Inside Track

SportsTech Monthly Roundup 14: NASCAR’s Next Car, NFTs and Demo Day

After 12 weeks of intense collaboration and work—during one of the most challenging and unprecedented times in history—our startups are ready.

Demo Day will be held on Wednesday, May 26 with hosts U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas and U.S. Paralympic Gold Medalist Mallory Weggemann. Register for Demo Day here or tap the image below.

And, now let’s share the sports tech stories we’ve been reading this month.

20 Major Companies Partner with Women In Sports Tech | Via: Forbes

Women In Sports Tech, a nonprofit organization aimed at expanding career opportunities and enhancing pathways for women throughout the sports technology industry, has welcomed 15 new partners this year. The collaboration will cumulatively expand opportunities through fellowships, mentoring, and other initiatives for women of all backgrounds and ages interested in the field, accelerating and widening work possibilities for women while helping to narrow the currently disparate work opportunities women face. There are a total of 23 WiST partners, and they include companies such as the Comcast NBCUniversal SportsTech Accelerator, IBM Sports, Nike, NBA/WNBA, and AEG Worldwide.

NASCAR Introduces Next-Gen Racecar | Via: The Detroit News

America’s most popular form of motorsport, the NASCAR Cup Series, introduced its NextGen race car Wednesday. The seventh-generation racer is a major evolution that embraces 21st-century technologies to improve handling, reduce costs, increase safety, and eventually transition the series to hybrid power. We like it so much, in fact, that we’re not ashamed to share the image twice!

Serena Williams Invest in NFT Platform | Via: Front Office Sports

NFTs—non-fungible tokens—are making headlines everywhere, including the sports landscape. If you’re unfamiliar with them, an NFT is essentially a unit of data that is stored digitally (kinda like how cryptocurrency works). Ownership is certified to be unique and can represent tangible assets like art, photographs, videos, and other digital assets. One emerging tech platform, Bitski, is attracting a group of sports stars, including Serena Williams. They just closed a $19 million round led by Andreesen Horowitz.

Dodgers Double Size of “Vaccinated” Section in Ballpark | Via: Los Angeles Times

A view of sections 166LG and 168LG at Dodger Stadium, which accommodates vaccinated fans with no social distancing. Photo via Twitter: @ericstephen

The Dodgers doubled the size of their “fully vaccinated fan section” Friday, adding the option for every game of their next homestand. In a test run last Saturday, the Dodgers sold out a 500-seat section on the loge level, overlooking the visiting bullpen, with ticket prices ranging from $121 to $154. The Dodgers have added three sections on the reserve level, down the first base line, with total capacity for the vaccinated section at “more than 1,000,” a team spokesman said. On Friday afternoon, the loge prices ranged from $46 to $50 for midweek games and $60 to $75 for weekend games; the reserve prices ranged from $34 to $44 for midweek games and $40 to $68 for weekend games.

March Madness Betting Handles Surpass Expectations | Via: Seeking Alpha

This year’s March Madness betting handle came in at an estimated $1.56B, higher than most projections. Markets with increased interest included Michigan, Tennessee, Colorado, and Indiana. Nevada was estimated at $360M to lead all states. “Betting on the NCAA Tournament came in on the high end of our projections. Enthusiasm in new markets, particularly in Michigan, Tennessee, and Virginia, but also in Colorado and Indiana, really helped make March Madness a massive success. It also helped that New Jersey and Nevada, the two largest markets in the U.S., met what were lofty expectations,” notes PlayUSA Network analyst Eric Ramsey on the big month.

Sports Card Boom Brings New Reality TV Series | Via: Bloomberg

Photo Via: Bloomberg, Photographer: Erik Pendzich/Shutterstock

Brent Montgomery, the producer behind “Pawn Stars,” and Connor Schell, formerly of ESPN, are teaming up to create show about trading-card impresario Ken Goldin and his company, Goldin Auctions. They’ve met with several streaming services and TV networks about the project. Interest in trading cards has skyrocketed over the past couple of years, fueled by younger people with spare cash treating cards like stocks or bonds. They buy cards of younger players they like in the hopes that the value will increase as that athlete excels. Goldin’s company has emerged as the leading auction house in the industry. It has already sold more than $150 million worth of merchandise this year and is in the early stages of a new auction that Goldin believes will generate an additional $50 million or more.

Pro Sports Team Accepts $DOGE | Via: MLB

Photo Via: One37pm 

The A’s announced on Monday that they would once again offer fans the chance to purchase game tickets at RingCentral Coliseum using cryptocurrency. Fans were offered a two-seat pod in the Plaza Infield for 100 Dogecoin for the May 3-6 series versus the Toronto Blue Jays.

Earlier this year, the A’s made full-season suites available for one Bitcoin, becoming the first MLB team to price a ticket offering in cryptocurrency. Following Monday’s announcement, A’s president Dave Kaval tweeted that the tickets on the offer were snapped up, adding that the club had “just processed (the) first Dogecoin transaction” in MLB history.

Photo of the Month

Anything is Possible!

John Means created a LinkedIn profile several years ago to job hunt, ready to give up baseball. He even tried substitute teaching to help pay rent. This month, he threw a no-hitter for the Orioles.

That’s all for May. We’ll see you at Demo Day.

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