The XFL, the new American football league that is set to launch in the US next month, has signed an integrity monitoring deal with sports data and technology provider Genius Sports.
Under the multi-year integrity partnership, Genius Sports will work towards safeguarding the start-up league, which is backed by Vince McMahon, the chairman and founder of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).
Genius Sports will monitor all pre-game and live betting markets to give the XFL visibility into wagering on its games and will also provide alerts and analysis of all significant odds movements.
As a starting point, during the XFL’s centralised training camp this month in Houston, Texas, Genius Sports will conduct integrity workshops with players, coaches and game officials to offer them advice about avoiding betting-related misconduct.
Genius Sports will also help the XFL to understand projected levels of betting on games and establish a process for reporting potential problems, as well as potentially assisting in investigations.
XFL players, coaches, officials, teams and league executives will also be provided with a customised e-learning portal outlining regulations and obligations in relation to betting.
“Sports betting is growing rapidly in the US and we are gearing up to be a good citizen and thoughtful participant in the marketplace,” said Jeffrey Pollack, president and chief operating officer of the XFL. “Our alliance with Genius Sports is an important first step and foundational element.”
Genius Sports managing director Steven Burton added: “The XFL has shown an exemplary commitment to protecting the integrity of its games. We are proud to partner with such a dynamic league and look forward to helping the XFL benefit from increased fan avidity by engaging with the nascent US sports betting industry.”
Genius Sports has started working on the integrity programme alongside the XFL and the scheme will be “fully in place” by the start of the season on February 8, the company said.
WWE and US network NBC attempted to launch the original incarnation of the XFL in 2001, but the league folded after one season.
However, the prospects for the new version of the XFL appear to be more promising. The league has already agreed multi-year media rights deals with Fox Sports and ESPN.
Genius Sports, which is already a partner of more than 100 leagues and sports federations, including golf’s PGA Tour, the NBA basketball league and the English Premier League, expanded its portfolio in the Americas by signing a partnership with the governing body for Colombia’s leading football competitions in November.