Newry firm lands 'ground-breaking' US soccer deal
A Northern Ireland company has signed a "ground-breaking deal" with the US Soccer Federation, potentially worth more than £1bn.
STATSports' data monitoring devices are already used by Manchester United and the Ireland rugby team.
The deal with US Soccer will initially involve the men's and women's national teams and academy clubs.
But with four million registered players in the US, the roll-out possibilities are considered huge.
The Newry-based firm said the partnership will result in the world's largest data monitoring programme for soccer players.
"Our expectation is for millions of players in the US to be wearing these devices by 2022," said its managing director Jarlath Quinn.
Worn in vests, each device uses GPS technology to provide real-time player data to help improve performance levels.
The company was formed ten years ago and employs around 50 staff.
As well as its headquarters in Newry, it has offices in Chicago.
Other customers include Liverpool FC, Arsenal, AS Roma and the national football associations of Germany, England and Brazil.
But the US Soccer Federation deal is its biggest yet.
Its performance director, James Bunce, said: "This has the potential to collect data on a scale that has not been achieved before in any sport or organisation."
The software has been developed by STATSports, but the devices, which sell for around £250, are contracted out for manufacture.