Inside Track

SportsTech Monthly Roundup 18: US Ski & Snowboard, Building Race Tracks, Ryder Cup & More

To be blunt, we’re already tired of everything being pumpkin spiced.

But, we’ll never tire from the changing of the seasons, the arrival of sweater weather, and all the great sports that come with it including hockey, hoops, and football on the frozen tundra.

Don’t get us wrong, we love sports every season, but this fall feels a bit different as fans pour back into stadiums around the world. And as some of our favorite sports go into the offseason, we get to follow how they’ll be leveraging tech to get ready for their return.

A note on the applications to our next accelerator: We continue to read through materials and are on the path to making tough decisions about who will be joining us next. Stay tuned!

 

Introducing Startup Showcase

This month we’re super excited to welcome back our first cohort of alums in our new content series, the Startup Showcase. For the next month, we’ll be checking in with the teams and hear some great stories about what they’ve done and what they’re working on next. As an added bonus, the teams will be doing social media takeovers and sharing personal stories on our social media channels. You won’t want to miss reading these!

On deck first—Dibz. It’s been a few months since Dibz graduated from our accelerator program, and already they’ve had some significant traction with product evolution, from professional sports teams to collegiate teams. In addition, they’ve also signed some interesting partnerships with leaders in the ticketing industry—significant updates from a small and growing company of their size. Check out his story on Inside Track.

SportsTech Partners in the News 

⛳️  Ryder Cup Ushers in Wave of Technological Advances | Via: Wall Street Journal 

When the PGA of Americas puts on a major golf championship, a small city is assembled to support the athletes and crowds who come from all over the world. At the bucolic lakeshore setting in Wisconsin, the Whistling Straits showed off an entire tech foundation for an event that hasn’t been played in three years.

⛷  New President and CEO for U.S. Ski & Snowboard | Via: US Ski & Snowboard

We are excited to help welcome Sophie Goldschmidt as the organization’s next President and CEO! She will officially begin on October 18th, taking over from current President and CEO Tiger Shaw.

🏟  Building a Race Track Inside a Stadium | Via: Road & Track 

NASCAR has been wanting to dream up imaginative and groundbreaking ways to bring the sport to new fans. If all goes according to plan, they’ll construct a temporary track inside—yes, inside of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in early 2022.

👋  Introducing New Partner Tech Platform | Via: NASCAR 

The sport of stock car racing has a long and storied history with technology, one that has helped position NASCAR as a leader among sports leagues in the pursuit of leading-edge innovation. Recently, NASCAR took a major step to pass that tech-forward ethos to companies around the globe through a new initiative called the NASCAR Technology Partner Platform, with 30 technology companies slated to attend the platform’s inaugural event at Daytona International Speedway during Coke Zero Sugar 400 race weekend.

Sports Tech Stories We’re Reading 

🎮  Mixed-Reality Sports Companies Build the Future | Via: Digiday 

The rise of competitive gaming has shown the entertainment value of contests that aren’t limited by technology or physics. When stick-and-ball sports fully return, players and spectators who transitioned to esports during the COVID-19 pandemic might find that traditional sports simply aren’t as dynamic as they once seemed, creating an opening that could be filled by mixed-reality competitions.

🧠  A Necklace Could Prevent Brain Injuries in Athletes | Via: FastCompany

Twelve years ago, Dr. Julian Bailes began experimenting with another approach to protecting the brain during sports—first on mice, then on people. After being approached by inventor Dr. David Smith, he wondered if instead of wrapping the skull in more protection, you could boost the brain’s protection from the inside. What was developed, from an estimated $35 million in private funding raised by the company Q30, is a necklace that does just that.

⛳️  Golf’s Popularity SURGED this Year | Via: Golf Digest

During the pandemic, thousands and thousands flocked to the relative comfort and safety of the golf course as a way to stay active and get outside. This last year was one of the most popular since the turn of the century for the sport as new and returning players took lessons, played rounds, and bought merchandise.

💵  College Athletes Cash In | Via: LinkedIn 

After a landmark ruling on July 1, the gates have been opened for collegiate athletes to profit off their name, image, and likeness (NIL). This is creating a surge in entirely new startups to facilitate partnership deals worth more than a million dollars. Be sure to check out the LinkedIn thread for more stories and conversations about this emerging vertical of interest!

Alumni Recap

As we mentioned earlier in the newsletter, we’re really stoked to debut our Startup Showcase Series, where we’ll get to hear first-hand from some of the coolest sports tech founders as they take over our Instagram and Facebook.

⚾️ Pitch and Predict Makes MLB Debut | Via: NBC Sports California

Possibly one of the coolest things we’ve seen. From our accelerator to the MLB in a matter of weeks, nVenue’s predictive analytics made an appearance during the Oakland Athletics game against the Chicago White Sox in early September.

🎟 Dibz Talks Ticketing Industry | Via: Comcast SportsTech YouTube

We’d be remiss to not include this awesome conversation with Dibz founder Brennon D’Souza with our SportsTech team about the future of sports and entertainment ticketing. You can watch it below by clicking the video.

Come back next month for another Startup Showcase story 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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