MyVenue Named 'Emerging Exporter of the Year' at Export Awards – SportTechie
MyVenue, whose NextGen point-of-sale technology is deployed in over 20 U.S. stadiums and arenas, was named “Emerging Exporter of the Year” at Australia’s 60th annual Export Awards.
Using cloud-based software to expedite concession sales and limit operating costs, MyVenue’ POS solution will be utilized at Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium on Feb. 12, 2023, as well as at the Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix.
The company has been touted for its platform that includes inventory management, collecting orders and payments from a fan’s mobile device and real-time browser-based event reporting. MyVenue’s technology has been integrated not only into State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., but also at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago and Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. Specifically, Hard Rock Stadium has 1,125 of the company’s POS terminals inside the venue.
MyVenue claims it has doubled its workforce over the last year in North America and is also expanding internationally. The company has integrated its POS terminals into Australia’s Adelaide Oval, which houses high-profile cricket, rugby and soccer matches. The Sydney-based Export Awards acknowledges companies that achieve “excellence in global markets through innovation and commitment.”
Imagine AR will expand its mobile augmented reality applications for colleges through its new partnership with Sidearm Sports, the digital services provider owned by collegiate sports marketing firm Learfield. The deal allows for ImagineAR’s software to be integrated into existing mobile apps operated by Sidearm Sports, which has more than 1,500 NCAA partners.
College football AR experiences on Sidearm-operated mobile team apps will debut in January. Fans will be able to point their mobile phone cameras to logos, signs, buildings, and other physical landmarks or products to generate interactive AR content such as videos, advertisements, and coupons displayed on their mobile phones.
The Baltimore Ravens recently launched a fan photo opportunity with a digitally imposed Lamar Jackson on the team’s mobile app through ImagineAR, while the company has also worked with Valencia CF in Spain’s LaLiga. ImagineAR also owns FameDays, an AR video messaging app used by athletes such as MLB Hall of Famer David Ortiz and NFL star Von Miller to send video shoutouts to fans.
The Nashville Predators have begun selling a line of Adidas Reverse Retro jerseys embedded with NFC (near-field communication) tags from blockchain technology company collectID. Fans can use their smartphone to scan the NHL logo on their smart jersey to access exclusive content and offers from the Predators.
The new jerseys are available at the Nashville Locker Room Store at Bridgestone Arena and the store’s website where fans can buy a jersey without a name on the back for $200. Fans can pay $300 for an Adidas smart jersey of Predators players Roman Josi, Filip Forsberg, Juuse Saros, Tanner Jeannot, Matt Duchene, Nino Niederreiter, Ryan McDonagh, Ryan Johansen, or a customized name. Nashville is the first NHL team to partner with collectID and earlier this year they collaborated to launch a smart jersey to commemorate the retirement of goalie Pekka Rinne.
SeventySix Capital previously led a $3.5 million seed funding round raised by collectID. Other organizations to launch blockchain-backed apparel with collectID include Brazilian soccer club Atletico Mineiro, Swiss club FC Zürich, German Bundesliga teams Bayer Leverkusen, FC Köln and VfB Stuttgart, and French Ligue 1 club ES Troyes AC.
Motion analysis company 3MotionAI recently launched 3DNeuroNET Engine, its computer vision platform that can power movement assessments across a wide variety of use cases.
Toronto-based 3MotionAI debuted with ProPlayAI, a smartphone-based pitching biomechanics motion capture evaluation, and is now offering a single-camera solution more broadly for other apps and products to integrate via API and SDK. The 3DNeuroNET Engine contains a human profile library with four main categories of analysis: functional movement, range of motion, sports assessment and specialty tasks.
Some early adoptions in sports include baseball hitting biomechanics via HitTrax and Pelotero as well as functional movement screen in Diamond Allegiance’s new player development app, Curve. The 3DNeuroNET Engine can also be applied to healthcare and workplace environments where it has had early traction with PT Genie and Benchmark ESG. One of 3MotionAI’s early investors is Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Nate Pearson. Among the other white label motion capture providers is Asensei through its (App)erture product.
