Penn State University has become the largest Division I athletics program to begin using Whoop Unite, the performance company’s new enterprise solution. A Whoop 4.0 band will be made available to every Nittany Lions athlete as part of a department focus on student health and wellness.
Whoop Unite aggregates anonymized data to create organizational analytics and help inform decision-making atop the department. Each student-athlete can also opt in to sharing their data into a team dashboard so that his or her sport’s performance coach can provide individual support and recommendations.
Several Penn State teams have already been users for years, but this is the first department-wide initiative. The multi-year partnership with Whoop is intended to run in conjunction with an overall health and wellness program, particularly in light of a recent NCAA Student-Athlete Wellness Study indicating that mental health continues to be a concern among college athletes since the start of the pandemic.
The University of Miami football program was among the early adopters of Whoop Unite, with its players recording significant improvements in sleep quality, heart rate variability and illness reduction.
Youth coaching app Mojo has teamed up with Major League Soccer as the Trusted Grassroots Coaching and Education Partner of MLS. This follows similar collaborations with other North American pro sports leagues—MLB, Jr. NBA and NFL Flag—as well as other alliances with FC Barcelona and US Youth Soccer.
Mojo offers coaches—and especially volunteer parent coaches who need additional support—with assistance in devising practice plans. It has also recorded a wide library of video instruction, produced by Mandalay Sports Media. The MLS-centric videos were recorded at LAFC’s home field, Banc of California Stadium.
As part of the partnership, MLS is providing 1,000 premium subscriptions to soccer teams in underserved communities. MLS-affiliated youth clubs will receive free enhanced access to Mojo’s organizational tools.
Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli, the Italian entrant in the America’s Cup, has selected Altair to provide simulation technology, engineering consulting and other services to improve performance of its sailing yacht.
Altair also assisted Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli for the previous America’s Cup, which concluded in March 2021 with the Italian boat finishing as runner-up to New Zealand. The next competition, the 37th edition of the series, will wrap up in Barcelona beginning in September 2024.
Troy, Mich.-based Altair specializes in computational science and artificial intelligence and will assist in the optimization of the boat’s carbon fiber components and analysis of the fluid-structure interactions (FSI). Among its entries into sports, Altair previously collaborated with Ping, Intel and Dell to innovate better performing golf clubs.
The Miami Dolphins and consumer electrics rental company Grover announced a new partnership that will let ticketed fans access Grover’s products at Hard Rock Stadium during Dolphins home games this upcoming NFL season. Team staff and attending fans will be able to interact with the devices available throughout the stadium’s West Field Club area.
Products listed on Grover include the Sony PlayStation 5, Meta’s Oculus Quest 2 virtual reality headset, Apple’s iPhone 12 Pro Max, as well an array of computer accessories, speakers, headphones, TVs and smartwatches from Apple and Samsung. Consumers can pay a monthly fee to rent products on Grover for one month or month-to-month before returning them. Once returned, Grover’s quality control team assesses the product’s shape before listing it again for another user to rent.
More than 600,000 devices have been used by consumers on Grover, which opened headquarters in Miami in February. Grover’s deal also gives them rights to name a menu item at Hard Rock Stadium and host a Field Box for the duration of the season. The company will also host activations during an upcoming event at Hard Rock Stadium in which high school football teams from South Florida schools will be invited to attend the Dolphins’ preseason home game on Aug. 27.
Student athletes on BYU’s sports teams will receive a sales cut of NFTs purchased through the university’s new online NIL marketplace launched with Web3 developer Ocavu. Fans can access CougsRise.com to buy NFTs that use the name, image and likeness of BYU athletes and can be redeemed for real-life experiences such as running out of the tunnel on gameday with the Cougars’ football team or practicing with the golf team.
BYU marks the first university athletic department to partner with Ocavu, which operates the Polygon blockchain-based Ocavu Network Token. Fans can buy BYU’s NFTs with their credit cards and each purchase will lead to an increase of their Cougar Score. The higher Cougar Score a fan achieves will unlock tiers of in-person benefits for them to interact with BYU student athletes and staff.
CougsRise will be owned and operated by Ocavu, who will distribute shares of revenue from NFTs with BYU’s athletic department and student athletes through its licensing agreement with the university. If the NFT is attached to a specific player, Ocavu will share sales with that individual athlete, whereas NFTs related to a specific BYU team will see sales split with that team. The partnership includes plans for Ocavu to digitally display artifacts from BYU athletics’ history in 3D and augmented reality.
German soccer powerhouse Bayern Munich has signed a five-year extension of its jersey sponsorship with telecommunications firm Deutsche Telekom through 2027. Telekom, the parent company of mobile communications brand T-Mobile, has partnered with the Bundesliga club since 2002 and previously collaborated to launch FC Bayern.tv live, the team’s 24-hour streaming channel.
The streaming channel will show new club content exclusively for Telekom subscribers as part of the extended deal, which will pay Bayern Munich about $50 million per year according to German newspaper Bild, representing a $5 million per year annual increase from their existing deal. Bayern Munich’s 70,000-seat Allianz Arena is already outfitted with Telekom’s 5G connectivity and the continued collaboration will see development of new 5G-enabled experiences for fans.
Telekom previously collaborated with Bayern Munich to launch the StadiumVision app for in-venue fans at Allianz Arena. Deutsche Telekom is Europe’s largest telecommunication provider by revenue. Its subsidiaries include the MagentaTV and MagentaSport German streaming channels as well as U.S. telecommunications brand T-Mobile.
