A week full of history lies ahead of the Swiss financial center. Investors are eagerly awaiting the IPO of the Zurich running shoe brand On on Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange. The company, in which Roger Federer (40) is also invested, should then be worth CHF 5.5 billion. But the day before, another Swiss company dared to take the step on Wall Street – almost unnoticed by the general public.
The IPO of the sports data provider Sportradar based in St. Gallen is no less spectacular. The numbers are gigantic by Swiss standards: A prospectus from the US Securities and Exchange Commission that Blick shows: Sportradar wants to raise $ 504 million by offering 19 million shares in a price range of $ 25 to $ 28 per share. In addition, there is a private placement of $ 159 million. If the goal is achieved, the St. Gallen residents are worth over 7 billion francs. It would be one of the largest IPOs in Swiss history!
Data for Fifa, Uefa, NBA and Co.
Unlike On, sports radar is hardly known in this country. With its more than 2,400 employees, the company is a global leader in the competitive sports data market and is the official data partner of the international and European football federations Fifa and Uefa as well as the American basketball league NBA and ice hockey league NHL. Sportradar collects all possible data for the sports giants and makes them available – an expensive but lucrative business. Sportradar pays Fifa, the NBA and Co. millions of francs for the rights to the data, but can dispose of them fairly freely.
Not only are the major sports leagues customers of St. Gallen, but also countless betting providers and sports media. The bookmakers rely on the data from Sportradar. These are collected on the one hand with complex software and on the other hand by so-called scouts who visit the games in the stadiums. The data from Sportradar make it possible for betting providers to set reasonable odds on the individual games – always with a certain profit margin, of course. Sports media, on the other hand, acquire the data for their readership. If a journalist from the BBC philosophizes about the liveliness of a Cristiano Ronaldo, he has a high probability of having the data from Sportradar.
Fight against manipulation in sports
Another important pillar of the St. Gallen success story is the so-called “Fraud Detection System”, which is offered to uncover manipulation related to sports betting. A dedicated investigation department with over 30 employees monitors the world of sports on behalf of sports organizations and state law enforcement agencies. To do this, Sportradar relies on its own algorithm-based software. This includes and processes a database with more than 7 billion betting odds per day. The odds changes from over 600 international betting providers can be monitored and examined for betting-related manipulations. The numbers are impressive: in 2020, more than 600,000 games in the 26 sports were analyzed worldwide.
Now Sportradar wants to make real money with the IPO on the US technology exchange Nasdaq. The prospects are bright: because the sports business has been growing rapidly around the world for years, the data should be even more valuable in the future. And in America, more and more states are legalizing sports betting. A market with 330 million people, often sports enthusiasts, opens up in one fell swoop. No wonder there is talk of a gold rush in the industry.