An Irish sports data firm has signed a massive deal with America's soccer body

Newry-based Statsports already counts giants like Arsenal and Manchester United as clients.

By Conor McMahon Deputy editor, Fora

A NEWRY-BASED SPORTS DATA company has signed a deal with the US Soccer Federation that is expected to deliver a huge boost in sales for the firm.

Statsports, which provides wearable technology to track athletes’ performances, announced that it has partnered with the American soccer governing body to potentially use its service on 4.2 million registered members over the next three years.

The company’s flagship Apex device is worn in a vest and positioned between players’ shoulder blades during training and matches.

It captures data across a number of different performance areas, such as heart rate and high-speed running. Coaches can monitor the information on a phone, tablet or smartwatch.

The product is supposed to help prevent players from under-performing in training sessions or picking up injuries from pushing their bodies too hard.

A spokesman for the company told Fora that the deal could be worth up to €1 billion. That figure is based on the device being taken up by the entire membership of the US Soccer Federation.

‘Revolutionise’

Founded in 2008 by entrepreneurs Alan Clarke and Seán O’Connor, Statsports is headquartered in Newry and also has offices in Chicago.

It counts several English Premier League clubs, including Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool, as clients. It also supplies the technology to football associations in England, Brazil, Germany, Portugal and Belgium.

The devices are used by other sporting bodies, including the Irish Rugby Football Federation and teams playing GAA, American football and basketball.

In America, Statsports’ athlete monitoring system will be used by the national men’s and women’s teams and other national teams like the paralympic team, beach soccer team and player development academy clubs.

Statsports group managing director Jarlath Quinn said the company expects “millions of registered players in the US to be wearing these devices by 2022″.

He said the technology will “revolutionise” how players train, recover from training and perform in matches.

“This will be the world’s largest data collection programme on athletes in any sport across both professional and recreational levels,” he said.

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