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Inside Track

SportsTech Monthly Roundup 25: Save the Date for Demo Day 2022

A point of pride in our program is that we surround our startup founders with a dream team of sports industry advisors and experts who are passionately dedicated to helping them succeed.

After an incredible 12 weeks of building, prototyping, testing, and launching — it’s now time for you to meet this incredible class of startups, hear the stories of what they’ve accomplished over the past 12 weeks, and see what the future holds for them. This is a show you won’t want to miss!

🗓 Save the Date for Demo Day 2022
Thursday, May 26, 2022
12-1 p.m. ET

🎟 Get My Ticket 🎟

🤝 Alum & Partners in the News 🤝

🏁 Comcast SportsTech Startups Go to the Races | Via: LinkedIn 

It was a week to remember earlier in April for the 10 teams in our current cohort.
We took the startup founders on a tour of three major events with our partners NASCAR for COTA in Austin, PGA TOUR for the Valero Open in San Antonio, and WWE for Wrestlemania in Dallas. The experience of a lifetime for our founders to get a firsthand, behind-the-scenes look into some of the biggest sports entities in the world.

👏 Evaluating Sports Betting by Fan Engagement | Via: LinkedIn

Who is participating in sports betting? Last week at SportTechie‘s State of the Industry SportsTech, alumna nVenue CEO and Co-founder Kelly Pracht raised a valid point that we must not look at traditional demographics, such as gender or age, but rather, examine betting by fan engagement level.

⚾️ Odds are Good for Apple TV’s MLB Streams Thanks to nVenue’s Predictive Algorithms | Via: Sport Techie

When Apple TV+ streamed the first two games of its new MLB broadcast package last Friday night, the social media feedback revolved around the rich visual presentation, the meandering broadcast commentary, and the inclusion of odds probabilities in the screen’s lower-right-hand corner. Those probabilities, which primarily projected the odds of a batter reaching base, are the product of algorithms built by nVenue.

💰 Sports Tech Alum, Audazzio, Announces $1.4M Raise | Via: Clyne Media  

Audazzio, alumni from our fist SportsTech Accelerator program, announced the close of a $1.4 million second round of funding by many of its existing shareholders. The financing will enable Audazzio to continue the ongoing rollout of its proprietary “Live QR™” technology, which leverages ultrasonic, data-encoded sound waves to instantly create valuable second-screen opportunities on viewer phones and tablets.

👏 Comcast Announces $1M Investment in Backstage Capital | Via: Comcast 

Comcast Corporation today announced a $1 million investment in Backstage Capital to support underrepresented founders at the earliest stages. Driven by Comcast NBCUniversal’s Startup Engagement team, this financial commitment will go toward Backstage Capital’s Opportunity Fund, which exclusively funds and champions early-stage startups led by women, people of color, and/or LGBTQ+ founders.

🎮 NASCAR Partners with Racing and Gaming Seat Innovator | Via: NASCAR

NASCAR is continuing to deliver on its commitment to introduce the best racing in the world to fans around the globe through multi-year cooperation with racing and gaming seat company Playseat. Their technology-driven innovation will create more opportunities for fans to experience NASCAR in ways not possible before.

⛳️ Imagining Golf Innovation at the Masters | Via: Golf Digest 

It is a fun thought experiment, although not the easiest. Augusta National embraces change and imagination but never at the expense of the tournament’s spirit and soul. The Masters is also one of the few entities that does not kneel to commercialism; on the contrary, it goes out of its way to cultivate an experience free of the opportunism seen at other sporting events.

📚 Sports Tech Stories We’re Reading 📚

How A New Sound is Shaping Sports Tech | Via: Sports Video Group

There are a number of college sports venues that are known for remarkable and spectacular displays of sound and fandom. The Wisconsin Badgers “Jump Around” at the start of the fourth quarter is definitely one that comes to mind, as seemingly the entire stadium jumps, causing the foundations of Camp Randall to shake. Today, collegiate stadiums are on the cutting-edge for new tech as video has been increasingly augmenting sound-system components.

Marshawn Lynch Becomes New Minority Owner of Krakken | Via: Bleacher Report 

Beast Mode is no stranger to making interesting moves beyond the gridiron. The former NFL running back founded his eponymous apparel line in 2014, created a marijuana company, and owns a team in the Fan Controlled Football League. Now, he has joined the ranks of ownership in the NHL with the Seattle Kraken, which is wrapping up their first season in the league with a playoff berth.

Apple Courting NFL for Sunday Ticket | Via: Front Office Sports 

The tech giant is reportedly close to securing a deal for “NFL Sunday Ticket.” The deal for the out-of-market broadcast package is on the cusp of completion, according to Puck, with one source saying it’s done already. The deal could net the NFL upwards of $2.5 billion a year.

Rachel Balkovec Not Done Breaking Glass Ceilings | Via: NPR 

Balkovec, 34, has broken glass ceiling after glass ceiling. She was the first woman to be a full-time minor league strength and conditioning coach, and later, she became the first woman to serve as a full-time hitting coach in the minor leagues. When the New York Yankees-affiliated Tarpons matched up against the Lakeland Flying Tigers — which are affiliated with the Detroit Tigers — crowds cheered her name. Balkovec’s Tarpons defeated the Flying Tigers 9-6.

Alyssa Nakken Makes MLB History | Via: New York Times

It was an unusual scene at Oracle Park in San Francisco on an early April Tuesday. The Giants’ first-base coach was ejected in the third inning, and after his replacement took the field, Eric Hosmer, the first baseman for the San Diego Padres, came over to shake her hand. Hosmer clearly understood the significance of the moment: Alyssa Nakken had become the first woman to coach on the field in a Major League Baseball game. Nakken, 31, is no stranger to firsts. An assistant coach on Manager Gabe Kapler’s staff since 2020, she was already the first woman to have a full-time coaching role in the majors.

📸 Photo of the Month 📸

A Little Dab Will do Ya! | Via: SportsCenter Twitter

This is what the game is all about, right? After hitting an “and-one” Devin Booker fell to the floor and locked knuckles with a young fan, who will have one memorable photo opportunity with an NBA All-Star for the rest of his life.

Next month, we’ll have plenty of coverage from our Demo Day as well as more stories from the dynamic and ever-changing world of sports tech.

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