TAYLOR’S TAKE ON THE WEEK IN SPORTS TECH: You watch Game 1 last night? What drama! LeBron put up a career playoff-high 51 points but the Cavs still lost in overtime.
Why does it seem like the NBA has embraced digital tools better than any other league? Jason Gay at the The Wall Street Journal examined this question after the fiasco earlier this week involving Philadelphia 76ers GM Bryan Colangelo and The Ringer‘s impressive Twitter sleuthing.
While it’s a nightmare situation for the 76ers, the NBA is likely loving the controversy on “NBA Twitter.” It plays into the how the league has used digital platforms to grow the popularity of its business.
“Like no other sport, the NBA in 2018 is thoroughly intertwined with its digital life,” he wrote. “Sure, basketball is still a live game with traditional legacy media—television partners, shows (TNT’s “Inside the NBA”) and worthless old relics like newspaper sports columnists. But what really drives the NBA is its thriving digital world, especially on Twitter.”
Highlights from the week in sports tech
- If you watched last night’s game, you probably noticed some YouTube TV ads. That’s because the $40/month streaming service is the first-ever presenting sponsor of the Finals.
- Speaking of streaming — The New York Times put together this short guide if you’re looking for tips to stream sports.
- Have you watched any NBA playoff games in virtual reality? Here’s a review from Sports Illustrated. The NBA also this week released a new feature for its augmented reality app called 360 Portals.
- Here are some special NBA Finals commands you can give Amazon’s Alexa.
- Check out how Seahawks rookie Shaquem Griffin uses Microsoft’s new Adaptive Controller designed for gamers with accessibility needs.
- Delaware is the first state to legalize sports betting following the Supreme Court ruling last month.
- More Twitter sports news: Former Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman is trying to unblock fans of his new team, the San Francisco 49ers.
- Arccos Golf launched a new version of its AI-powered golf caddy. It uses Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing service and Microsoft’s artificial intelligence technology to help provide golfers with data-driven advice.
- Amazon and Microsoft are big supporters of the 2018 Special Olympics, held in Seattle this summer.
- Check out this new Alaska Airlines paint job, featuring Kevin Durant, who is building a Silicon Valley empire.
- Bloomberg details how Riot Games’ big $350 million streaming deal with BAMTech fell apart.
- Recode hosted pro lacrosse player and tech fanatic Paul Rabil on its podcast.
- Brooks’ new personalized running shoe will debut early next year.
Thanks for tuning in, everyone! — Taylor Soper
PS: Some of you have reached out about the Sports Tech Summit. We are taking a break on the event this year and putting resources behind a few other events, including a speaker series tied into the Seattle Sounders. Stay tuned for more!