BreakAway Data has partnered with Athletes Unlimited to make its athlete data platform available to all participants in basketball, lacrosse, softball and volleyball for performance improvement and also data licensing opportunities.
The mobile app from BreakAway Data will collect and contextualize information from several inputs, including stats and performance metrics from game competition as well as from training and wearables. BreakAway, which struck a similar deal with the XFL in June, is an early mover in helping athletes commercialize their data, too.
Athletes Unlimited has created innovative player-first professional sports leagues that includes profit-sharing and a points-based system for player rankings and bonus allocation. AU has also created an Innovation Lab and an Innovation Collective of startups to further advance the training and careers of its athletes.
“Having access to performance data empowers athletes to know everything about themselves,” BreakAway Data CEO David Anderson said in a statement. “Data is more than just a bunch of numbers on a spreadsheet. It’s a reflection of who you are, what you’ve done, and how you’re developing. Owning your data is owning your performance.”
Fantasy sports app ASX Sports has announced a blockchain partnership with Aventus Network that will enable ASX to track transaction activity and add new NFT collectibles to its fantasy sports platform. Aventus Network’s blockchain is connected to Ethereum and will enhance ASX’s anti-money laundering efforts on its fantasy sports product.
Miami-based ASX Sports was founded by Paddy Power, whose father David Power is a co-founder of the Paddy Power betting exchange that David named after his son and later merged to become Flutter Entertainment, the Irish gambling giant that owns FanDuel, Sky Bet and Fox Bet. Last year, ASX signed a long-term deal with Sky New Zealand’s global streaming service, RugbyPass, to bring NFT-enabled fantasy gaming to rugby fans.
ASX brands itself as “stocks for sports.” Its app lets users partake in live in-game trading of players and teams for their fantasy contests. “Currently, blockchain is rolling out much like the internet, where siloed pockets of value need to be connected together to allow an explosion of value through the network effect. This partnership will allow ASX Sports to leverage all the benefits of Aventus Network’s interoperability, while maintaining full control of its users and access points – the best of both worlds,” Aventus founder Alan Vey said in a statement.
Peloton is laying off close to 780 employees in an overhaul that will mostly affect the company’s delivery workforce.
In an internal staff memo sent Friday, CEO Barry McCarthy wrote that the company is also shutting down a substantial amount of its 86 retail stores beginning in 2023 and raising the prices immediately on its at-home fitness products to ensure better profitability. After slashing prices earlier this year, Peloton’s Bike+ will increase by $500, to $2,495 and Peloton’s Tread will increase by $800, to $3,495. The prices of Bike v1 and the AI-enabled strength training Peloton Guide will remain the same.
By also closing its remaining warehouses, Peloton will be shifting its “final mile delivery” to third-party providers, leading to the current layoffs. McCarthy estimated that alone will reduce “per-product delivery costs by up to 50%”
That decision is a marked turnabout from 15 months ago when Peloton, under founder and former CEO John Foley, announced it would spend $400 million to build its first manufacturing plant in the U.S. Construction of the 200-acre complex was scheduled to begin in 2023, designed to produce Peloton’s cycles and treadmill machines and contain office space and a fitness center for employees. At the time, Peloton expected to add over 2,000 jobs in northern Ohio and capitalize on renewable energy sources to power the factory. Those plans have undoubtedly changed under McCarthy.
Peloton is considered a leader in connected fitness and had recently branched off to wearable technology. As of the end of this March, Peloton’s losses had risen to $757.1 million compared to $8.6 million the year before, while revenue dipped to $964.3 million from $1.26 billion. Tonal, an at-home AI-powered strength training machine and competitor to Peloton, cut 35% of its workforce last month.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have added Evolv’s AI-powered security screening system to its Acrisure Stadium, becoming the fifth NFL stadium installed with Evolv. Fans walk though Evolv’s weapons detection system at entry gates and are not asked to remove any items from clear bags or their pockets due to its computer vision recognition and sensor technology, significantly reducing long lines to enter a venue.
Evolv debuted at Acrisure Stadium for Saturday’s pre-season game against the Seattle Seahawks. The four other NFL teams confirmed to have Evolv at their home stadiums are the Atlanta Falcons, New England Patriots, Cleveland Browns and Tennessee Titans. The security system has also been deployed at MLB parks such as Wrigley Field and Citi Field, as well as the Columbus Crew’s Lower.com Field in MLS.
Peyton Manning and Bill Gates are among those to invest in Evolv Technology, which is publicly listed on the Nasdaq and made more than $9 million in revenue in Q2 of 2022 but ended the period with a net loss of $25.7M. That revenue figure marked a 94% increase over the same quarter in 2021. Massachusetts-headquartered Evolv also operates its security screening system at New York City venues such as Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the American Museum of Natural History.
FC Barcelona, the financially troubled LaLiga powerhouse, has sold a second stake in its digital content subsidiary, Barça Studios, this time to Orpheus Media. As part of the deal, Barça Studios will be branded as Barça Digital Entertainment and will focus on Web3, NFT, and digital growth.
Both the investment by Orpheus and the previous one from Socios have been worth 24.5% equity for €100 million ($103 million), ensuring that the soccer franchise maintains majority control at 51%.
Orpheus is run by Jaume Roures, who is the CEO of Spanish media giant MediaPro, which holds media rights for LaLiga matches both domestically and internationally and via LaLiga TV. Barcelona previously sold a stake of their broadcast rights to US investment firm Sixth Street.
‘This too shall pass away’ this famous Persian adage seems to be defeating us again and again in the case of COVID-19. Despite every effort