today is Mar 23, 2023

  • Athletes
  • Investments Partnerships
Lionel Messi Signs Second Crypto Partnership With Cryptocurrency Exchange Bitget

By Joe Lemire October 24, 2022

Lionel Messi, the global soccer superstar, has signed his second crypto partnership, inking a deal with cryptocurrency exchange Bitget. Messi first paired with fan token platform Socios back in March. 

As part of the agreement, Messi and Bitget will collaborate on several initiatives, including a film production and the expectation of what’s described in a press release as “more impactful efforts, extending beyond cryptocurrency and football.” Bitget previously became the first sleeve partner for Juventus, the Serie A power, and the two sides recently renewed for another year. The Singapore-based crypto company, popular for its social trading, has also partnered with Turkish football club Galatasaray SK and with brands in esports.

Messi of course starred at FC Barcelona for years before joining Paris Saint-Germain in 2021; he said next month’s World Cup in Qatar will be the final one of his career with the Argentinian national team. He recently launched a sports tech investment company, Play Time Sports-Tech HoldCo LLC, that has made its first two outlays in and AC Momento.

  • Athletes
  • Investments Partnerships
  • Media Platforms
Wisconsin’s Braelon Allen, Georgia’s Kendall Milton Releasing NFTs in Conjunction With Outback Steakhouse’s NIL Platform

By Tom Friend October 25, 2022

Tailbacks Kendall Milton of Georgia and Braelon Allen of Wisconsin are releasing limited-edition NFTs in conjunction with Outback Steakhouse’s burgeoning NIL platform.

Through the chain restaurant's TeamMATES initiative, Milton and Allen’s digital tokens are scheduled to drop this Thursday and will be redeemable for awards such as memorabilia and a $100 catering discount. Outback has also extended NIL deals to Elon defensive lineman Jon Seaton and Michigan wide receiver/punt returner A.J. Henning due to each player’s emerging presence on TikTok. Seaton’s "Big Guy" content, for instance, has earned him 1.7 million followers and counting.

Milton, Allen, Seaton and Henning are part of an Outback TeamMATES roster that, through NIL, will allow them to donate catered holiday meals to the Boys Girls Clubs of Fond du Lac, the Boys Girls Club of Athens and the Boys Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan — an Outback campaign dubbed as "Steak It To The House."

Other players with NIL deals from Outback include:

  • Defensive back Jaydon Hodge of Bethune-Cookman
  • Quarterback Dematrius Davis of Alabama State
  • Receiver Josh Downs of North Carolina
  • Receiver Justin Shorter of Florida
  • Receiver Beaux Collins of Clemson
  • Tailback Sean Tucker of Syracuse
  • Linebacker Errington Truesdell of Vanderbilt
  • Defensive tackle KD Hill of Ole Miss
  • Receiver Jake Bobo of UCLA

Previously, in June, eight college baseball and softball players were added to the TeamMATES NIL roster, including Oklahoma’s softball prodigies Jocelyn Al and Jayda Coleman. At that time, Outback made plans to release 8,000 free TeamMATES NFTs.

  • Investments Partnerships
  • Media Platforms
Tetavi Rebrands to Yoom, Raises $15 Million From Strategic Investors Including SpringHill Entertainment CEO Maverick Carter

By Joe Lemire October 25, 2022

Tetavi, a volumetric video capture and production, announced that it has rebranded its company name to Yoom and raised an additional $15 million from a who’s who list of executives from sports, entertainment and business. 

Yoom produces immersive and interactive content by recording in 3D, with a product that will make the technology accessible to any smartphone user in development. The new strategic investors will also advise the company on content plans. That group includes music entrepreneur Jimmy Iovine, SpringHill Company CEO Maverick Carter, Main Street Advisors Paul Wachter, Darkroom CEO Justin Lubliner and Grammy-winning singer and producer Finneas. (Notably, Carter, Iovine and Wachter also are all investors in StatusPro, the NFL-licensed VR football game.) Aaron Stone, a seed investor to Yoom, has been named the new chairman.

Explaining the name change in a news release, Yoom CEO Gilad Talmon said the new moniker is an amalgamation of “You and Me,” reflecting the connection between a creator and his or her audience, as well as the second syllable of “volume,” the key premise of this new form of media. Founded by longtime sports video pioneer Miky Tamir, Yoom previously collaborated with the Los Angeles Kings in becoming the first NHL franchise to foray into the metaverse.

  • Health Fitness
  • Sports Science
Whoop Creates Seven-Member Scientific Advisory Council to Guide Research, Help Shape New Products and Features

By Joe Lemire October 25, 2022

Whoop has started a Scientific Advisory Council to guide research and help shape new products and features, with a particular focus on devising benefits for Whoop Unite, the company’s enterprise offering. 

