Inside Track

SportsTech Monthly Roundup # 11: It’s Time! Our Inaugural Startups ARE HERE – 10 Team Kickoff and Everything SportsTech

SportsTech Community,

What’s that sound?


It’s the sports engine kicking into third gear and revving back to life in new ways. With NASCAR leading the way, we’re here to look at how pro sports are racing to the green flag.


But, first, an important and exciting update!


👋 Introducing The Starting Lineup For Your 2021 Comcast NBCUniversal SportsTech Accelerator

It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for!

After going through more than a 1,000 applications representing 70 countries, we’ve chosen the 10 startups to be part of the inaugural Comcast NBCUniversal SportsTech Accelerator.


We’re incredibly excited that these talented and innovative founders are on our team, and we cannot wait to get to work. Congratulations to our inaugural cohort! They started the 12-week program yesterday, culminating in Demo Day on May 26    (🗓 Mark your calendars). Here are the names of the ten companies:


🏊 Ane Swim, a William Pleshette Company

🎟 Dibz
📹 Eon Media
📡 GlobalM
🏟 nVenue
🏃 Safety Skin
🧠 Sharper Sense
🔊 The Sonar Company
💻 StreamRecap
🔑 XiQ


Learn more about these startups by clicking the beautiful yellow button below and check out what they’re working on to change sports.

Our 2021 Sports Technology Landscape Report


How does the saying go?


Don’t forget the past; learn from it.


It’s not quite time to put the past behind us. Well, the pandemic part can go straight into the wastebasket. But, our partners went from sports, to no sports, to sports in the span of eight months. We can now reap the benefits of learning about how we scaled back quickly and start to apply the lessons across a broader range of sports and business.

There’s a tremendous amount of upside to the next few months and years of sports. If we would have told you last year that America would crown a Major League Baseball champion, complete an NBA season (in a bubble), complete an NHL season (also, in a bubble), and complete an entire NFL season with a Super Bowl in front of 20,000 fans — yeah, you probably wouldn’t have taken that bet.


We’re all learning on the fly and getting better at it every day. Just look at the 10 startups we announced will be joining our accelerator program.


With that preamble, what we’d like to say is that the future will be incredibly bright for sports and all the work we champion here. We invite you to read our Annual Landscape Report that highlights the biggest changes and what those changes will lead to in the future.


👉 📖 Download the report here at Inside Track 


What’s Up in SportsTech

Michael Jordan: Blueprint for Modern Athlete Entrepreneurship | Inside Track

Hard to believe, but it was just over a decade ago that the media was talking about the reality of seeing the first billion-dollar athlete. The year was 2009, and news publications were writing about how one of the best professional athletes to play basketball had just reached the cusp of being a billionaire. Jordan would be the first to reach this pinnacle, fueled in part by his savvy business decisions following his playing days. Despite being one of the most successful NBA stars ever to play, and one of the most well-known players in any sport, Jordan netted less than $100 million during his prolific playing days. He finally struck the three-comma club around 2014, thanks in part to his stake in the Charlotte Hornets. In the last six months, Jordan has made further investments in his entrepreneurial efforts. From emerging markets like sports wagering to golf, here is a look at how Jordan has branched out and built his personal brand even more significant than it was before. Read more on Inside Track.

How Social Media Has Changed Team Operations In Last 10 Years | Inside Track

If you’re a professional sports fan, chances are you have a checklist of the social media accounts you click through to see the big stories and updates from your favorite team and their players. Ten years ago, it would have been almost unimaginable to toggle between a computer, television screen, and a mobile device to follow real-time updates from pro sports teams. Now, there are entirely new jobs that have been created to handle the demands of social media, including designers, broadcasters, and community managers. Learn more about how social media has changed the landscape of team operations on Inside Track.


