Wednesday, June 12, 2019 – A roundup of some of the key sports technology stories you need to know, including SportTechie’s own content and stories from around the web
- Mark Cuban Calls for NBA Investment in Tools to Predict Injury Risk: Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban sent out a series of tweets Tuesday night calling for the NBA and NBPA to “invest in research into diagnostic tools that allow for proactive analysis of tendons and ligaments.” Cuban’s comments came after Golden State Warriors star forward Kevin Durant returned from a calf injury only to injure his Achilles during Game 5 of the NBA Finals. “The reality of sports medicine is that it is still as much art as science. However, technology is turning a corner and we can accelerate the advances through investment,” Cuban tweeted.
- La Liga Plans to Fight Fine Over Use of User Voice and Location Data: Top Spanish soccer league La Liga declared it will go to court over a $280,000 fine from the Spanish data protection agency (AEPD). AEPD claims that La Liga did not properly inform users of its official app that the league can activate smartphone microphones and monitor user location. La Liga says the technology is used to prevent illegal streaming and does not allow it to listen to user voices, and that the app is properly transparent to its users. “When activating the microphone function on its official app, LaLiga reminds users that they must expressly, proactively and on two occasions, give their consent,” the league stated in a press release.
- The LPGA Partners With Genius Sports to Develop Integrity Program: The LPGA announced it has partnered with sports betting provider Genius Sports to develop an integrity program and to monitor and educate LPGA players, officials, and caddies about match fixing risks. Genius Sports has also formed betting data partnerships with the PGA Tour, European Tour, the NBA, the EPL, and NASCAR. “Sports betting may bring another wave of worldwide sports fans to the LPGA, but it will require us to be protected and supported by experts like Genius,” said LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan in a press release.
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- Verizon and the NFL Invite Ideas for New Mobile Games: Verizon and the NFL are calling for game developers to create football-themed mobile games that will harnesses Verizon’s 5G ultra wideband technology. Winning teams will be awarded $400,000 and access to Verizon 5G Labs technology to develop a game that will debut at Super Bowl LIV in Miami. “Gaming continues to be a great platform for millions of NFL fans to deepen their engagement with our sport. We’re excited to untap the power of Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband and have its potential applied to new gaming ideas that will help cultivate the next generation of our fans,” said Rachel Hoagland, VP, Head of Gaming & esports, NFL, in a press release.
- The NBA and WNBA Extend Deal With Headspace App: The NBA and WNBA have extended their partnership with mental health app Headspace to launch a co-branded performance mindset category on the app. This will include videos of NBA and WNBA players sharing how they reach their goals on and off the court. Players providing content include Kyle Kuzma, Ricky Rubio, Sue Bird, and Nneka Ogwumike. Headspace will also provide 16 curated meditation courses in the category. This feature is part of a multi-year extension of a partnership that first launched in February 2018.
- Sterling.VC Fund Launches Andbox Esports Organization: Investment fund Sterling.VC has launched Andbox, a multi-franchise esports organization coming to New York City. Sterling.VC is backed by Sterling Equities, which is itself owned by the Wilpon and Katz families, who also own the New York Mets and SportsNet New York, a regional sports network. Andbox will comprise of Overwatch League team New York Excelsior of the Overwatch League and New York’s recently announced Call of Duty Franchise. All Overwatch League teams have so far played home games in Los Angeles, though the OWL plans to have all teams playing in their home markets by 2020.