Biometric facial scans — which were widely deployed as a security measure at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics — will be prohibited at the 2024 Summer Olympics and Paralympics in Paris due to French privacy law.
Parisian politicians had lobbied for Olympic facial recognition software after riot police in May needed tear gas and pepper spray to subdue Liverpool soccer fans at Stade de France amid a counterfeit ticket scandal. But France’s Minister of Sport Amélie Oudéa-Castéra told Le Parisienne that a pending bill detailing the Olympics’ security plan “totally and explicitly” precludes using facial scan technology.
“Currently, the legislative provisions concerning security do not provide for these devices,” Oudéa-Castéra told Le Parisienne.
Instead, Oudéa-Castéra touted alternative security measures for the 2024 Olympics that will lean on artificial intelligence such as “anonymized algorithms to manage crowd movements in transport.” Specifically — as a part of a legislation bill that she does expect to pass — she said “so-called augmented cameras will be able to detect the presence of an object abandoned by its owner on a public highway.”
In addition, Paris is also expected to inundate its streets with as many as 400 extra video surveillance cameras. Last winter in Beijing, where facial scans were implemented without issue, technology was able to identify people without requiring them to take off their masks.
Facial recognition devices made their debut at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, powered by biometric firm NEC. Images of every accredited person’s face was obtained ahead of the Games and stored in a database that was able to verify people’s identities. The Paris Olympics are scheduled for July 26 through August 11, 2024.
MLS club LAFC has become the first professional sports team to partner with genetics testing company 3×4 Genetics. LAFC, the 2022 MLS Cup champions, will use 3×4 Genetics’ new Genefit software platform to analyze an athlete’s genetic data for training and injury prevention purposes.
3×4 Genetics, which has offices in Washington and Cape Town, built Genefit specifically for elite sports organizations. The company also sells at-home genetics testing kits in which users rub a cotton swab inside their cheek before mailing their DNA sample to 3×4 Genetics to be tested for gene insights on metabolism, inflammation, detoxification, fitness, weight, hormones, cognition, and responses to certain foods or supplements.
“GENEFIT’s ability to integrate genetics into the equation of athlete performance is not only a key differentiator, but a game changer,” LAFC Performance Director Gavin Benjafield said in a statement. “We are looking forward to integrating GENEFIT’s cutting-edge technological solutions to support our team’s decisions and enhance player performance.”
Other companies developing genetic testing products for athletes include California-based AxGen and Maryland-based Golden Thread Technology. AxGen’s notable clients include English soccer club Sheffield United and the California cycling team Voler Factory Racing.
Air Locker Training, an Australia-based fitness franchise that simulates altitude training in its studios, has signed a memorandum of understanding with OxiWear, an ear-worn pulse oximeter, to distribute the device to all its members.
OxiWear is a graduate of the leAD Sports & Health Tech accelerator in Lake Nona, Fla., where it raised $1.25 million in pre-seed funding. The wearable provides continuous oxygen saturation (SpO2) data and can be set to trigger haptic alerts at certain thresholds. It also includes emergency alert functionality, and its data will be transmitted to the Air Locker Training instructors’ dashboard for safety monitoring.
“When people exercise in hypoxia you want to make it safe and effective,” Kenneth Graham, an Air Locker advisor and principal scientist at Eo following a long career in Australian high-performance sports, said in a statement. “Ongoing real-time measurement of oxygen saturation can provide both the participant and instructor with feedback and information on how the person is responding to the hypoxia and, by setting target SpO2 values appropriate to the individual, the exercise and the gains they are after, make the hypoxic exercise sessions both safe and effective.”
Streaming platform FITE will project preliminary fights from Saturday night’s Jose Zepeda-Regis Prograis boxing card across Los Angeles buildings in conjunction with the disruptive media studio Wally.
Known for its AI applications, FITE just last month utilized Proto hologram to beam Manny Pacquiao from Korea to L.A. for a live news conference. Now this Saturday night — in a promotion the company is calling “Boxing in the Streets” — FITE has chosen prominent buildings in three Los Angeles locations to stream 90 minutes’ worth of the undercard starting at 4:30 Pacific Time. The content will then repeat on a loop all the way up until midnight.
