Slinger to acquire fellow Israeli sports technology company PlaySight

"It has been an amazing journey with a great team, and I believe that Slinger is the right company to take our technology platform to new heights in tennis and our other key sports.”

 SLINGER HAS had a busy year with a number of acquisitions as it pivots itself to be a global leader across the sports technology field.  (photo credit: Courtesy)
SLINGER HAS had a busy year with a number of acquisitions as it pivots itself to be a global leader across the sports technology field.
(photo credit: Courtesy)

Israel-founded sports technology company Slinger announced on Tuesday that it has agreed to acquire PlaySight Interactive Ltd., a pioneer and leader across sports video technology, data capture, high-performance analytics and automated video production.

“The acquisition of PlaySight is a significant milestone in the continued success of Slinger Bag,” said Slinger’s Chief Marketing Officer Juda Honickman. “The move will enable Slinger to accelerate its next phase of growth and pursue its ambition to become a world leader in connected sports fitness. The rise of Slinger is yet another example of Israel being a global powerhouse in innovation and technology.”

Coupled with the recent acquisitions of Foundation Tennis and GAMEFACE.AI, the acquisition of PlaySight – which was also founded in Israel – immediately expands Slinger’s footprint in the global tennis market, significantly enhances its R&D and AI video capabilities, taps into automated production, live streaming, data and analytics, as well as media and content opportunities and accelerates its growth into new sports with a proven and industry-leading global platform. PlaySight will also bring a growing, recurring revenue stream of sports clients and content subscribers to Slinger.

“This is a truly historic day for Slinger, bringing together the recent series of closed and announced acquisitions and supporting our evolution into a leading global connected sports company,” said Mike Ballardie, CEO of Slinger. “PlaySight pioneered the deployment of AI video technology and analysis in tennis and other major sports and is now amongst the largest technology providers in the market.”

 ISRAELI STARTUP Slinger is looking to change the tennis landscape for players of all levels. (credit: Courtesy) ISRAELI STARTUP Slinger is looking to change the tennis landscape for players of all levels. (credit: Courtesy)

“Our goal is to create a full suite of ‘Watch, Play and Learn’ solutions, the three largest commercial activities in every sport. To accomplish this, we are building a 360-degree platform of products and services to meet the needs of our tennis consumers today, and for other major sports over the next few years. With the acquisition of Foundation Tennis and the announced deals to acquire PlaySight and GAMEFACE.AI, we now have the pieces in place to serve today’s sports consumer in a multitude of ways, from a SaaS business platform to video, streaming and production to artificial intelligence,” continued Ballardie.”

“When I first founded PlaySight with my partner and our CTO Evgeni Khazanov, we had big plans to bring AI video technology to all levels of tennis and ball sports. It has been an amazing journey with a great team, and I believe that Slinger is the right company to take our technology platform to new heights in tennis and our other key sports,” said PlaySight Interactive Co-Founder and CEO, Chen Shachar. “We share many commonalities from the launch in tennis to the focus on consumer and sports connectivity. Mike and his team have very bold aspirations to build a leading global brand powered by AI technology, and we are thrilled to join their team and add our capabilities and experience. I believe Slinger is very well positioned to further commercialize PlaySight’s technology and drive even more meaningful value for athletes, coaches, teams, fans and the entire sports market.”

Selected twice by Fast Company as one of the Most Innovative Companies in Sports, PlaySight first launched its proprietary SmartCourt platform in tennis, its flagship sport. Today, hundreds of thousands of athletes, coaches and fans use PlaySight each day across all major sports, from leading tennis federations, academies, colleges and multi-sport destination venues to NBA Champions and professional sports clubs and leagues.

Since its inception, PlaySight has attracted investment from industry leaders including Billie Jean King, Novak Djokovic, Chris Evert, Pete Sampras and PlaySight Ambassadors Darren Cahill, Ana Ivanovic, Tommy Haas, and Paul Annacone. Other notable investors include Verizon Ventures, Greg Norman’s Great White Shark Opportunity Fund, Unbound Ventures, SoftBank Ventures Asia, NAVER, OurCrowd, and Tennis Partners, the former owners of the Indian Wells/BNP Paribas Masters Series.

“We see immediate complimentary business integrations across our brand portfolio that will better serve the tennis ecosystem, as well as drive exciting longer-term commercial opportunities through the integration of advanced technologies across the entire Slinger portfolio,” concluded Ballardie.

George Mackin, PlaySight Chairman and former owner of Tennis.com and Tennis Magazine, commented, “The board is excited to have PlaySight as a significant part of the visionary Slinger Group of companies, and I am looking forward to working with Mike and his team in architecting an industry-leading connected sports company in the coming months and years.”

The Slinger Bag is available to order now – to find out more about Slinger Bag, please visit slingerbag.com.