today is Mar 23, 2023

  • 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.

  • Equipment Manufacturing
  • Wearables Sensors
Golf Simulator Company Full Swing Releases New Pro 2.0 Simulator With Infrared Tracking, Blue Light LEDs for More Accurate Ball Flight

By Tom Friend October 27, 2022

Golf simulator company Full Swing, partially owned by Tiger Woods, has released the latest iteration of its tracking product that combines infrared tracking and high-speed blue light LEDs to create more immediate and accurate ball flight.

Labeled as the Pro 2.0 simulator, the product’s technology includes an ION3 overhead camera that — as a ball is struck — captures club and launch metrics while simultaneously recording high-definition video of the clubhead at impact for precise post-swing analytics. The golf shot then passes four HyperClear cameras which are attached to the front of the screen, enabling the ball to morph from the physical world into the virtual world in real time with no delay.

With standard and wide-screen versions available, the Pro 2.0 Simulator — priced starting at $54,900 — also includes an energy absorbing diffuser screen, a movie-quality projector and industrial grade carpet and hitting mat.

The product is endorsed by Woods, who first invested in the company in 2015 and used an earlier iteration of a Full Swing simulator to return from micro-discectomy back surgery. Later in his career, after a horrific car accident in February of 2021, Woods returned to form using a Full Swing KIT Launch Monitor that he helped design.

Other pro golfers who endorse Full Swing’s new simulator are Patrick Cantlay (ranked fourth on the PGA Tour), Jon Rahm (ranked fifth) and Xander Schauffele (ranked sixth).

  • Analytics
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Investments Partnerships
  • Teams Leagues
English Premier League Matches to Include Skeletal Tracking of All Players

By Joe Lemire October 27, 2022

English Premier League matches will now include skeletal tracking of all players as part of an update to Second Spectrum technology and an expanded agreement with Football DataCo, the data rights provider for the top professional soccer leagues in England and Scotland.

This more granular dataset will inform not only tactical and player performance analysis for EPL club, but also it will be made available for commercial use. Skeletal tracking, which is often called limb-tracking, could help automate some officiating calls and drive new features and products for broadcasters, sportsbooks and other fan engagement uses, including immersive metaverse experiences.

Genius Sports-owned Second Spectrum has been the EPL’s official tracking partner since 2019. Its AI-powered, camera-based system previously collected singular location data on each player, based on his center of mass, but now has been enhanced to include more points on the body, such as foot, knee, hip and arm locations. These new data points will be made available with sub-second latency.

League-wide skeletal tracking partnerships are relatively rare. Hawk-Eye offers this feature in powering MLB’s Statcast and will serve as part of FIFA’s new semi-automated offsides solution at next month’s World Cup. The Second Spectrum and Football DataCo news release mentions the possibility of playing a role in officiating in the EPL, although details were not immediately available. Chyron’s TRACAB and Track160 also offer skeletal tracking technology, but its specific league deployments are not known. Second Spectrum is also the official tracking provider for MLS and the NBA.

  • Investments Partnerships
  • Media Platforms
  • Teams Leagues
Drone Racing League Brings On PointsKash as New Partner for Fans Rewards Program

By David Rumsey October 27, 2022

The Drone Racing League is adding another new partner with its 2022-23 Algorand World Championship s eason officially underway.   

Blockchain-based rewards platform PointsKash has signed a five-year deal to support the DRL Flight Club loyalty program in which members can accrue points by purchasing merchandise, registering for races, downloading DRL racing games and engaging with digital content. Fans will be able to redeem those points for DRL live event access, limited edition apparel and extra plus-ups within DRL games.  

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed . B ut DRL SVP / Head of Partnership Development Ari Mark told SportTechie that the league’s relationship with its title sponsor, blockchain platform Algorand , helped foster the connection with PointsKash , which has a similar rewards-based deal with the Florida Panthers in the NHL.   

Blockchain is a critical element of the DRL’s culture of innovation, Mark added, and important to its fan base. The upcoming season will feature several new initiatives, he said, including a drone race in the metaverse.  

The PointsKash mobile app is set to launch in December. The season-opening Race in the Cloud p resented by Google Cloud which took place earlier this month in Silicon Valley as part of another new partnership for DRL will premiere on NBC and the league’s digital platforms on Nov. 19.  

  • Fans
  • Media Platforms
  • Teams Leagues
Tally Technology Renews its Free-to-Play Prediction Platform with Buffalo Sabres for a Third Year

By Tom Friend October 26, 2022

Gaming platform Tally Technology has extended its partnership with the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres to incorporate its free-to-play platform into the team’s broadcasts and website for a third season.  

The collaboration gives fans continued access to “ Predict the Sabres ,’’ gamification that includes trivia contests , pick ‘ ems   and allows fans to secure weekly prizes. This season, users can compete against Sabres TV host Brian Duff and game analyst Martin Biron through Tally’s “Beat the Experts’’ digital integration. Fans can also monitor their scores on a leaderboard at the KeyBank Center, on arena concourse screens and on game broadcasts. The integration is sponsored by Seneca Resorts and Casinos.  

