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TAYLOR’S TAKE: What’s up, everybody? Hope your weekend is off to a nice start.
Before Sunday’s NFL games, make sure you check out our feature story about technology on the sidelines. We spoke with NFL execs and gameday crew about all the geeky stuff that goes into helping players and coaches communicate with each other. I also met with Microsoft to learn more about how the Surface is used during games. And I got to do my best Pete Carroll impression, as you can see above. Learn more here.
Olin Sports Business Summit recap: I was in St. Louis last week helping MC this event. Here are my 3 takeaways about the future of sports:
- Prepare for legalized sports gambling: A big chunk of the sports law panel was focused on this topic. All eyes are on the Supreme Court and its handling of New Jersey’s appeal to allow sports betting. A decision is expected in the first half of 2018.
- Arena technology: The renovation of old arenas and construction of new ones continues to offer various opportunities for tech products and services. Kirk and Kent Lacob talked about the Warriors’ new Chase Center, while St. Louis Blues President Chris Zimmerman shared details of the Scottrade Center improvements.
- Startups to watch: I was impressed with presentations from Daniel Chao from Halo Neuroscience and Adam Grossman from Block Six Analytics — two sports tech companies with impressive traction.
Highlights from the week in sports tech
- My colleague Kurt Schlosser tested out a new high-tech running shoe from Brooks designed for “maximum energy return.”
- Seattle startup Sensoria is taking its wearable technology into healthcare.
- Amazon just streamed its second NFL game this week — the viewership stats were slightly up from last week. The company’s brand is certainly getting exposure. Read our review of its initial stream here.
- Speaking of Amazon, do you have an Amazon Echo device? Try asking Alexa about her favorite NBA team. Her response will impress Supersonics fans.
- Who will create the NCAA for esports? The New York Times examines how “campus video gaming” will be regulated.
- Also from the Times: Sports reporter John Branch talks about how he uses tech on the job.
- Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman thinks fantasy football has dehumanized NFL players.
- SportTechie looks at the most important tech storylines for the NHL season.
MLB Playoffs: ESPN is beefing up its playoff broadcasts with a 3D strikezone, field mics, and more … a Diamondbacks coach was fined for wearing an Apple Watch in the dugout … check out MLB’s new Messenger trivia bot … T-Mobile is donating to hurricane relief for every postseason home run … the Oakland Athletics became the first team to test iPhone NFC technology for contactless stadium entry.
What to watch this weekend: Two MLB playoffs games each on Saturday (TBS) and Sunday (FS1) … some decent college football games on Saturday, with Alabama at Texas A&M; Michigan State at Michigan; and Washington State at Oregon.
Thanks for tuning in, everyone! We’re mixing up the format for the newsletter, so please let me know what you think at firstname.lastname@example.org. — Taylor Soper