Inside Track

SportsTech Monthly Roundup 17: NFTs, Whiteboards, & the Future of USA Swimming

First off, if you applied to our next SportsTech Accelerator class, thank you! We’re reading through the applications now and are already getting the feels for all the brilliant ideas and hard work we’re seeing.

If you’re interested in how our startups work with partners, we’ve got a very special webinar coming up next week. Click the registration button and call Dibz 😉 on your free ticket. Register Here

Ever had crummy seats and looked longingly at some open ones a few rows down? During our last accelerator program, two people with different vantage points collaborated to make venues more enjoyable. CEO and Founder Brennon D’Souza from Dibz, a startup focused on day-of-event seat upgrades, provides the startup perspective while Sam Ebb from Comcast Spectacor sheds light on what’s important for an organization with a diverse portfolio of teams and a massive venue like the Wells Fargo Center. Join us for this special conversation on how startups and partnerships through Comcast SportsTech can make a difference in the future of sports technology.

Date: Thursday, September 9th at 2PM ET/12 PM MT

Now, onto the stories we’ve been reading that have shaped sports tech this month including a recap of our partner success at the Olympic Games in Tokyo! 

Featured Stories: Partners Share Olympic Spotlight 

Between the USA Cycling and USA Swimming teams competing in Tokyo earlier this month, we had a lot to cheer for our partners.

Olympic Roundup: Lessons in Tech from Tokyo | Via: Inside Track

As one chapter in Tokyo comes to a close, we take a look back at the technology and storylines that moved the needle during the games.

SportsTech Partners at the Olympics | Via: Inside Track 

Who says you can’t have favorites? Here’s a fun recap of the coverage and results from the athletes from the cycling and swimming teams.

SportsTech Partners in the News 

Our partners help fuel everything we do in our accelerator and it’s fun to track how their work impacts sports tech in real life. This month, we learn how Dale Earnhardt Jr. has transitioned from a career on the track to the booth and keep dibs on a documentary film deal which may be the next big film project from Peacock.

🎙 BMX Olympic Interview: Navigate the history, peek into what Olympic training is like and get a glimpse at what lies ahead in #sportstech with Professional BMX Racer Alise Willoughby and USA Cycling Chief Commercial Officer Bouker Pool. Check out the video recap here.

⌛️ How Soon is Too Soon? Hard to believe, but we’re less than six months from the next Olympics. Once the cauldron was extinguished in Tokyo earlier this month, the torch was officially passed north to Beijing, the host of the Winter Olympics. The U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team will be preparing athletes for the games and keeping COVID-19 safety protocols top of mind.

🏁 Driver to Podcaster: Ever since he stepped out of his race suit, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has become a respected and beloved broadcaster, both in the booth for NBC and peeling back the curtain behind the scenes of racing on his popular Dale Junior podcast. If you tune into a race, his conversations with colleagues seem to naturally flow—they’re insightful, introspective, and real. He credits that to teamwork.

🎥 Documenting Magic: Documentary films are big deals these days, part of elaborate content machines designed to bring in viewers and increase engagement. Peacock is eyeing a series of their own by spending $25 million on a film about NBA legend and business icon Magic Johnson.

Sports Tech Stories We’re Reading 

While the Olympics were the highlight of August, there were a number of other stories that kept us thinking about sports tech including how two Fresno State athletes were changing the game of sponsorship deals for collegiate athletes and a minor league team in Savannah was rewriting the baseball playbook.

⛹️‍♀️ TikTok Twins: On July 1, twins Hanna and Haley Cavinder walked up a few stairs, held hands, and—with a synchronized turn—pointed to a digital billboard in New York City’s Times Square that featured their image and an announcement of the first high-profile name, image and likeness (NIL) deal in college basketball. The Fresno State basketball stars boast more than 3 million followers on TikTok and partially what led Boost Mobile to sign them to a major sponsorship deal.

🏟 Prepare the Arena! Now that American stadiums are seeing an influx of fans returning, officials in charge of their safety are evaluating new tools and technology. Crowd monitoring software Armored Things has raised $12 million to expand its computer vision platform into more sports arenas, colleges, and corporate campuses.

💲 Nonfungible Athletes? Exotic and evolving asset classes have been all the rage the last six months. We’ve learned a lot about NFTs, cryptocurrency, and digital offerings. Now, one company is allowing you—the ever-invested sports fan, an opportunity to literally invest your cash into athletes, beginning with legendary soccer star Pelé.

📈 Up, Up and Away: Investment in sports tech—technologies involving data, analytics, fitness, and biotechnology to help athletes play and perform better—has picked up in the last year. This year’s numbers alone likely will not eclipse the record $1.4 billion the industry saw in 2020 but already have surpassed any other previous year, per Crunchbase data.

Alumni Recap

We connect startups to partners. One of these startups, Eon Media, is already making major waves in AI and VOD by helping to validate the value of jersey logos and in-game advertisements, like on-court billboards. Get a clear view of this ROI and a discussion on how startups can accelerate the future of sports tech with Eon Media’s Ashish Agrawal and our own Ryan Bell.

Check out the replay and stay tuned as we will be sharing more of our alumni stories in the coming weeks that illustrate the success they achieved since finishing their cohort.

Come back next month for Startup Showcase Stories from our first cohort. We cannot wait to share what they’re working on and highlight some of the lessons they learned during our program!

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