A recent acquisition in the Sports Analytics sector yet again links patent data as an early indication of market decisions. Stats Perform, the Chicago-based sports data firm, recently acquired two software platforms from Thuuz Sports, a Palo Alto-based sports tech company. In this acquisition, Stats Perform obtained two of Thuuz's patented platforms: SmartReels, an AI-based automated video highlight generator, and SmartRatings, a real-time excitement alert generator. While Stats Perform hosts a wide-breadth of sports data solutions, with many being AI-based, there was little evidence of this acquisition as it showed almost no market indication of its interests in data application and fan engagement. It seemed to be more focused on its biggest market driver, the sale of analyzed data to leagues, media outlets, and betting services world-wide. However, the patent data might show that this acquisition is not as surprising as one might believe.
The first connection between the two sports tech firms was AI. Thuuz Sports built its company off AI-based technology, and Stats Perform had an increasing interest in its capabilities within sports with proven experience in implementation, basing many of its tracking and analytics solutions on machine learning. However, the two companies never competed, holding widely different solutions. That is until late 2020 when increased overlap in patenting began to appear. Stats Perform and Thuuz have always overlapped in patenting in the Predictive Analytics Subcategory, but Stats Perform began showing interest in the Broadcast Enhancement subcategory with an application publishing in September and a patent issuing in late October.
Thuuz Sports has shown devotion to this subcategory ever since it received its first patent in late 2013, with a rapid increase in late 2019 and early 2020 covering its SmartReels technology being granted three (3) patents in a span of three months. This shift in focus by Stats Perform in combination with the strong IP portfolio of Thuuz was likely a driving force behind the recent acquisition, demonstrating that patent data precedes market decisions.
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