming and Entertainment Division, in close cooperation with ski associations and co-shareholders from Austria (Ă–SV), Switzerland (Swiss-Ski), and Germany (DSV), are planning an attractive innovation for all ski and game enthusiasts: the Nations Cup, starting in autumn 2023.

Developed as a tribute to Greentube’s first published game, Ski Challenge has had an extremely successful first season with over half a million downloads on iOS and Android since its release in October 2022. The game is not only popular among players but has also established itself as an attractive platform for high-profile global brand partnerships.

Thanks to continuous and extensive updates that enhance the competitive nature of Ski Challenge, Greentube and the three successful ski associations, Ă–SV, Swiss-Ski, and DSV, have now joined forces as shareholders to create an exciting new tournament series: the Ski Challenge Nations Cup.

This thrilling competition invites players to represent their countries and compete for honor, glory, and attractive prizes in multiple qualifying rounds and the tournament phase. But that’s not all. Ski Challenge players who qualify for Germany, Austria, and Switzerland will now compete as official national teams for their respective ski associations.

The tournament events will take place parallel to the actual Ski World Cup events. With this expansion, Ski Challenge aims to further strengthen its esports concept and transfer the enthusiasm of skiing into the virtual world.

Michael Bauer, Greentube’s CFO/CGO, said: “We are thrilled to be able to add a number of new teams to the game as part of our Ski Challenge Nations Cup update. These federations are staples of the sport and give the game another level of legitimacy. We firmly believe our highly dedicated and loyal player base will be delighted with these upcoming additions as Ski Challenge continues to grow as a premier esports title.”

Diego ZĂĽger, CEO Commercial Swiss-Ski: “This is a great opportunity for skiing. With the establishment of the Nations Cup and the entry into esports, we will inspire new target groups and further develop skiing as a whole. The successful cooperation with Ski Austria and the German Ski Association, as well as Greentube, shows that a lot is possible with good collaboration.”

Stefan Schwarzbach, Board of Communication, German Ski Association: “With the Nations Cup, we as associations want to establish a direct connection to real skiing and our top athletes. Ski Challenge is increasingly becoming an attractive communication platform to inspire children and young people for skiing. In the medium term, our clubs and ski clubs should also benefit from this.”

Christian Scherer, Secretary General, Austrian Ski Association: “We are incredibly excited to launch a virtual tournament series that will revolutionize the world of skiing and bring nations together. This initiative expands the reach and ignites the competitive spirit of skiers worldwide. It is undoubtedly one of the most exciting announcements of 2023 as we embark on this exciting journey to shape the future of skiing and create an unforgettable experience for all involved.”

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Approaching €1 Billion Bets Participated in Jackpots: SOFTSWISS Jackpot Aggregator’s Q1 2023 Achievements

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Approaching €1 Billion Bets Participated in Jackpots: SOFTSWISS Jackpot Aggregator's Q1 2023 Achievements
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SOFTSWISS, a leading provider of iGaming solutions, presents the Q1 2023 milestones achieved by its Jackpot Aggregator. The first quarter witnessed significant growth and expansion in terms of clients, betting volume, and product functionality.

During Q1 2023, the SOFTSWISS Jackpot Aggregator drew almost 4,000 jackpots  to exceed 16,000 since the product launch. The team welcomed 13 new partners, bringing the number of active clients closer to 30 and proving the industry’s confidence in the product’s capabilities and reliability. During the same period, the Jackpot Aggregator successfully launched jackpot campaigns for 22 new brands to bring the total number of brands in the portfolio to 41, and the number of launched jackpot campaigns to 45. This achievement spotlights the company’s dedication to providing outstanding jackpot solutions to an expanding range of online casinos, as well as emphasises the increasing trust in jackpots for boosting player engagement.

In Q1, the amount of bets participated in jackpots exceeded EUR 959 million. The figure indicates the scale of the SOFTSWISS Jackpot Aggregator’s operations and reflects the high level of player engagement and enthusiasm across client casinos.

The functionality development was also a crucial focus in Q1 2023, driving growth and innovation. The SOFTSWISS Jackpot Aggregator introduced several new features, expanding the solution’s toolkit to meet the ever-evolving needs of operators:

  • Integration with the SOFTSWISS Sportsbook: operators can now launch jackpot campaigns specifically tailored for sports betting enthusiasts. The integration is meant to render a comprehensive gaming experience for players across different verticals.

  • Time-based Jackpots: this feature allows clients to set up engaging activities such as Happy Hours, Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Drops. These periodic jackpot events boost player excitement and overall engagement.

  • Baby Jackpots: operators now have the ability to accumulate a dedicated amount in parallel with the current jackpot pool, which serves as a starting point for the next round. Additionally, the team reinforced the solution with  the Jackpot Limit feature and the Overflow Pool to ensure a seamless and controlled jackpot experience for operators and players.

  • Expanded Crypto Support: in response to the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies, the Jackpot Aggregator expanded its support for jackpot campaigns to include all popular cryptocurrencies.

Aliaksei Douhin, Head of SOFTSWISS Jackpot Aggregator, said: “We are happy that in Q1 we succeeded in expanding our functionality and released updates in response to our clients’ requests. The new features benefit operators, making their projects a dream for any player.”

The unique advantage of the SOFTSWISS Jackpot Aggregator resides in its exceptional service for operators, which includes ongoing support and customisation of jackpot campaigns to meet business goals. 

 

About SOFTSWISS 

SOFTSWISS is an international iGaming company supplying certified software solutions for managing gambling operations. The expert team, which counts 1,400 employees, is based in Malta, Poland, Georgia, and Belarus.  SOFTSWISS holds a number of gaming licences and provides one-stop-shop iGaming software solutions. The company has a vast product portfolio, including the Online Casino Platform, the Game Aggregator with thousands of casino games, the Affilka affiliate platform, the Sportsbook Platform and the Jackpot Aggregator. In 2013, SOFTSWISS was the first in the world to introduce a bitcoin-optimised online casino solution.

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