Baseball’s new CBA has game implications as MLB can’t sell player’s practice data
MLB’s new CBA prevents the league from selling a player’s biometric data tracked during practices, according to US Bets’ Mark Saxon. The protection clause comes as sports betting companies increasingly seek data from wearable devices and optical camera systems to power their odds and prop bets.
“It is illegal for Major League Baseball and any club to sell and/or license a player’s confidential medical information, personal biometric data, or any non-public data used to evaluate player performance during practices. or workouts,” the collective agreement reads.
In 2017, Whoop became the first wearable device approved to be worn by players during MLB games. Leagues such as NASCAR, the PGA Tour and WTA have since entered into agreements to equip their athletes with Whoop’s wrist-worn device so that biometric data such as a player’s live heart rate appears during broadcasts.
“I think there’s a world where you see heart rate data or recovery data leading up to a game,” Whoop VP of Performance Science Kristin Holmes told SportTechie in 2020. “You can see heart rate data when a pro golfer approaches a putt, and fans bet on it in real time based on some of that biometric feedback. Holmes will be speaking at the conference. Next month’s State Of The Industry in New York.
MLB has already struck deals with gambling companies such as MGM Resorts and FanDuel to share game data from Statcast, the league’s player tracking system powered by Hawk-Eye’s optical cameras.
The new CBA also gives active MLB players the right to sign sponsorships with sports betting companies for the first time. Earlier this month, NHL star Connor McDavid signed with BetMGM—the first active player in a major American professional league to be endorsed by a regulated North American bookmaker.
Under the new CBA, all MLB teams are required to set up a hotline to report sports betting threats against players and their families. Last year, player Benjamin Tucker Patz pleaded guilty to sending Instagram messages that threatened to kill members of the Tampa Bay Rays after losing a game.
This coming season will see MLB’s first connected sportsbooks operating in the stadiums of the Washington Nationals and Arizona Diamondbacks. Chicago’s Wrigley Field also plans to open a DraftKings Sportsbook in 2023.