Fans who then want to watch the Zepeda vs. Prograis fight on pay-per-view can scan a QR code on the building broadcast and then watch the main event on the FITE mobile app — or bring their device home to watch the bout on a smart TV. The PPV portion of the fight broadcast, which will determine the WBC Super Lightweight championship, is slated to begin at 6 p.m. Pacific Time.
Wally has previously produced multi-platform advertising and brand content on buildings in New York, Boston, Miami and also L.A, calling its wall-based platform “Wally moments.”
Amazon plans to open two Just Walk Out stores to sell food and drinks inside Bridgestone Arena, home of the NHL’s Nashville Predators. Both stores will offer Amazon One palm recognition payment capability and mark Amazon’s first checkout-free physical retail deployment in Tennessee.
The convenience stores will be named “Twice Daily” and will sell packaged beer, spiked seltzers, soda, bottled water, chips, candies and sundries for fans to grab off shelves and walk out with after inserting their credit cards their credit card at the shop’s entry gate. Guests can alternatively link their credit card to their online Amazon One account before scanning their palm to enter either shop. Cameras and sensors inside the stores will track when guests pick items off shelves to add those items to their virtual cart that gets charged as they exit the store.
Bridgestone Arena’s first Twice Daily store will open Nov. 25 near section 323 and the second store will open early next year in section 114. Delaware North, the stadium’s food and beverage partner, will have employees serve as store greeters and check IDs from guests for age verification during alcohol purchases. Amazon also opened a Just Walk Out store earlier this month inside Fiserv Forum with the Milwaukee Bucks.
Venture Capital firm KB Partners has closed one of sports’ most prodigious early-stage tech funds with an investment total of $127 million that so far spans 10 startups such as the 3-on-3 hockey league 3ICE, betting-centric nVenue and gravity sportswear Omorpho.
The highly-anticipated Myriad Opportunity Fund II — which follows founder Keith Bank’s initial $41 million, 16-startup fund in 2018 — substantially exceeds its initial investment goal of $100 million. As part of the fund, other companies such as metaverse-focused Stadium Live, smart basketball SIQ, blockchain ticketing firm Tixologi, outdoor enthusiast portal Kaya and basketball-focused Shot Quality, media platform Goss and gaming firm GridRival all earned financial boosts, with likely 15-to-20 more investments arriving over time.
Members of KB Partner’s advisory board include John Abbamondi, past CEO of the Brooklyn Nets and Barclay’s Center; Chip Brewer, CEO of Callaway Golf; Joe Vrankin, CEO of Puttshack; Elton Brand, long time NBA star and Philadelphia 76ers GM; Steve Byrd, former Head of Global Partnerships at Sportradar, among others.
Tennis Australia is launching a new innovation program that invites startups to pilot their solutions at the Australian Open or other TA events.
The new incubator, AO Startups, is an evolution of Tennis Australia’s founding of its Wildcard Ventures fund — which led the funding for SwingVision, an Apple-promoted analysis app — and its multi-year partnership with Techstars to create an accelerator. The priority areas for the first cohort of AO Startups are athlete performance, injury prevention, esports and gaming, climate action and Padel tennis.
The deadline to apply is Dec. 14, although some entries will be considered up until Dec. 31.
Selected startups will receive access to Tennis Australia at the professional and community levels of the sport. They will benefit via network access, product development assistance and proof of concepts.
“Our partnership with Techstars reinforced just how important the entrepreneurs and early-stage tech community can be in shaping the trajectory of innovation. AO StartUps is a necessary and natural extension of our desire to do things differently and quickly … with the help of others.” Machar Reid, Tennis Australia’s head of innovation and Wildcard Ventures general partner, said in a statement. “Artificial intelligence, virtual reality, blockchain technology, sensors and wearables are all playing increasingly critical roles in the way we live our lives. This is an opportunity to apply those and other technological advancements to gains for fans, players, coaches and administrators at the Australian Open and throughout international tennis.”
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