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Inside Track

SportsTech Monthly Roundup 29: Alum Tracks Historic Home Run Race

If you were tracking the exciting updates as New York Yankee slugger Aaron Judge sought to chase history, chances are you saw one of our alumni along the way. nVenue helped calculate the odds during a Friday night baseball game as Judge looked to tie or overtake Roger Maris’s American League home run record. It was thrilling to see their work being broadcast in the midst of such a captivating moment.

We’ve also got an update for our upcoming 2023 program: We’ve narrowed selections down to the top 50, and are in the process of selecting the top 10. Stay tuned, and we’ll keep you posted for the big reveal soon!

🤝 Alums in the News 🤝

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nVenue Steps into Batter Box During Historic Home Run Race | Via: Inside Track 

nVenue played a central role in calculating the odds of Aaron Judge hitting a homer to tie Roger Maris’s American League record with its live, in-game predictive analytics and micro-betting platform. “Powering the first-ever predictions live on screen for these baseball broadcasts has been a dream come true,” said Kelly Pracht, nVenue’s co-founder and CEO. “Our numbers have updated flawlessly in real-time for every at bat, generating tons of conversation, increasing fan engagement, and showcasing the power of data.”

Audazzio Announces Partnership with The Sports Playmaker | Via: Clyne Media

Audazzio has retained the services of The Sports Playmaker, a London-based global sales, consultancy, and investment agency that helps innovative technology companies successfully expand into the sports industry. The announcement further underscores the company’s ongoing strategic business plan as it continues the 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.

Eon Media Partners | Via: Capitol Broadcasting

Capitol Broadcasting and Raleigh-based WRAL have tapped Eon Media to help bring a new vision to 50-plus years of archival content – an industry first. Now, more than half a million hours of content can be licensed and turned into digital content such as NFTs memorabilia.

SportsTech Alums Highlight Future of Sports Lab Demo Day | Via: Sport Techie 

BookSeats.com, Dibz, and tiptapSPORTS were three of eight startups that took part in The Future of Sports Lab Demo Day and pitched to more than 75 of Canada’s sports tech leaders in late September.

🤝 Partners in the News 🤝

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Animation During NASCAR Race Shows how Race Cars Tick | Via: Sports Business Journal

NBC Sports used a video-game-like package to show off the technology in NASCAR’s seventh-generation car in stunning detail during a recent race. Graphics company Black Helicopter Creative used a computer-aided design of Toyota’s NASCAR race car on Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 3D computer graphics software to create the animations. The idea resonated with fans right away when, during the Ally 400 at Nashville Superspeedway on June 26, NBC explained why so many teams were dealing with loose wheels on their cars this year.

NASCAR Launches VR Experience | Via: NASCAR 

Racing fans with a Meta Quest 2 can now experience a VOD 45-minute VR version of NASCAR Cup races in Meta Horizon Worlds. They partnered with YBVR to create immersive race tracks captured with six 180-degree cameras. “NASCAR’s first foray into Meta Horizon Worlds offers fans an incredible new way to engage with the sport, whether they’ve attended races for years or are entirely new to NASCAR,” said Tim Clark, SVP and Chief Digital Officer at NASCAR. “It also marks an exciting evolution in our longstanding partnership with Meta as we continue building the fan experience of the future.”

NBC Sports and BetMGM Partner on Betting Integration for NFL Season | Via: NBC Sports Press Box

Betting content is hot, and NBC Sports will partner up with BetMGM for Football Night in America with a weekly segment hosted by former NFL QB, Chris Simms alongside fantasy expert and pioneer, Matthew Berry talking about storylines and betting odds for Sunday Night Football on NBC and Peacock.

PGA TOUR Partners with Autograph | Via: PGA TOUR

The PGA TOUR will work with Autograph to create a digital collectibles platform that pulls from TOUR competition video, data, imagery, and other competition-related components. Golf fans will have the opportunity to own and collect NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) featuring the best PGA TOUR golfers in the world as well as some of their favorite moments from the archives and the current FedExCup Season. Additionally, collectors will have a chance to earn rewards with a wide range of utility, including access to exclusive digital, in-person and onsite experiences, along with other program benefits.

📰 Sports Tech Stories We’re Reading 📰

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How Greater Equality in Sports Tech can Deliver Revolution in Women’s Sports | Via: Sports Pro Media

Women’s sports have never been as popular, as commercially successful, or played to as high a standard as it is right now. Strong recent support from governing bodies and investments in coaching and performance programs have been matched by growing interest from brands and broadcasters, delivering record-breaking sponsorship and media deals that will accelerate the upward trajectory of female competitions. Deloitte forecasts suggest the women’s sports industry will generate more than US$1 billion in revenue in the years ahead, while other studies claim women’s sports are a better long-term bet than their male equivalents. It is believed that the sector offers greater scope for innovation, a less congested calendar and investment environment, and significant room for growth.

NBA Star Buys Stake in Pickleball Team | Via: SI

Is there a sport that is rising faster than Pickleball? A few weeks ago, we featured the sport in an article about its ascent, and now a handful of stars are investing in the sport. LeBron James, Draymond Green, and Kevin Love all purchased a Major League Pickleball team with a consortium of SC Holdings and Maverick Carter. The soon-to-be-named team will feature in the MLP’s 16-team league.

Micro-betting Offers Huge Potential and Tech Challenges to Solve | Via: Sportico 

With the proliferation of sports betting across America, fans are now enjoying micro-betting. This type of betting is comprised of the in-game action that is not dependent on the final score–things like who will score the next touchdown or what will happen on the next play. J.P. Morgan estimates there will be more than $9 billion per year spent on U.S. sports betting by 2025, with almost $7 billion of that on in-play betting and micro-bets. Micro-betting will usher in a new era of sports betting and have a profound impact on the sports ecosystem more broadly.

Amazon TNF Brings in Record | Via: CNBC

NFL football is a big deal. After the debut of Thursday Night Football on Amazon, Prime Video’s global head of sports, Jay Marine, sent a memo noting that the broadcast drew a record number of Amazon Prime subscriptions in a three-hour period and the game was “the most watched night of primetime in the U.S. in the history of Prime Video.” More importantly, the broadcasts are reaching younger audiences. The median age of TNF viewers is 46, compared to 52 for average games on linear TV.

High School Athletic Participation Down Except for Golf and Volleyball | Via: Axios

In high school athletics, participation is down with the exception of boys golf and girls volleyball. The socially-distant game of golf was the first sport to return for many athletes, and the momentum has carried over to this year. Volleyball continues to enjoy a big spike in viewership and is buoyed by the success of the Athletes Unlimited league. Here are the numbers:

  • Boys golf moved up one spot to No. 8, with nearly 4% more participants (148,858) than it had three years ago (143,200).
  • Girls volleyball stayed at No. 2, but its 0.3% increase from 452,808 to 454,153 nearly vaulted it above outdoor track & field (456,697).
  • Overall athletic participation has dropped 4%, but that number seems palatable given the enormous disruptions caused by the pandemic.

📸 Photo of the Month 📸

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The past embraces the present: Roger Maris Jr. and Aaron Judge’s mom, Patty, embrace after the Yankees superstar hits home run No. 61 to tie Roger Maris’ record.

It’s been rewarding watching as our alums have been a small part of history, and we cannot wait to let you know the next batch of startups who will be joining us in 2023!

 

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