College sports are an integral part of American culture, with many universities having acclaimed athletic programs. Communities often rally behind their local college teams, especially in areas without professional teams, creating a sports euphoria and fandomhood of its own. Seizing an opportunity to join the fervour, Australian video tech provider Linius Technologies (ASX: LNU) has secured a deal with the Peach Belt Conference (PBC), “sprinting” its way into the US sports market.
Linius will supply the PBC with its sports solution Whizzard where it will be used by the conference teams and member schools for content curation and publication on various platforms, including The PBC Sports Network, member school websites, and social media.
Commenting on the partnership, Linius CEO James Brennan said, “We are delighted to be selected by PBC to enhance the PBC Sports Network. The schools in the conference have a highly engaged fanbase spanning students, family/friends, regional fans, and most importantly their alumni network – all seeking more content.”
“The US collegiate sports market presents huge potential for Linius, with NCAA representing 1,100 schools and over 150 conferences. PBC is a fantastic initial partner for Linius in the US collegiate sports market, with a history of bringing innovative new solutions to their member schools and fans which are then taken up by other conferences.”
Whizzard’s deployment involves its automated highlights feature, enabling the PBC to swiftly publish game highlights, marking the first time such a rapid process has been implemented by the league. The agreement covers men’s and women’s basketball competitions with capacity to expand to other sports in the future.
The contract spans three years, featuring a nominal fixed annual licence subscription and a variable component linked to service adoption, entailing a revenue-sharing aspect for Linius. The agreement adheres to standard terms for such engagements, encompassing confidentiality, intellectual property protection, security, data privacy, and service levels.
The service will go live for the 2023/24 basketball season starting in December.
The Peach Belt Conference is in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) at the Division II level. The 10 member institutions with nearly 60,000 students are located in the US South Atlantic states of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.
The conference currently holds championships in 16 NCAA Division II sports, eight for men and eight for women, including soccer, basketball, volleyball, cross country, tennis, baseball, softball, lacrosse, golf, and track and field.
The PBC deal reinforces Linius’ tech and business model in the sizable US collegiate sports sector, a target segment for the company. It marks the debut of Whizzard and Whizzard Highlights in the US, marking an extended presence in the lucrative automated highlights solutions market.
The market is highly repeatable, with solutions deployed by one or a few organisations often replicated by many others. Operationally, once the solution is integrated into the first customer the technical and operational deployment for other organisations is much more streamlined.
In the quarter ending 30 September 2023, Linius incurred a $1.2 million cash outflow, primarily allocated towards research and development. The Company ended the quarter with $363k cash at bank. To boost up cash flow, Linius recently completed a capital raising of $685k in October and initiated a Share Purchase Plan, simultaneously exploring other capital raising opportunities.
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