NASCAR Debuts Drive 4 Diversity | Yahoo! Sports 


With the legendary and iconic Daytona 500 kicking off the season this month, there are a handful of NASCAR stories shaping the future of the sport. First, eight NASCAR drivers were selected to be part of the 2021 class of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program. Drivers were evaluated on merit, on-track records, racing success, and references. The program, launched in 2004, has produced names you’re familiar with on the track including Bubba Wallace, Daniel Suarez, and Kyle Larson. Names to keep track of this year include: Nick Sanchez, Rajah Caruth, Isabella Robusto, Lavar Scott, Regina Sirvent, Justin Campbell, Andres Perez de Lara, and Jaiden Reyna.


Pit Bull to Buy NASCAR Race Team | NBC Sports


You may not know the name Armando Christian Perez, but you sure have seen him. That’s Pitbull, an international music sensation who sees a huge opportunity to tie culture together through his efforts of owning a NASCAR race team. Pitbull also sees NASCAR as a useful tool in the promotion of the Sports Leadership and Management (SLAM!) Academy, for which he serves as brand ambassador. SLAM, which opened in 2013, primarily serves low-income students of color. It aims to take advantage of kids’ interest in athletics to show them there are other sports industry careers besides playing on a team. “If you’ve seen what I put in the last eight years in education, I never put my face next to anything for propaganda. There has to be the grassroots of it, something that’s real,” he said. “Because if it’s not real, clearly we’re going to see that in the near future, which is not going to be the case.


Corporate Sponsorships Help as NFL Completes 2020 Season | CNBC 


With the Super Bowl wrapped in Tompa Bay (see what we did there?), and Tom Brady capturing his seventh Lombardi Trophy, the league officially and successfully closed out the 2020 season. Yet, because of the pandemic, it’s estimated that the NFL lost out on up to $4 billion in revenue that cut into ticket sales. Yet, the league told CNBC its national partnerships, netting the NFL roughly $1 billion, were not impacted. In an interview with CNBC, NFL Chief Revenue Officer Renie Anderson confirmed the league added four new categories and renewed major companies like Visa to keep its blue-chip corporate sponsors total at 36. Companies including Postmates, Subway, and Hyperice joined the league’s portfolio, while North Carolina-based Truist Bank is now leasing the NFL’s retail banking slot. “It’s an odd thing to say in a global pandemic,” Anderson said. “But I feel good about our business.”


Startup Launches to Help Teams Source Content | PR Newswire


Former NBC Sports producer and Toldright co-founder Adam Hertzog will create video content and help produce virtual events for brands across the sports, media, and technology industries. The vetted skill sets include production, technical specialists, on-air talent, and more from people who have worked some of sports’ largest events. Before its official launch, Toldright had helped produce content for brands such as ESPN, DraftKings, The Tiger Woods Foundation, Adobe, and the NFLPA.


Olympics Releases New Rules Playbooks for Tokyo Games | NBC News


As the games look to press onward in Tokyo, organizers released a playbook of new rules for both fans and spectators. For athletes, no hugs, high-fives or handshakes. They also will not be allowed to watch or cheer on their teammates inside venues, For fans: No chanting, cheering or singing — just keep it to clapping, please.


Kevin Durant and Chris Paul Early Investors in Goalsetter App | CNBC 


Goalsetter, a financial tech startup,raised a seed round that also included some familiar sports names. Their $3.9 million seed round includes the Nets’ Kevin Durant, Suns guard Chris Paul, former NBA star Baron Davis, and former Yankees lights-out pitcher, C.C. Sabathia. In an interview with CNBC on Friday, Tanya Van Court, founder, and CEO of Goalsetter, said the firm has other corporate partnerships that will be revealed this year. She added that the firm will announce a unique initiative to promote the app near February’s Black History Month.


📸 Picture of the Month 

NASCAR was making history at Daytona earlier this month! Dalanda Ouendeno was the first foreign-born grad of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program to work on a race-day pit crew at the Daytona 500. 📸: Miami Hurricanes Athletics


We hope you enjoyed the insights and are excited for you to check out our landscape report. We’ll have all the best stories of sports + tech again next month. Until then, be sure to follow our accelerator program updates and partner stories on our website and blog, as well as on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and LinkedIn.


— The SportsTech Team

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