Snapchat Renews Content Partnership With Sky Sports UK to Include Premier League, Women’s Super League Soccer Highlights, Talk Shows, More

By Tom Friend

Snapchat and Sky Sports UK have renewed a content deal that will now include short-form video clips from the Premier League, the Women’s Super League and the UK’s soccer version of Monday Night Football.

Sky Sports UK’s made-for-mobile content will be disseminated on Snapchat Discover, which had a global audience of 25 million in the second quarter of 2022. Specifically, Snapchat Discover will show highlights from each Premier League football match, as well as Women’s Super League game highlights, a WSL talk show, behind-the-scenes footage, selected goals, clips from the Sky Sports show Soccer AM, Britain’s Monday Night Football and football news updates.

The overall programming is Sky Sports’ largest collaboration with Snapchat, which — based on its large audience during the Men’s and Women’s Euros 2022 — believes its viewership will grow exponentially during the upcoming FIFA World Cup and the 2023 Women’s World Cup.

Snapchat habitually has added augmented reality elements to its soccer coverage, recently joining with LaLiga on a content platform deal that includes AR lenses and in-app integrations such as Bitmojis, Cameos, filters and stickers. Since September, Snapchat Discover has also been streaming LaLiga’s weekly football highlights, archival footage as well as top goals and saves — similar to its new deal with the English Premier League.

Meanwhile, the EPL recently implemented its own skeletal tracking into broadcast coverage through an update to Second Spectrum technology and an expanded partnership with analytics provider Football DataCo.

Mythical Games Releases Official Trailer for NFL Rivals, the First NFL and NFLPA Officially Licensed Video Game on the Blockchain

By Tom Friend

Mythical Games has released a sneak preview of NFL Rivals, a blockchain video game officially licensed by the NFL and NFLPA.

Available on mobile devices, the actual NFL Rivals blockchain free-to-play game is scheduled to launch in 2023. The newly released trailer features pre-alpha footage of the arcade-style 9-on-9 football game, which includes actual NFL player names, exaggerated runs, catches and tackles and demonstrative celebrations.

The teaser also provides a look at the core gameplay modes and options that include constructing your team as a general manager. The video clip also shows how gamers can own, collect and trade NFTs of NFL players.

In addition, NFL Rivals is integrating Rarity League NFTs into its ecosystem — NFL-licensed and fan-inspired helmets sold as digital collectibles. The Rarity League’s NFT helmets for the Rams and Bengals, last season’s Super Bowl teams, were previously sold in August for 0.14 Ethereum, the rough equivalent of $216. Rarity League NFT helmets for the remaining 30 NFL teams will be up for sale starting on Nov. 15 on

Customers who purchase Rarity League collectibles also gain early access to buy NFL Rivals player NFTs, get to take part in exclusive in-game tournaments that feature rare NFTs as prizes and get early access to NFL Rivals’ private Beta.

The NFL’s other NFT deals include its non-fungible commemorative tickets with Ticketmaster, DraftKings NFT Reignmakers fantasy football and its NFL All Day marketplace with Dapper Labs.

Whoop Enters Brick-and-Mortar Retail With Devices, Accessories Available in More Than 200 Best Buy, Dick’s Sporting Goods Stores in the U.S.

By Andrew Cohen

Wearable health and fitness leader Whoop will begin selling its devices in more than 200 Best Buy and Dick’s Sporting Goods stores in the U.S., marking the company’s foray into brick-and-mortar retail. Online sites for Best Buy and Dick’s will also now sell wearables from Whoop, which has raised $400 million to date at a $3.6 billion valuation.

Best Buy and Dick’s locations will sell the wrist-worn Whoop 4.0 health and fitness tracker for $300, as well accompanying accessories such as the Battery Pack 4.0 and SuperKnit Bands. Whoop’s products also include membership plans starting at $30 per month to give users access to the Whoop app to view insights on their sleep, muscle strain, recovery and nutrition. Over the past year, Whoop has added a Menstrual Cycle Coach feature to give users the options to track their menstrual cycle in the app to receive personalized training and sleep recommendations based on different phases of their cycles.

Star athletes to invest in Whoop include Kevin Durant, Patrick Mahomes, Larry Fitzgerald, Eli Manning, Rory McIlroy, and Justin Thomas. Athletes across pro and college sports regularly Whoop, whose wearable data has appeared in broadcasts for the PGA Tour, the WTA, and NASCAR.

