The Professional Fighters League will be leveraging Flagship’s capabilities to deliver International Business Machines Corporation’s suite of advanced cloud and AI products. This will enhance the league’s delivery of next-gen SmartCage data and analytics both live in-broadcast and via the league’s over-the-top platform Fight Central.
An IBM Gold Business Partner and recognized provider of IBM solutions, managed services and cloud solutions worldwide, Flagship Solutions Group will partner with the PFL to manage, design and deliver the experience leveraging IBM’s technology solutions. The group and the league will work closely with the IBM Garage’s unique framework for enabling innovation at speed and scale through a team of leading technologies and multidisciplinary experts to turn big ideas into tangible results.
“Every day we strive to push the sport of MMA forward and drive deeper engagement with fans by being at the forefront of technology and innovation, and this infusion of IBM’s solutions into our product through the support of Flagship Solutions Group helps take our efforts to the next level,” PFL chief executive officer Peter Murray stated. “With the implementation of IBM’s cutting-edge technology, we look forward to creating transformative experiences for fans before, during and after PFL events across platforms, further strengthening our position as the most innovative MMA organization in the world.”
PFL’s proprietary SmartCage measures real-time mixed martial arts fighter performance analytics along with biometric and positional data providing fans with an elevated viewing experience. Moving forward, SmartCage fight data called Cagenomics will be enhanced with Watson machine learning to scour data points and uncover new insights for MMA fans, bringing them inside the cage like never before.
“We’re thrilled to deliver Flagship’s InfralyticsTM on IBM’s leading Cloud and AI platforms to the Professional Fighters League, an organization committed to reimagining the sport of MMA through technology and innovation,” Flagship Solution Group CEO Mark Wyllie stated. “The solutions we are partnering to create will provide fans with a deeper, more immersive and engaging experience; one not seen in combat sports before.”
Founded by Ray Sefo in 2017, the PFL has quickly established itself as the number 2 MMA company in the world with distribution on ESPN in the United States and to more than 160 countries via premium sports networks and platforms. The league has experienced tremendous YoY growth across digital channels with 68 percent follower increase on Instagram, 30 percent total audience growth across digital and a 200 percent social engagement spike.
The PFL’s portfolio of leading brand partners includes Anheuser-Busch InBev, GEICO, Acronis, Air Force Reserve and Rich Energy. The U.S. Marines are the presenting partner of “Inside the Season” on ESPNews and ESPN+, leveraging the national platform and compelling content to engage with qualified youth considering a military career.