Opta, MLS announce competition-related statistics partnership

NEW YORK (March 4, 2011) – Major League Soccer today announced a multi-year partnership with Opta, a worldwide leader in sports data, to significantly enhance MLS' data collection and display capabilities. Opta specializes in the collection and distribution of detailed performance data for soccer matches throughout Europe.

Opta works with major companies in the world of soccer, including high profile broadcasters, publishers, sponsors, governing bodies and professional clubs. Opta is currently the official data provider for the German Bundesliga and supplies in-depth live and historical data to their official website.

This new deal will complement MLS' existing partnership with the Elias Sports Bureau and will allow MLS to continue to enhance the League’s digital products bringing best-in-class sports information to MLS fans.

“For many years we have heard a desire from our fans for more in-depth statistics,” said Chris Schlosser, director of digital strategy for MLS. “We are very excited to partner with Opta to bring this critical information to our passionate fans. This deal will allow for deeper analysis of all MLS matches and ensure that MLS is at the cutting edge of data technologies in 2011 and beyond.”

MLS and Opta will build a new North American data collection hub in MLS' Digital Headquarters in New York. From this hub, hundreds of MLS and other North American soccer games will be analyzed with the data available for use by MLSsoccer.com, participating broadcasters and other interested media outlets.

“This is a very exciting new step for our business,” said Aidan Cooney, CEO, Opta. “Our pioneering technology creates digital blueprints of each match, enabling rich statistical and graphical insights into the game's tactics and strategies. This is an opportunity to take soccer to a new, but statistics hungry, audience in the United States.”

Those interested in building the most sophisticated data tracking center in North America should apply online at http://optasports.com/about/join-our-team.html?ref=opta/ptmls.

The 2011 MLS season starts Tuesday, March 15 when the LA Galaxy travel to face the Seattle Sounders at 9:30 p.m. ET (ESPN, ESPN Deportes, ESPN3.com). All 18 clubs are in action during First Kick presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods. For a complete schedule, click here.


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