Blockchain Software Company Chain Becomes Shooting Sleeve Sponsor, Official Web3 Infrastructure Partner for Miami Heat

By Andrew Cohen

Blockchain software company Chain has become the shooting sleeve sponsor of the Miami Heat. The advertising partnership names Chain the exclusive web3 and blockchain infrastructure partner of the team, which plays its home games at FTX Arena.

Chain will be the first company to have its logo on the Heat’s shooting shirts worn during warm-ups since the NBA expanded its jersey patch program last year to include shooting shirts and warm-up jackets last year. The new deal marks the second major sports sponsorship for Chain since its agreement in September with Kraft Sports + Entertainment that includes promotions with the NFL’s Patriots and Revolution in MLS.

Miami mayor Francis Suarez has pushed to position the city as a crypto capital of the world, including his endorsement of the MiamiCoin cryptocurrency. The Heat will promote Chain on the team’s social media platforms and through game day activations. Chain was founded in 2014 and has raised more than $40 million in funding from investors such as Khosla Ventures, Capital One, Citigroup, Fiserv, Nasdaq and Visa.

Minnesota Twins Accelerator by Techstars Selects Second Cohort of 10 Sports and Entertainment Startups, Including Backr and Virtual Tables

By Joe Lemire

The Minnesota Twins Accelerator by Techstars has selected its second cohort of 10 sports and entertainment startups to continue developing their products in the Twin Cities for the next three months through Demo Day on Feb. 15, 2023. 

The 10 chosen companies for the Twins accelerator hail from seven states and three countries, including the UK and Nigeria. Each of the first two cohorts have featured six founders from historically marginalized groups. Products from two of the startups in the first batch, AWSM Sauce and EDGE Sound Research, were used in Target Field during the 2022 MLB season.

The second annual accelerator class includes:

  • Backr, a sports media platform helping fans follow favorite athletes more than teams
  • Biaah, an app facilitating singing practice rooted in mindfulness and wellbeing
  • Brave Virtual Worlds, a quick-setup, sensor-based motion capture system that works with a smartphone camera
  • FanBants, a fantasy gaming and fan community platform for African sports fans
  • Flustr, a short-form video app in which users showcase their talents and compete head-to-head against others
  • TicketRev, a reverse ticket marketplace in which fans name their price and let resellers decide whether to accept the bid
  • United Market, a network for music creatives and executives to connect and collaborate
  • Vesta, a local event registration and promotion platform
  • Virtual Tables, a fan engagement app offering live digital autographs
  • Whitebalance, an AI-powered video production studio

The Twins launched the program in April 2021 in order to “build our brand, expand our business, and diversify and increase our fanbase — really reach a younger, non-fan if you will,” as Joe Pohlad, the Twins’ EVP of brand strategy and growth, told SportTechie at the time.

Scrimmage Raises $600,000 Pre-Seed Round to Support Cryptocurrency-Based Gamified Rewards Betting System

By Andrew Cohen

Scrimmage, a Web3 wallet startup that rewards sports bettors with cryptocurrency, has raised a $600,000 pre-seed round ahead of the company’s launch planned for later this year. The funding round is led by Miami Marlins co-owner Roger Ehrenberg through his Eberg Capital and IA Ventures funds.

Scrimmage has also received funding from Techstars, which included the startup in its Indianapolis Sports Accelerator held earlier this year. The Scrimmage app lets users buy an NFT to earn $SCRIM tokens and link their Scrimmage account to existing accounts they have with legal sports betting operators. Each time a user wins a bet at any of their sportsbook accounts, they will also be rewarded with crypto tokens that can be exchanged for USD.

Sportsbooks compatible to sync user accounts with Scrimmage include DraftKings, FanDuel, Caesars, BetMGM, PointsBet, Barstool, PrizePicks, Underdog, WynnBet, Borgata and Fox Bet. The founders of Scrimmage are Dan Taren and Matt Dever, two 25-year-olds who previously worked as financial analysts for Bank of America and Citigroup in New York.

Relo Metrics Names Jay Prasad as New CEO, Former LiveRamp TV CSO Set to Lead Next Phase of Company’s Growth Strategy

By Tom Friend

Sports sponsorship intelligence platform Relo Metrics has named Jay Prasad as its new CEO.

Prasad was most recently the chief strategy officer at LiveRamp TV, where he led the company’s broadcast activations and Data Plus Math measurement products, as well as spearheading partnerships with brands, agencies, media conglomerates, OTT/CTV platforms and cable and satellite providers. 

At Relo Metrics, which specializes in AI-infused sponsorship analytics, Prasad will be asked to grow the company’s burgeoning data insights that are deployed by teams in the NBA, MLB, NHL, NFL, CFL, Major League Rugby, the English Premier League and cycling entities. Relo Metrics’ platform allows those teams and leagues — as well as leading brands — to swiftly track a sponsor’s exposure throughout live broadcasts, social media and streams. 

