Earlier this month, the LPGA signed an agreement with IMG Arena to distribute sports betting data for live streaming of LPGA events.
The London-based sports betting service works with more than 470 sportsbook brands worldwide. And, for the LPGA, they will help drive fan engagement through added content and new sports betting options for gamblers.
The 2022 LPGA Tour schedule features 34 tournaments. It begins this week on Jan. 20 with the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions in Orlando, FL.
After that, it’s the Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio in Boca Raton.
The defending champions of those two events are sisters Jessica Korda, No. 21 in the world, and Nelly Korda, the LPGA’s top-ranked player.
Growing the LPGA Tour through sports betting
The Korda sisters represent two of the most identifiable players and faces for US women’s golf. And the LPGA is strengthening its position to tell more stories about the players and help audiences become more engaged.
Betting on women’s golf will be a driving force to more identity and interest in the LPGA. Players from six different countries make up the top-10 players in women’s golf, and American’s Danielle Kang and Lexi Thompson are No. 11 and 12.
Kang has a partnership agreement with BetMGM, and she told Golf Digest last May:
“I believe [legal betting will] definitely help because it’s a huge part of golf. Golf itself is a gambling sport. I want people to have fun playing one on one, head to head, bet on people they want to bet on. I think that’ll bring more interest into the game.”
IMG Arena is signed on to share live LPGA Tour leader boards, course information and a live stream of LPGA broadcasts with their casino and sportsbook partners. That includes Bet365 and BetMGM, who became the LPGA Tour’s first betting operator and partner last May.
Brian Carroll, SVP Global Media Distribution, LPGA, said in a media release:
“IMG Arena is the undoubted leader in producing golf sports betting content, through its game-changing Event Centre. With the full LPGA Tour covered, this is a significant commercial partnership that helps grow the game with thrilling content reaching new audiences and driving fan engagement around the world.”
LPGA stats, streaming and purses grow in 2022
IMG Arena’s clients include the PGA Tour and European Tour and the addition of the LPGA Tour. Women’s golf stats, hole-by-hole data and streaming options will be available in the coming months.
This has been one of the big disparities between men’s and women’s golf with the LPGA lacking any ShotLink-type system for data.
But that’s changing, as is the growth of the LPGA Tour’s purse sizes. Fans are going to see more data and analytics available. Sports betting and online gambling are key elements for the future of sports.
The 2022 LPGA Tour’s Tournament purses will total $85.7 million – nearly a $10 million increase from last year. The biggest boost is for the U.S. Women’s Open, which will double its purse size to a record $10 million this year.
The LPGA’s new partnership with IMG Arena is the tour’s latest strategy to strengthen its position and relations in the sports betting industry.
The ladies tee off Jun. 2 for the US Women’s Open at Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club in Southern Pines, NC. By then, the LPGA will have already seen more circles on their scorecard through its sports betting partnership with IMG Arena.
You can bet on it.