Back in September, Tally Technology similarly renewed deals with the NFL’s Buffalo Bills and Green Bay Packers . Both the Packers and Bills, along with the Los Angeles Rams , were part of Tally’s original entry into the fan engagement space, with features such as Beat the Pros. The company also provides clients with access to the SimBet platform, which uses sportsbook odds to create game-day prop bets for fans.  

Co-founded in 2018 by Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson, Tally Technology also offers consumer data for teams, federations, brands and broadcast entities under its umbrella—which also include the Los Angeles Lakers and Atlanta Hawks of the NBA and the St. Louis Blues, Edmonton Oilers and Los Angeles Kings of the NHL.  

Back in June, the company raised a $4 million funding round led by Acies Investments, and, i n July, Tally also activated a free-to-play prediction game internationally f or the I -Tech Cup soccer friendly between Tottenham Hotspur and AS Roma . Tally’s online games are available in any language.  

  • Brands
  • Extended Reality
  • Media Platforms
Topgolf Creates New Mobile Game Shankstars to Continue its Appeal to Younger, Broader Demographic

By Tom Friend October 26, 2022

Topgolf, the tech-infused social driving range, has launched an animated digital spinoff called Shankstars as the company continues to democratize the sport for a younger and wider audience.  

The free, downloadable game can be played on mobile phones and also on-site at Topgolf locations—expected to increase to 81 world-wide by the end of the year. Shankstars is metaverse-style gamification where mythical characters ( ie . a T-Rex skeleton) play creative courses that have unorthodox hazards.  

Users can unlock characters with strong scores and create a team to compete against other users globally —a complement to Topgolf’s more realistic virtual mobile app World Golf Tour . “It’s simple,’ ’ Topgolf’s COO Gen Gray told SportTechie in June. “New golfers entering the sport are wanting to break down the barriers associated with traditional golf.’  

The Topgolf in-person experience also includes animated Angry Birds and Jewel Jam games, along with Toptracer screens that allow customers to play actual courses such as Pebble Beach via virtual reality. The company also has a partnership with Golf+ that lets players experience Topgolf games or actual courses at home while wearing an Oculus headset.  

The popularity of Callaway-owned Topgolf has led to an off-shoot , Puttshack , a miniature golf version of the platform founded by Topgolf’s original creators in the UK, Steve and Dave Jolliffe. Puttshack recently received $150 million in growth capital funding led by BlackRock and has locations in London, Chicago, Atlanta and Miami, with plans to expand to Boston, St. Louis Dallas, Denver, Houston, Nashville, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Scottsdale.  

  • Analytics
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Sports Betting
FanDuel Signs New Deal With Sportradar, Will Be First to Receive Live NBA Tracking Data

By Joe Lemire October 26, 2022

When Sportradar becomes the NBA’s exclusive provider of official data beginning with the 2023-24 season, FanDuel will become the first sportsbook to receive the league’s live tracking data, as part of a milestone partnership announced on Wednesday. 

FanDuel will have a data agreement with Sportradar through June 2031, an extension of three years on top of an existing deal and concurrent with Sportradar’s exclusive NBA contract. Both Sportradar and Genius Sports currently have distribution rights for NBA, WNBA and G League data this season before Sportradar takes over all of them next fall.

Second Spectrum, which was acquired by Genius Sports in May 2021, has been the NBA’s tracking data partner since 2017-18. The new player and ball movement data can be used to creating a wide range of new betting markets and products, particularly micro-bets, props and parlays.

When the NBA announced its first betting data deal in 2018, SportTechie asked commissioner Adam Silver about the possible inclusion of tracking data. At the time, he replied, “My sense is, initially, it probably would not include Second Spectrum data, but I think it’s something that, as we build what the appropriate data fields are for gaming over time, that’s something we’ll continue to look at.”

  • Investments Partnerships
  • Media Platforms
TVU Networks to Remotely Produce Broadcasts for University of New Mexico Sports Programs

By Andrew Cohen October 26, 2022

Cloud-based video production company TVU Networks has a new deal to remotely produce broadcasts for all sports at the University of New Mexico. TVU RPS, the company’s remote production system, will support multi-camera replays, graphics and switch effects during live broadcasts.

The deal allows UNM to expand high-quality production to broadcasts for all its sports teams that were previously only available for basketball and football. More than 3,000 media clients use TVU’s media workflow, distribution and cloud production systems, including the company’s recent partnership with MENA-based broadcaster Total Media Cast to live broadcast international fan gatherings during the upcoming World Cup.

“Prior to working with TVU Networks, we produced everything from the event site. That meant hauling equipment to and from each location and all of the associated setup,” Chase Christiansen, Assistant AD for Creative Services at UNM, said in a statement. “With TVU RPS we simply plug our cameras into the RPS encoder, and we receive everything back at the decoder in our production room, allowing us to produce matches from one, central studio.”

TVU Networks also offers facial recognition to broadcasters through its MediaMind AI engine. The company’s website describes a potential use case for a marathon broadcast.

“With facial recognition identifying runners as they cover the 26.2-mile course, broadcasters have the opportunity to produce custom race coverage,” reads TVU’s website. "Viewers who have connections to specific runners co-workers, friends or relatives could track their personal favorites as they progress through the race watching shots from cameras trained on the route shooting runners as they pass and the MediaMind AI engine identifying them in real time."

  • 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.

  • 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.