Prasad replaces former CEO Brian Kim, who oversaw the company’s initial foray into the sports sponsorship space. Under Kim, Relo Metrics began partnering with Meshh, a firm that uses a proprietary sensor to track behavioral analytics of consumers at in-venue brand activations. Meshh’s devices, once placed inside a venue, could read WiFi signals from consumers’ smart phones to calculate data such as unique reach, linger time and repeat visits from fans at a given activation.

Buffalo Bills Sign Multi-Year Deal With Dragon Seats, the Manufacturer and Provider of Patented Heated and Cooling Sports Benches

By Tom Friend

The Buffalo Bills began utilizing Dragon Seats’ climate-controlled sideline benches during its game Sunday night against the Green Bay Packers after finalizing a multi-year deal heading into the colder portion of the NFL season.

Dragon Seats’ hybrid technology can both heat and cool a sideline bench, depending on weather conditions. The company’s agreement with the Bills includes sideline support technicians and an option to deploy accompanying sideline heaters that are safer than the traditional “torpedo’’ heaters used during frigid football games.

The Bills are among roughly 20 NFL teams that partner with Cleveland-based Dragon Seats, including the Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles and warm-weather Miami Dolphins — who use the company’s cooling technology. Dragon Seats also serves teams in the NHL and NCAA college football.

The benches in Buffalo are intended to warm up a player’s entire body with “heated foot decks” that emit a funnel of hot air upwards and “Hot Hats” that can keep the interior of a player’s helmet warm. The Bills, as a courtesy, are also providing six Dragon Seats to teams on the opposing sideline at Highmark Stadium, meaning the Packers also had access to the hybrid technology on Sunday night.

NBC Sports Next Continues Partnership With NFL’s Salute to Service, Offering Round-Up Offers on GolfNow and TeeOff Booking Platforms

By David Rumsey

The GolfNow and TeeOff booking platforms will once again feature a round-up offer this November as NBC Sports Next, which runs the services, continues its partnership with the NFL’s Salute to Service campaign.

NBC Sports Next’s Better Together initiative will help raise funds for the NFL’s year-round effort around service members, veterans, and their families. Golfers booking rounds through the apps and websites will be able to round up the total cost of the reservation to an even-dollar figure.

The campaign, which raised $100,000 for Salute to Service in 2021, will be promoted across NBC Sports platforms on air, online and social media.

TCS New York City Marathon App Adds New Course Camera Feature for Spectators to Livestream Progress of Individual Runners During Race

By Andrew Cohen

The TCS New York City Marathon App has added a new Course Camera feature for spectators to livestream the progress individual runners during parts of the race. This year’s event will also be the first major marathon to provide mobile app livestreams of the professional men’s and women’s wheelchair and open division races from start to finish.

ESPN and ABC will domestically broadcast the 51st NYC Marathon on Sunday, Nov. 6, while the app will share second screen experiences for fans. The new Course Camera feature lets app users select the specific runner they want to livestream at five key points: at the start, mile 8 in Brooklyn, mile 17 in the Upper East Side, mile 20 in the Bronx, and at the finish. Runners will again wear RFID chips in their bibs provided by Chronotrack so that fans can track their progress on the app, alongside live leaderboards, estimated arrival times, recommended course viewing locations, and social media cheer cards.

Mumbai-based Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has sponsored the NYC Marathon since 2012. New York Road Runners, the event’s organizer, says its mobile app is typically downloaded a half-million times every year.

Denver Broncos Partner With Mental Health and Resilience Platform Headversity, Offering Health and Wellness Solutions to Broncos Staff

By Tom Friend

Mental health provider headversity is bringing its resiliency platform to the Denver Broncos as part of the NFL team’s integrated health and wellness initiative.

The Broncos join the NBA’s Detroit Pistons as the second pro franchise to implement headversity’s solutions app, which provide coping strategies for each teams’ professional staff. The Broncos have made employee wellness a high strategic priority through its human resources department and claim the headversity platform is designed to be preventative, private and personalized.

The headversity program uses mental wellness training technology to help employers support their staff’s behavioral health and psychological safety. The Broncos did not disclose whether its players will have access to the platform.

Earlier this month, the NFLPA’s Professional Athlete Foundation partnered with behavioral health firm Kindbridge to establish confidential virtual group counseling for player-only dialogue. Workplace wellness has expanded beyond being just a trend to now a core component for many employers.