Inside Track

SportsTech Monthly Roundup 24: How Sports Rewrote the Playbook

It’s fair to say that sports is roaring back to life with a completely new playbook.

Athletes and teams around the globe have been forced to pivot in countless ways due to the global pandemic. This great change brought incredible innovation that has helped bring positive momentum to players and teams. A few of the big themes we noticed include:

  • Innovation has changed investments.
  • Athlete’s physical and mental well-being has been top-of-mind, and one of the year’s biggest stories.
  • The metaverse is helping craft an entirely new future for games and sports, along with the emergence of NFTs in sports trading and betting.

To read these insights and more, we invite you to download and read our SportsTech Landscape Report 2022.

🤝 Alum & Partners in the News 🤝

👏 nVenue Scores a Big Raise | Via: SportTechie

Congratulations are in order to our alum, nVenue for raising $3.5 million. As in-game predictive analytics reaches new heights, nVenue has attracted significant attention. Their seed round will be co-led by KB Partners and Corazon Capital.  

🌎 Comcast Celebrates Women Around the World | Via: LinkedIn

Early in March, we celebrated International Women’s Day and invite female founders creating the next generation of connected living, immersive tech, and smart, sustainable enterprises to apply for the Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs Accelerator. If you know someone interested in applying, send them this link.

🚀 Changing the Ratio | Via: Comcast Newsmakers

Recently, our own Jenna Kurath partnered with Marilou McFarlane of Women in Sports Tech to talk about how women are breaking into the $25 billion sports industry.

👋 Meet NASCAR’s Terrin Waack | Via: NASCAR 

Terrin Waack has been working for NASCAR since 2019 and is the first woman in NASCAR history to ever win NMPA Writer of the Year. “I love supporting females in the industry,” Waack told NASCAR.com. “Don’t get me wrong, you need to earn it. But, I think when you earn it and when you’re doing well, you deserve the support and recognition. So, to get that support and recognition as not only a female, but as a writer, meant so much to me. It was a huge shock.”

📚 Sports Tech Stories We’re Reading 📚

🏀 Sweet NCAA Run Earns Players NIL Deals | Via: Sports Illustrated

Saint Peter’s defied the odds by earning a trip to the fabled Elite Eight in the NCAA tournament, and one of their star players, guard Doug Edert, earned an NIL deal with sports restaurant chain, Buffalo Wild Wings. In addition, Edert is launching an apparel line with Barstool Sports that features how now-famous mustache along with some of his rising social hashtags.

🏟 Lionel Messi Signs $20M Deal to Promote Digital Fan Tokens | Via: Reuters

Are digital fan tokens the future of fan and player engagement in sports? Well, Messi sure thinks so. He recently joined major sports stars like LeBron James and Tom Brady to join the world of crypto with a major deal with Socios who have signed deals, including creating tokens, for more than 130 sports organizations including a number of top football clubs such as PSG, Barca, Juventus and Manchester City. Fan tokens are a type of cryptocurrency that allows holders to vote on mostly minor decisions related to their clubs.

⚾️ Female Leaders Discuss MLB Careers | Via: MLB 

Marlins GM Kim Ng and Rachel Balkovec, manager at Single-A Tampa have made headlines over the last year for landing roles traditionally dominated by men. Now, they are using their advice and stories to help continue to change the game. Recently, they discussed these stories and celebrated the sports technological advancements on a Zoom panel about the future of baseball.

🎙 Crypto, NFTs and the Future of Sports | Via: Coindesk 

How exactly will cryptocurrency and NFTs impact professional sports? In this interesting discussion, WNBA player Imani McGee-Stafford, Falcons linebacker Foye Oluokon, and retired WNBA hooper and co-owner of the Atlanta Dream Renee Montgomery talked about embracing new technology.

🏈 NFL to Launch VR Game | Via: CNET

Is the NFL making metaverse moves? It appears so. Recently, the NFL signed a deal to work with sports technology company StatusPRO to create a new annualized virtual reality game to Meta’s Quest headset and Sony’s PlayStation VR. The new game will provide a first-person experience, allowing fans to play the game through the eyes of characters on the virtual field.

Next month, we’ll continue to share stories from the world of sports tech as well as some special updates from our startups, partners, and teams that joined together in Texas for an immersive programming experience and an inside look at our partner organizations.

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