The United Soccer League has agreed to a three-year partnership with Opta, the world's leading provider of live, detailed sports data, to become the league's Official Data Partner, providing the teams, fans and media with more tracked, recorded and databased action than ever before.
The partnership will begin during the 2016 USL Cup Final, airing live on Saturday, Oct. 23, at 8 p.m. ET on ESPNU.
Heading into the 2017 season, Opta will manage and deliver statistical analysis for all USL matches, including regular season, USL Cup Playoffs and USL Cup Final games. The data will be available to fans on USLSoccer.com, featuring new match centers utilizing Opta's widget technology. USL teams also will have the ability to integrate Opta data into its own websites and enhance the experience for fans.
Opta will also provide a variety of elements beyond simple web integration, including press box statistics distribution and creation of social media infographics, along with supplying consultancy around using advanced statistical elements in a centralized broadcast feed, in partnership with USL Productions.
"We are pleased to partner with Opta, whose expertise in sports data offers a competitive advantage to our players, coaches and teams while providing deep insights available to our passionate fans," said USL President Jake Edwards. "It is a huge benefit to the USL Digital Network and USL Productions, allowing us to meet and exceed the demand of our ever-growing supporter base as well as the appetite of today's soccer consumer, who is equally driven by content and engagement."
With the USL and MLS now holding Official Data Partnerships with Opta, a consistent database will exist to aid in the recruitment and scouting of players while improving professional player development in North America.
"Opta is delighted to enter this partnership with the USL, one of the fastest growing sports leagues in North America, who join our global portfolio of rights holders in soccer," said Angus McNab, Vice President of Content for Perform in North America. "USL's sustainability and plan for strategic growth have impressed our team and position Opta to provide the tools which will enhance the professional game in the United States and Canada."
Based in London with an office in New York City, Opta has major data partnerships within the sport, including the Barclay's Premier League, Football League Championship, Bundesliga and A-League. The company was acquired by leading digital sports content and media group Perform in 2013.