Lionel Messi, the global soccer superstar, has signed his second crypto partnership, inking a deal with cryptocurrency exchange Bitget. Messi first paired with fan token platform Socios back in March.
As part of the agreement, Messi and Bitget will collaborate on several initiatives, including a film production and the expectation of what’s described in a press release as “more impactful efforts, extending beyond cryptocurrency and football.” Bitget previously became the first sleeve partner for Juventus, the Serie A power, and the two sides recently renewed for another year. The Singapore-based crypto company, popular for its social trading, has also partnered with Turkish football club Galatasaray SK and with brands in esports.
Messi of course starred at FC Barcelona for years before joining Paris Saint-Germain in 2021; he said next month’s World Cup in Qatar will be the final one of his career with the Argentinian national team. He recently launched a sports tech investment company, Play Time Sports-Tech HoldCo LLC, that has made its first two outlays in Matchday.com and AC Momento.
Interactive media platform Sparx will enhance Portland Trail Blazers livestreams this season with a deal that incorporates polls, predictive questions and trivia into game broadcasts.
As part of the licensing partnership, Sparx will incorporate its multi-faceted, real-time technology that enables Blazers fans to engage with each other during games via their mobile phones, surface tablets or computers. Gamification and votes are also a core of Sparx’s platform, which concurrently has deals with ESPN and the Vancouver Canucks.
Specifically, Sparx allows fans to interact digitally during ESPN’s popular football pregame show College GameDay, using proprietary technology it will similarly apply to Trail Blazers streams and broadcasts. The platform’s immersive cross-screen content is also deployed for major events such as the Academy Awards and can be utilized by content creators trying to launch network quality livestreams.
HitCheck has added speech testing to its concussion assessment app for helping coaches and medical personnel determine if an athlete should return to play after suspected head impacts. The new voice assessment tool is being offered in partnership with speech neuroscience company Aural Analytics.
The NFL Alumni Association partnered with HitCheck last year and the app has more than 200,000 users, serving the American Youth Football organization, University of Portland athletics, Texas Youth Football & Cheer, Play USA Rugby, and U.S. Department of Defense. Athletes can record speech samples within the HitCheck app to be analyzed by Aural’s AI to detect patterns that correlate with brain injuries. The samples are compared with an athlete’s baseline assessment taken before the season.
HitCheck’s existing brain performance assessments include interactive games for testing coordination, memory, and reaction time. Advisors for HitCheck include former NFL players Marques Colston, Junior Bryant, and Brent Jones.
ImagineAR has incorporated its augmented reality features into the Baltimore Ravens mobile app to help the team celebrate the 10th anniversary of its Super Bowl XLVII victory this coming Sunday.
Through the immersive collaboration, fans who download the Ravens app can select “Ravens in Reality” from a menu, tap on a trio of options and then point their smart phone camera at a Ravens or Super Bowl XLVII logo. Fans specifically at Sunday’s game versus Cleveland can also activate the augmented reality experience by aiming their camera at the Ravens Gameday program.
Depending what AR experience a Raven fan prefers, they will have the option of seeing a virtual Ravens 2012 Super Bowl ring, a virtual Super Bowl trophy and a proprietary Ravens highlight video. The app’s augmented reality displays will activate in concert with the team’s in-stadium celebration on Sunday. The Ravens defeated the San Francisco 49ers, 34-31, in Super Bowl XLVII.
ImagineAR CEO Alen Paul Silverrstieen claims this is his company’s first large NFL augmented reality implementation. In July, ImagineAR finalized a two-year revenue-sharing partnership with the Ravens — its first deal with an NFL team — to use the company’s signature SDK Platform to create metaverse-focused experiences for the team’s fanbase.
ImagineAR collaborated with YinzCam, the Raven’s app developer, to release it mobile platform in time for this season. ImagineAR also has a partnership with the La Liga club Valencia, while the Ravens have previously deployed mixed reality on game days with a virtual Raven produced by The Famous Group.
Virtual production company Pixotope has created Pixotope Fly, a new optical tracking software that integrates with drones to add aerial augmented reality graphics into live broadcasts. CBS Sports deployed drone-shot AR graphics from Pixotope Fly during its broadcasts of SRX Racing this season.
CBS Sports’ broadcasts for Superstar Racing Experience (SRX Racing) included AR animations of participating cars and drivers layered over racetracks, as well as an advertisement for sponsor Camping World that saw a digital RV stunt jump over the track. Pixotope collaborated with Silver Spoon Animation for the broadcast effects, which were shot via drone cameras during three SRX races this summer.
Pixotope announced its Fly markerless camera tracking software at the NAB New York Show earlier this week. The company has previously helped produce AR animations for the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens and Carolina Panthers in partnership with The Famous Group.
“[Pixotope Fly] eliminates the resource-intensive set up required of existing drone tracking technology; it needs no specialist sensor cameras, markers, or proprietary hardware to work and it’s deceptively simple to use,” Pixotope’s chief revenue officer David Dowling said in a statement. “All you need is a drone or cable cam and the software to get started. What would have previously required a helicopter and Hollywood blockbuster caliber post production can now be achieved with a single software solution in real time.”
Sports betting analytics and content startup Sharp App has joined the HPL Digital Sport and Cardinal Sports Capital Accelerator Program, which was established earlier this year with a $100 million investment from Cardinal Sports Capital. Sharp App launched in Aug. 2021 on the App Store and Google Play and had a 200% increase in daily and monthly active users in the first month of the 2022 NFL season.
The accelerator has raised capital for Sharp App and is committed to helping scale the app’s audience and services, which includes AI prediction models to identify prop bet values, betting news and analysis shows, line movement charts, odd comparisons, and an exclusive Discord community. Sharp has a free tier and subscription offering with premium features for $150 per year. The app has an 80% month-over-month subscriber retention rate.
