German Sports Tech Company Plants Its U.S. Headquarters in Arlington

Based in Munich, Sportec Solutions maintains a long-term agreement with Major League Soccer as the official provider for live data and video assistant referee services.

A German sports technology company that develops next-gen solutions in the fields of match data and officiating technology has established its U.S. headquarters in Arlington.

Sportec Solutions is based in Munich and maintains a long-term agreement with Major League Soccer as the official provider for live data and video assistant referee services.

“We are the center of all the data for the whole sport of soccer, so in that sense we’re core to the development of the MLS in the U.S.,” Christian Holzer, managing director at Sportec Solutions, said in a statement. “All of that will happen at our Arlington operations center.”

Photo: Sportec Solutions

Establishing a strategic U.S. base in Arlington

The Arlington Economic Development Corp. approved a $1 million performance grant to Sportec Solutions for the headquarters in north Arlington, which will create 17 new jobs with an average salary of $55,000 annually.

“We’re so excited to support innovative sports technology moving into Arlington,” Marty Wieder, executive director of the Arlington EDC, said in a statement. “We’re eager to see how Sportec Solutions will utilize its technology to explore relationships with other local football clubs and beyond.”

Sportec Solutions said it has been reporting soccer statistics since 1988 and began working with MLS last year. It said the new headquarters will include state-of-the-art technology with a full range of services addressing match data, including video refereeing, and live commentary tools, to name a few.

Sportec said its decision to establish a home base in Arlington was strategic in terms of the distance between coasts and the time zone for international operations, as well as the city’s host of sports franchises, Stefan Schuster, chairman of the supervisory board at Sportec Solutions, said.

“Arlington was the perfect location with the perfect infrastructure for our company,” Schuster said. “The city and the AEDC were extremely supportive and went to great lengths to help us throughout the process. It’s the ideal situation for our growth.”

It started with data deployment in German football

Founded in 2016, Sportec Solutions is a joint venture between Deltatre—a global leader in fan-first experiences—and the DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga, the organization responsible for operating Germany’s football leagues. The collaboration aimed to enhance data deployment in German football.

Today, the company’s influence is growing in the realm of international sports technology. The move to Arlington is particularly focused on providing VAR and goal-line technology services to Major League Soccer.

Last summer, Sportec was the official host and presenting partner of the SportsInnovation Future Summit in New York. The event, which featured top-class speakers and insights into the development of sports technology, highlighted the company’s aim to drive the master trends of sports analytics across international leagues.

Beyond data analytics, the company also provides support in various other areas of sports technology, including official services such as goal-line technology and centralized services for the use of the video assistant referee (VAR). It also supports the Electronic Performance and Tracking System (EPTS), among other technologies.

A love-hate relationship with VAR

Sportec Solutions takes an active involvement in advancing sports technology and officiating systems across different leagues and competitions. According to Sporting News, VAR, which was introduced in 2017, is a “controversial subject,” but “understanding that VAR is embedded in the game for good,” the publication breaks down what needs to be addressed.

Sportec Solutions—a VAR technology provider—took CBS Sports rules analyst Christina Unkel on a tour of the VAR studio in Cologne. The company recently implemented a foot pedal for game officials to toggle between live audio and replay video, enhancing decision-making processes. “Improvements like this must be shared between technology partners for overall improvement of the VAR system worldwide,” the publication wrote.

“Fans want their cake and they want to eat it too,” Unkel told The Sporting News, about the use of the video assistant referees.  “Referees never asked for VAR—the fans asked for it, the players asked for it, the coaches asked for it.”

Sportec’s solution was aimed at eliminating future instances of future “muddied” decisions because a VAR official “needed to hear when the whistle had blown but did not have access to replay audio, only video,” according to the publication.

Other recent moves include the company’s acquisition of a majority share in Vieww, a German provider of goal-line technology and video assistant referee systems in March 2023 to enhance its offerings in sports technology and officiating systems and the extension of its partnership with the German Football Association. Sportec became the official data service provider for the Frauen-Bundesliga and the men’s 3. Liga and is now responsible for covering an additional 512 games per season, which started with the 2023-24 season.

North Texas the home of a leading MLS team as FC Dallas is based in Frisco and plays its games at Toyota Stadium in that city. Also, the National Soccer Hall of Fame is adjacent to Toyota Stadium.

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