May 17, 2023 3 min read


IMG ARENA Supercharges MLS with Innovative Tracking Data

Thanks to the extended partnership, MLS NEXT Pro will benefit from in-depth ball tracking data

The global leading sports and media company, IMG ARENA, announced Wednesday that it expanded its partnership with Major League Soccer (MLS). Under the terms of the expanded collaboration, the company agreed to supply tracking data for MLS Next Pro, a famous professional men’s soccer league in Canada and the United States.

This vital data is expected to provide a boost in terms of player performance analysis. According to IMG ARENA, the collected data will include information about the players’ speed zones, sprints, the separation between players, as well as total running distance. There will be additional data points, further boosting the performance analysis of MLS Next Pro players.

Freddie Longe, IMG ARENA’s president, shared his excitement about the new partnership. He acknowledged that the deal will help “provide MLS NEXT Pro with an all-encompassing data collection system.” Longe said that this ball-tracking data will play a pivotal role in the performance analysis of the players. Finally, he said that the data comes in addition to IMG ARENA’s innovative analytics solutions that MLS already benefits from.

MLS NEXT Pro Is Delighted to Leverage the Innovative Technology

IMG ARENA expanded its technology suite by adding the innovative event-tracking technology when it acquired Signality in 2022. The company explained that the top-of-the-line technology “uses computer vision to extract highly accurate sports event and tracking data in real-time, utilizing existing camera setups to derive positional data and event information automatically.” The technology is currently a part of IMG ARENA’s Sports Services and leagues and shareholders around the world benefit from it.

Ali Curtis, MLS NEXT Pro’s SVP of competition and operations, pointed out that the league is delighted to leverage the new technology. Last but not least, Curtis said: “IMG is continuing to create new solutions for soccer fans around the world and this is a great example of their commitment to delivering a best-in-class experience.”

One of the areas of focus for MLS NEXT Pro is innovation so we are thrilled to be bringing this new player and ball tracking technology to the League.

Ali Curtis, SVP of competition and operations at MLS NEXT Pro

As noted, the latest collaboration between IMG ARENA and MLS represents a partnership extension. This is because the duo forged a long-term global partnership last year that sought to improve fan engagement. That deal designated IMG ARENA as the official data partner of the League. Additionally, the company agreed to supply MLS with innovative solutions.


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