Sports bet marketplace WagerWire became the first to join the HPLDS/Cardinal Sports Capital Accelerator Program in April. HPL Digital Sport is a division of Hot Paper Lantern, a marketing agency that specializes in sports tech, betting and fantasy. Other current and former gaming clients of HPL Digital Sport include Sportradar, SharpLink Gaming, NBC Sports Edge, Quarter4 and ThriveFantasy.
Data provider Sportradar is integrating live fielding analytics into livestreams of this fall’s International Cricket Council Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia.
Utilizing a proprietary data collection tool, Sportradar will aggregate and code approximately 80 data points per ball bowled in real time — providing cricket fans with the most complete fielding, standard batting and bowling statistics possible. The T20 World Cup runs from Oct. 15 through Nov. 13.
The in-depth analytics will be available on the International Cricket Council’s website and mobile app during game streams and beyond. As a result, the ICC also expects player rankings to be more sophisticated and accurate throughout the competition.
Sportradar is already ensconced as a data distribution arm for the NBA, NHL, MLB, NASCAR, UEFA and FIFA. The company does analytics for as many as 92 sports world-wide and also deploys an Integrity Services division to colleges as part of its role as a gambling provider.
Startup recruiting platform SEQL this month closed a $1.8 million seed funding round, bringing its total raise to date to $6.8 million.
The company’s goal is to amplify scouting reports for socioeconomically disadvantaged high school athletes for free. SEQL works with more than 50 companies, like Adidas and Legends, who cover the costs of a nationwide videographer network in exchange for access to the athletes through SEQL’s app.
Notable investors include Barry Sanders, Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, Women’s Basketball Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman, ESPN’s Ryan Clark and NBA free agent Quinn Cook. New investors in the most recent round include Indianapolis Colts safety Rodney McLeod, former NBA player Andrew Bogut, ed-tech company Everfi co-founder and president Jon Chapman and pro poker players Phil Hellmuth and Jeff Gross.
SEQL also provides content geared towards elevating athletes on and off the field; topics include financial literacy, mental health, personal branding, nutrition, and more. With the new funding, the platform hopes to acquire 250,000 student athletes and generate revenue from partners through athlete activations. The company was founded in 2020 by former college athletes Robert de Wolff, Bryant Drayton and Jarmal Bevels as STAC and rebranded to SEQL shortly after.
US Youth Soccer and Veo have agreed to a five-year partnership that will enable the proliferation of automated video capture.
Veo, which makes an AI-powered camera that specializes in soccer, will make its video exchange platform available to USYS’s Elite 64 and National League PRO, which will help with scouting opponents and recruiting players. The intention is for the Veo League Exchange to become accessible to other national leagues in the coming years.
As part of the agreement, USYS teams will receive a 20% discount off the $999 Veo Cam 2. More than 2.5 million youth compete in USYS leagues annually. USYS previously partnered with STATSports to make wearable GPS trackers available to Elite 64 players.
Denmark-headquartered Veo has a satellite office in Miami and works with several MLS clubs at either the first team or academy level and has attracted Carli Lloyd as a global ambassador and has been the title sponsors of Kevin De Bruyne’s annual youth tournament. Veo raised $80 million in Series C funding back in June.
Kinly, a financial app designed to promote financial empowerment and building generational wealth within the Black community, has entered the NIL space by signing the sons of Jackson State head football coach Deion Sanders.
Jackson State quarterback Shedeur Sanders and safety Shilo Sanders have joined North Carolina basketball standout Deja Kelly as brand ambassadors for Kinly, which has just launched an NIL campaign called “Prepare for Your Moment.”
Designed to create awareness for the Kinly app, the “Prepare for Your Moment” platform is intended to aid Black athletes in financial planning and education. Powered by Kinly’s director of financial education Dr. Melody Wright, the athletes will promote Wright’s insights on everyday spending and other ways to guide young athletes on personal finance.
The Sanders brothers, who have helped Jackson State remain undefeated at 6-0, are in high demand via NIL. This week alone, Shedeur signed a deal with Tom Brady’s apparel firm, Brady Brand, which was followed by both Shilo and Shedeur signing with the apparel company Actively Black.
Athlete marketplace Opendorse, known as a top NIL technology provider, as well as INFLCR, the NIL software and social media management platform, have both entered partnerships with U.S. Bank and MoneyLion, respectively to improve financial literacy for college athletes who are pursuing NIL.
Arcade game manufacturer Play Mechanix has won the NFL’s inaugural game developer challenge hosted with mobile gaming company Skillz. Play Mechanix’s new NFL-branded mobile game called NFL QB Shootout is now available on iOS and Android devices.
NFL QB Shootout was selected out of nearly 200 submissions for the game development challenge hosted by Skillz, which received investment from the NFL in 2019 and signed a multi-year partnership with the league last year. The new mobile app allows fans to act as quarterback of any of the 32 NFL teams and attempt to throw touchdowns before the game’s digital clock runs out to win real-world prizes. Skillz also has game development deals with the UFC and Drone Racing League.
Illinois-based Play Mechanix was founded in 1995 and is best known for its hunting arcade video game Big Buck Hunter. The company merged with fellow arcade game maker Raw Thrills in 2006 and its other popular titles include Minecraft Dungeons Arcade and MotoGP Arcade. NFL QB Shootout expands the league’s gaming portfolio that also includes the NFT-based NFL Rivals with Mythical Games, VR game NFL Pro Era with StatusPro, NFL Clash mobile with Nifty Games, EA’s Madden franchise, plus integrations within Roblox as well as Rocket League and Fortnite from Epic Games.
Post expires at 10:45am on Tuesday April 25th, 2023