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HomeFree ArticleLatest NewsMajor League Rugby teams up with Gilbert and Sportable to introduce Smart Ball technology

Major League Rugby teams up with Gilbert and Sportable to introduce Smart Ball technology

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Major League Rugby teams up with Gilbert and Sportable to introduce Smart Ball technology

North America’s Major League Rugby (MLR) has forged a partnership with UK-based sports equipment manufacturer Gilbert and sports technology and data science firm Sportable.

The joint agreement will see the integration of the Gilbert x Sportable Smart Ball into MLR from the onset of the 2024 season.

Sportable and Gilbert aim to “provide MLR coaches, players, and viewers with the data and insights needed to elevate the tournament to the next level,” according to MLR.

The Smart rugby ball will deliver real-time data on various metrics such as speed, distance travelled and other unique perspectives, enhancing media and broadcast coverage of the matches.

“The Gilbert x Sportable Smart Ball will provide unparalleled data findings in real time to deliver to our fans new engaging insights on the game while holding future potential to enhance team training and referee assessments,” MLR’s CEO Nic Benson said.

“We are thrilled that Major League Rugby is at the forefront of this movement.”

Last week, MLR, USA Rugby and World Rugby announced a partnership, revealing the launch of a new MLR expansion club named Anthem Rugby Carolina, based in Charlotte, North Carolina.

In November, MLR announced Italian sportswear brand Kappa as its official kit partner in a three-year deal.

“Having been working exclusively with Sportable as our technology partners for over five years in the development of this revolutionary new ball, we are delighted that the Gilbert x Sportable Smart Ball has now been chosen to feature in Major League Rugby,” enthused Richard Gray, CEO of Gilbert Rugby Commercial.

The Smart Ball, introduced in English rugby union in 2022, has partnered with governing bodies and competitions worldwide, including Rugby Australia and Six Nations Rugby.

“Having successfully introduced the Smart Ball in leading leagues and tournaments around the world, it’s the right time for MLR and Sportable to join forces to bring new insights to such a data-hungry fan base in the US,” added Dugald Macdonald, CEO of Sportable.

The upcoming seventh season of MLR, featuring 13 teams, is scheduled to kick off on March 2 and conclude on June 29.

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