The seven-member Whoop Scientific Advisory Council consists of two MDs and five PhDs with a broad range of expertise from global institutions:

  • Andrew Huberman, neurobiology professor at Stanford University School of Medicine
  • Allison Brager, neurobiologist, deputy chief science officer of the US Army JFK Special Warfare Center and School and NCAA task force member for mental health and sleep
  • Dr. Jessica Shepherd, an OB/GYN affiliated with Baylor University Medical Center and the chief medical officer for Verywell Health
  • Stacy Sims, exercise physiologist and nutrition scientist who is a senior research associate at Auckland University of Technology’s Sports Performance Research Insitute
  • Samer Hattar, the senior investigator and chief of the section on light and circadian rhythms at the National Institute of Mental Health
  • Gina Merchant, a behavioral scientist with a range of tech-centric medical experience, including her current role as the associate director of human-centered design at Tandem Diabetes Care
  • Dr. Hazel Wallace, a UK-based physician, nutritionist and personal trainer who founded The Food Medic 

Whoop uses wearable technology to monitor a wearer’s strain, sleep and recovery. This group will incorporate Whoop into their own research projects and advise the company on a range of optics spanning women’s health and female physiology, mental health and stress, sleep and circadian rhythm, behavioral science, functional medicine and nutrition, recovery and cardiovascular health.

  • Media Platforms
  • Sports Betting
SportsGrid’s 24-Hour Sports Betting Streaming Network Launches on VIDAA Smart TV OS, Platform Now Available in Over 160 Countries

By Tom Friend October 25, 2022

SportsGrid’s 24-hour sports betting streams will now be available on the VIDAA Smart TV OS platform in more than 160 countries.  

Customers who own VIDAA Smart TVs manufactured by Hisense, Toshiba, Loewe, We by Loewe, Newsan , BGH, Element, Schneider, Nordmende , Shinon, Vortex, AKAI, NIKAI, BRUHM, General Gold and others will have access to the SportsGrid app  — which features over 300 global and local channel options.  

SportsGrid’s streams will include 18 hours of original live content driven by sports betting experts, on-air personalities and guest analysts. In addition, the network will deliver live sports news, analytics and other programming that focuses on daily odds, lines, matchups, injuries and stats for the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, major college sports, golf, tennis and soccer.  

The programming — also featuring movies and comedy — will emanate from a production studio adjacent to Madison Square Garden in New York City, as well as the SG Studios Production Hub in Holmdel, New Jersey. Already i n August , SportsGrid expand ed its relationship with BetMGM , adding podcasts that include Ferrall Coast to Coast Pro Football Today  and In-Game Live Primetime SportsGrid’s NFL analyst Warren Sharp also delivers content from MGM Resorts properties that are disseminated over SportsGrid’s platforms.

  • Athletes
  • Health Fitness
  • Media Platforms
Ben Simmons, John Powers Middleton Launch TrainingHub App for Booking Sports Training, Fitness Sessions With Coaches

By Andrew Cohen October 25, 2022

NBA star Ben Simmons and Philadelphia Phillies co-owner John Powers Middleton have launched TrainingHub, a mobile app for athletes to book in-person sports training and fitness classes with trainers and coaches who are former professional athletes. Users can book one-on-one or group sessions with coaches that specialize in more than 70 different sports and activities, such as basketball skills, golf swing tips or yoga.

Simmons, a three-time All-Star currently with the Brooklyn Nets, is listed as a co-founder of TrainingHub alongside Powers Middleton, a film and television producer whose father John S. Middleton is the principal owner of the Phillies. TrainingHub’s app lets users set their location, sport, skill level, specific skill they want to improve, and the rate they’re willing to pay for services. They are then presented with a list of nearby trainers who match their preferences and can send messages in the app to schedule sessions, make payments, and leave reviews.

TrainingHub also had a rankings system to compare athletes and trainers in their area. The app has a social feature to let users post photos and videos of their progress for others to engage with.

  • Investments Partnerships
  • Media Platforms
NHL Names Sportradar as New Technology Provider for NHL.TV to Include Increased Personalization Features for Fans

By Joe Lemire October 25, 2022

Sportradar is the new technology provider this season for the NHL’s international streaming product, NHL.TV, which is available in more than 120 countries and territories outside of the US and Canada. 

A stated emphasis of the updated product is increased personalization features for fans. Sportradar is providing the direct-to-consumer streaming product for live and on-demand games as well team landing pages that load into the app automatically to allow fans immediate access to their favorite team.

This news comes one year after the NHL and Sportradar expanded an existing global data deal. In June 2021, the sides agreed to a 10-year extension that named Sportradar the exclusive data provider to sportsbooks and media companies in North American and globally as well as the league’s official integrity partner.

ESPN+ remains the NHL’s out-of-market streaming partner in the US while Sportsnet Now Premium is the provider for Canada. The Sportradar-powered NHL.TV serves most of the globe with a notable exception of Scandinavia where games are available through a Viaplay subscription.

  • Fans
  • Investments Partnerships
  • Media Platforms
  • Teams Leagues
Portland Trail Blazers to Use Interactive Media Platform Sparx for Fan Engagement, Platform Offers Polling, Predictive Questions, Trivia

By Tom Friend October 24, 2022

Interactive media platform Sparx will enhance Portland Trail Blazers livestreams this season with a deal that incorporates polls, predictive questions and trivia into game broadcasts.

