A US-based digital sports analysis company has chosen Leeds as its springboard for growth, bolstering the city’s claim to leadership of the sector.
Hudl is a leader in the field of sports performance and integrated video analysis tools, and works with many of the world’s biggest sports clubs.
Leeds United and Leeds Rhinos are long-standing clients using the market-leading Sportscode software, alongside international giants such as Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain.
The $100m company, which is headquartered in Lincoln, Nebraska, has offices in 15 countries and over 1,000 employees.
It chose Leeds for its EMEA leadership base to complement existing offices in London, Frankfurt, Marseilles, Amsterdam and Barcelona.
Courtney Rodgers, vice-president of Marketing and Business Operations at Hudl, said: “We looked at a number of locations and eventually chose Leeds. We are excited about the digital, data and creative strengths of the City Region and are also attracted to the Tech Hub that is now up and running at Platform [the new development next to Leeds railway station].
“Together with the great national and international connectivity it’s a compelling package as Hudl continues to grow around the world.”
Hudl is going through a period of significant growth employing around 300 new staff around the world in the next 12 months alone. This includes up to 20 people in the business development and marketing teams who will be based at the new Leeds office.
Coun James Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive member for resources and strategy, said: “It was fantastic to meet the Hudl team and hear about their exciting plans.
“This is the latest international tech business which has looked to Leeds to support its growth, reinforcing our status as a leading city in the digital sector and supporting our ambitions to become the UK’s first 5G city.”
Hudl joins an impressive roster of sports tech companies in Leeds. Prozone, which was founded in the city in 1998, was the first to develop the kind of play analysis software that has since become standard kit among Premier League teams.
It became so successful it was bought in 2015 by US-based Stats – but it maintains its presence in Leeds.
Roger Marsh OBE, chairman of Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: “It’s great to welcome global tech brand Hudl to Leeds City Region. Our investment in creating the spaces where digital and creative companies can thrive is clearly paying off and the scene is growing.
“The LEP Inward Investment team have supported Hudl to move here and we’re looking forward to launching a new product in April to incentivise more digital companies to locate in the region.”
The Leeds City Region digital economy contributes £6.5bn to the local economy, employs 102,000 people, and is home to Leeds Data Mill, Leeds Institute for Data Analytics, the Open Data Institute and Digital Health Enterprise Zone (DHEZ). The region’s nine universities produce 17,800 STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) graduates annually