Jogo Offers Insole Sensors to US Youth Soccer Players - SportTechie

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Jogo Offers Insole Sensors to U.S. Youth Soccer Players

By Joe Lemire

Dutch startup Jogo, which makes an insole sensor for soccer performance metrics, will launch a Kickstarter campaign on July 13 that aims to offer U.S. youth players the chance to pre-order its product.

Jogo sensors are made primarily for player development. They capture more than a dozen metrics ranging from physical performance (distance run, sprint speed, accelerations and more) to technical skills (ball touches, dribbling distance, passes and leg distribution). An artificial intelligence engine provides tips for improvement after games and training sessions.

Founded in April 2020, Jogo has gained traction in the soccer world by attracting multiple Champions League clubs as clients.

The company has also joined the Valencia CF Innovation Hub and partnered with Sweden’s Gothia Cup, which is known as the World Youth Cup for its annual draw of 1,700 soccer teams from 80 countries.

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Portland Trail Blazers Sign NBAs First Crypto Jersey Patch Sponsor

By Andrew Cohen

StormX, a crypto rewards app, will have its logo appear on the Portland Trail Blazers’ game and practice jerseys next season, marking the first time that a cryptocurrency brand will have an NBA jersey patch deal.

The exclusive blockchain partner of the Trail Blazers, StormX has a mobile app that lets users earn crypto cash back for purchases made at more than 800 global retailers that have partnered with StormX. The Trail Blazers also have plans to release its first NFT later this month. 

The sports industry has seen an influx of sponsorship deals with cryptocurrency brands, including crypto exchange FTX having secured deals with MLB and Tom Brady in addition to a $210 million naming rights deal with esports team TSM and a $135 million arena naming rights deal with the Miami Heat. 

Formula 1’s new sponsorship with Crypto.com is worth $100 million over five years, according to CNBC. 

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Social Media App Calaxy Raises $7.5 Million, Reveals Slate of Celebrity Creators
By Dominic Massimino

Calaxy, a new social media app that lets fans communicate directly with stars in sports and entertainment, has raised $7.5 million and announced its initial lineup of creators joining the platform. Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie is a co-founder of Calaxy.

The social media platform allows creators to monetize content and interact with fans through NFTs. Creators can also send video messages to fans, record masterclasses, and set up fan club subscriptions as revenue streams.

The company’s creator roster will include Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, NBA champion Iman Shumpert, Maxim’s Teyana Taylor, and Matt James of The Bachelor. 

Dinwiddie is also an investor in NBA TopShot developer Dapper Labs, and he previously asked fans to invest in his contract through cryptocurrency. Dapper Labs CEO Roham Gharegozlou was also named strategic advisor to Calaxy.

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Ares Management Invests $1B in Sports, Including San Diego Padres and Atlético de Madrid
By Dominic Massimino

Global investment manager Ares Management Corporation has recorded $1 billion in investments across the sports, entertainment and media sector in the last six months. Those investments include teams and leagues across soccer, baseball, hockey, car racing, rugby and MMA. The Professional Fighters League raised $65 million before its 2021 season, in part due to Ares’ investments. 

Ares has invested into Atlético de Madrid, San Diego Padres, Ottawa Senators, McLaren Racing, Rugby Australia, the Professional Fighters League, Rawlings, and Meadowlark Media, the sports media startup founded by former ESPN president John Skipper and Dan Le Batard.  

“In the past, sports franchises, leagues and clubs borrowed through traditional bank facilities, but there is now a growing need for more flexible capital to meet the needs for expansion,” Ares Management partner Jim Miller said in a statement. The firm manages about $227 billion in assets worldwide.

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NCAA Passes Interim NIL Policy for College Athletes

By Andrew Cohen

College athletes can now benefit from their name, image and likeness for the first time after the NCAA adopted an interim NIL policy that goes into effect today.

The temporary policy will remain in place until the federal government passes nationwide NIL legislation or the NCAA adopts a permanent solution. The NCAA says that athletes should report their NIL deals to their schools. Items banned in the NCAA’s interim policy are pay-for-play offers and inducements tied to an athlete choosing to play at a particular school.

“With the variety of state laws adopted across the country, we will continue to work with Congress to develop a solution that will provide clarity on a national level. The current environment—both legal and legislative—prevents us from providing a more permanent solution and the level of detail student-athletes deserve,” NCAA president Mark Emmert said in a statement.

Hanna and Haley Cavinder, who play on Fresno State’s women’s basketball team, are among the first college athletes to sign a paid NIL deal. The twins, who have more than five million combined followers across Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and TikTok, now endorse the mobile network Boost Mobile.

 “Boost keeps us connected so that we can upload and share videos that have a little fun, and hopefully inspire the next generation of women to pursue their basketball dreams,” Hanna Cavinder said in a statement.

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Jordan, Gretzky, Mahomes Among Stars to Invest in Buzzer

By Andrew Cohen

Mobile sports streaming app Buzzer has raised $20 million in Series A funding led by existing investor Sapphire Sport and new investor Canaan Partners. More than 20 current and former athletes also invested in the round, including Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, Patrick Mahomes, Naomi Osaka, and LaMelo Ball. Several owners of sports teams also invested in the round. 