As part of the licensing partnership, Sparx will incorporate its multi-faceted, real-time technology that enables Blazers fans to engage with each other during games via their mobile phones, surface tablets or computers. Gamification and votes are also a core of Sparx’s platform, which concurrently has deals with ESPN and the Vancouver Canucks.

Specifically, Sparx allows fans to interact digitally during ESPN’s popular football pregame show College GameDay, using proprietary technology it will similarly apply to Trail Blazers streams and broadcasts. The platform’s immersive cross-screen content is also deployed for major events such as the Academy Awards and can be utilized by content creators trying to launch network quality livestreams.

  • Athletes
  • Health Fitness
  • Safety Security
HitCheck Adds Speech Testing to Its Real-Time Concussion Assessment App in Partnership With Aural Analytics

By Andrew Cohen October 24, 2022

HitCheck has added speech testing to its concussion assessment app for helping coaches and medical personnel determine if an athlete should return to play after suspected head impacts. The new voice assessment tool is being offered in partnership with speech neuroscience company Aural Analytics.

The NFL Alumni Association partnered with HitCheck last year and the app has more than 200,000 users, serving the American Youth Football organization, University of Portland athletics, Texas Youth Football Cheer, Play USA Rugby, and U.S. Department of Defense. Athletes can record speech samples within the HitCheck app to be analyzed by Aural’s AI to detect patterns that correlate with brain injuries. The samples are compared with an athlete’s baseline assessment taken before the season.

HitCheck’s existing brain performance assessments include interactive games for testing coordination, memory, and reaction time. Advisors for HitCheck include former NFL players Marques Colston, Junior Bryant, and Brent Jones.

  • Extended Reality
  • Fans
  • Teams Leagues
Baltimore Ravens Launching Augmented Reality Features From ImagineAR in Team App for This Sunday’s Game Against the Cleveland Browns

By Tom Friend October 21, 2022

ImagineAR has incorporated its augmented reality features into the Baltimore Ravens mobile app to help the team celebrate the 10th anniversary of its Super Bowl XLVII victory this coming Sunday.

Through the immersive collaboration, fans who download the Ravens app can select "Ravens in Reality" from a menu, tap on a trio of options and then point their smart phone camera at a Ravens or Super Bowl XLVII logo. Fans specifically at Sunday’s game versus Cleveland can also activate the augmented reality experience by aiming their camera at the Ravens Gameday program.

Depending what AR experience a Raven fan prefers, they will have the option of seeing a virtual Ravens 2012 Super Bowl ring, a virtual Super Bowl trophy and a proprietary Ravens highlight video. The app’s augmented reality displays will activate in concert with the team’s in-stadium celebration on Sunday. The Ravens defeated the San Francisco 49ers, 34-31, in Super Bowl XLVII.

ImagineAR CEO Alen Paul Silverrstieen claims this is his company’s first large NFL augmented reality implementation. In July, ImagineAR finalized a two-year revenue-sharing partnership with the Ravens — its first deal with an NFL team — to use the company’s signature SDK Platform to create metaverse-focused experiences for the team’s fanbase.

ImagineAR collaborated with YinzCam, the Raven’s app developer, to release it mobile platform in time for this season. ImagineAR also has a partnership with the La Liga club Valencia, while the Ravens have previously deployed mixed reality on game days with a virtual Raven produced by The Famous Group.

  • Extended Reality
  • Media Platforms
Pixotope Introduces New Drone Camera Tracking Technology, Pixotope Fly, to Add Aerial Augmented Reality Graphics Into Live Broadcasts

By Andrew Cohen October 21, 2022

Virtual production company Pixotope has created Pixotope Fly, a new optical tracking software that integrates with drones to add aerial augmented reality graphics into live broadcasts. CBS Sports deployed drone-shot AR graphics from Pixotope Fly during its broadcasts of SRX Racing this season.

CBS Sports’ broadcasts for Superstar Racing Experience (SRX Racing) included AR animations of participating cars and drivers layered over racetracks, as well as an advertisement for sponsor Camping World that saw a digital RV stunt jump over the track. Pixotope collaborated with Silver Spoon Animation for the broadcast effects, which were shot via drone cameras during three SRX races this summer.

Pixotope announced its Fly markerless camera tracking software at the NAB New York Show earlier this week. The company has previously helped produce AR animations for the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens and Carolina Panthers in partnership with The Famous Group.

“[Pixotope Fly] eliminates the resource-intensive set up required of existing drone tracking technology; it needs no specialist sensor cameras, markers, or proprietary hardware to work and it’s deceptively simple to use,” Pixotope’s chief revenue officer David Dowling said in a statement. “All you need is a drone or cable cam and the software to get started. What would have previously required a helicopter and Hollywood blockbuster caliber post production can now be achieved with a single software solution in real time.”