Buzzer, which lets users pay as little as $0.99 to watch parts of live sporting events, already has rights deals with the NBA, NHL, and PGA Tour.

“With the proliferation of new distribution platforms, fans are finding it harder to know when and where live sports are happening. We envision Buzzer becoming the discovery and curation tool that brings Gen Z fans back to live sports with simple access to ephemeral moments,” Buzzer CEO Bo Han said in a statement.

Buzzer’s app, now in early access mode, will officially launch later this year.

Team owners who invested in the Series A round include David Blitzer (New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia 76ers), GSW Sports Ventures (an affiliate of the Golden State Warriors), Stephen Pagliuca (Boston Celtics), Lerner Enterprises (Washington Nationals), WISE Ventures (Minnesota Vikings), and Jeffrey Vinik (Tampa Bay Lightning).

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DAZN’s Four-Year Women’s Champions League Deal Includes Matches Streamed Free on YouTube

By Joe Lemire

YouTube and sports streaming service DAZN will broadcast every UEFA Women’s Champions League match globally for free over the next two seasons. In the two subsequent seasons of competition, 2023-24 and 2024-25, all 61 matches will be carried by DAZN, with 19 of them to also stream for free on YouTube.

DAZN has exclusive rights everywhere except China and the Middle East and North Africa region, although it will have rights to highlights in MENA. The free matches will be available on DAZN’s YouTube channel. All matches will be carried in the DAZN app for subscribers as well.

“Such visibility changes everything, as the best female players and best women’s teams in the world can inspire more young girls and boys to fall in love with this sport,” UEFA’s chief of women’s soccer, Nadine Kessler, said in a statement. 

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Phoenix Mercury Sign 15-Year Betting Access Deal With Bally’s in First for Women’s Sports

By Andrew Cohen

Casino operator Bally’s has become the exclusive sports betting sponsor of the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury. The deal is for 15 years and gives Bally’s market access to offer sports betting in Arizona, marking the first gaming access deal signed by a professional women’s sports team in the U.S.

Bally’s plans to launch a mobile and online sports betting platform in Arizona; it also plans to open a retail sportsbook in the vicinity of Phoenix Suns Arena—which is home to the Mercury and the NBA’s Suns. A FanDuel sportsbook is already being built inside that arena as part of a Suns’ partnership that was announced in April. 

Arizona is the 15th state to grant market access to Bally’s, which spent the past year acquiring assets such as daily fantasy site Monkey Knife Fight, betting software provider Bet.Works, and free-to-play game provider SportCaller. The WNBA’s authorized gaming operators include FanDuel, BetMGM, and PointsBet. 

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Oura Health Rings to Monitor U.S. Olympic Surfers

By Joe Lemire

Oura Health is providing USA Surfing’s Olympic team with health and fitness monitoring rings as part of a new partnership. Oura started collaborating with the World Surf League in April.

Oura rings collect a wide range of biometric data, including sleep and activity, and provide Readiness, Activity, and Sleep metrics to help users understand their recovery. Last year, Oura partnered with the NBA, the WNBA, NASCAR, UFC and more.

Current world No. 1 surfer Carissa Moore—who, along with Caroline Marks, will represent Team USA during surfing’s Olympic debut at the Tokyo Games—also became an Oura brand ambassador as part of the announcement.  

“With my Oura Ring I’ve been able to train more thoughtfully and focus on recovery,” Moore said in a statement. “Based on my sleep data, I feel energized and prepared to take on this exciting moment with confidence, knowing that I’ve trained and recovered well.”

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NBA Sponsorships Set Revenue Record According to Study
By Dominic Massimino

Sponsorship consulting firm IEG estimates that the NBA and its 30 teams generated sponsorship revenue of $1.46 billion for the 2020-21 season, the most earned by the league in a single season. The number is close to last year’s $1.62 billion sponsorship revenue for the NFL, which regularly leads pro sports leagues in revenue from sponsors.

Technology sponsorships led the NBA last season with $115 million in new spending, highlighted by the league’s deal with Microsoft announced in April 2020. Lottery and gaming brands also brought in $50 million of new sponsorship money to the league. 

Jersey patches on NBA uniforms brought some teams more than $15 million per year, with 27 of the league’s 30 teams now sporting the patches with sponsors such as Honey and Motorola. 

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Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium to Host Fantasy Football Drafts

By Andrew Cohen

Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home of the Atlanta Falcons, will host a fantasy football draft night on Sept. 8 in partnership with PrizePicks, an Atlanta-based fantasy sports operator. The event will take place inside the stadium’s Delta Sky360 Club. 

To be among the 500 attendees selected to attend the event, fans must apply online and answer why they think their fantasy football league is worthy of holding its draft at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Falcons legends and cheerleaders will attend the fantasy draft night. 

The new deal marks the first fantasy sports partnership for the Falcons, while PrizePicks already has an existing sponsorship with MLB’s Atlanta Braves. PrizePicks will also become the presenting sponsor of a weekly Instagram series hosted by the Falcons that polls fans to make predictions leading up to games. 

“We believe this partnership can not only benefit our respective fans and customers but also help cement a new major B2C brand from the city of Atlanta, something which would reinforce its reputation as a technology hot spot,” PrizePicks CEO Adam Wexler said in a statement.


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