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Sports Tech Feed

Sports Tech Feed

By Sports Tech World Series
The Global Sports Technology Podcast delivering you in-depth interviews with the greatest minds in sports tech.

Hosted by Thomas Alomes and presented by Sports Tech World Series. New episodes released every Monday. Show notes available at:
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Learning from early adopters in business strategy, data & tech with Moon Javaid, San Francisco 49ers
Moon Javaid is the Chief Strategy Officer of the San Francisco 49ers. This is Moon's eighth season with the 49ers and his current role oversees business intelligence, CRM and fan feedback; manages retail, mobile app, and concessionaire relationships; works on bids for large scale non-NFL events; supports the drive for local revenue; and aids other business aspects of the organization with strategic and analytical support.  Under Moon’s guidance, the 49ers built a data warehouse that processes over 3 million records per day, and launched the award-winning Executive Huddle, the first real-time analytics control room on NFL game days.  Executive Huddle’s recent awards of note include being named the Leader in Innovation by Leaders in Sports, and Best Venue Tech by TheStadiumBusiness.  Executive Huddle is also a finalist for Sports Business Journal’s Best in Sports Technology, to be announced later this year. Moon has also collaborated with ticket operations to break NFL records for highest revenue in a regular-season game, and secured bids for WrestleMania 31 and the Gold Cup Final.  Under his leadership, the organization has acquired the Emmy award-winning high school program Cal-Hi Sports and launched a sports medicine facility. Previously, Javaid worked at Linden LLC, a healthcare-focused private equity fund and L.E.K. Consulting, a global management consulting firm.  A Cleveland native, Javaid graduated from Northwestern University with degrees in Psychology and Economics and later earned his MBA from University of Chicago, Booth School of Business. Shownotes:
November 23, 2020
Wearable biosensors taking the guess work out of effective hydration with Meridith Cass, Nix
Meridith is the Founder and CEO of Nix, a biosensor startup, spun out of Harvard University. The initial product is a sweat sensor that informs athletes, soldiers, and laborers of their hydration status, sweat rate, electrolyte losses, and core body temperature in real-time. A serial company starter, Meridith has worked closely with several Boston and New York-based venture capital firms in the creation of seven life science and consumer startups prior to Nix. Meridith sits on the board of several companies and non-profits including Girls on the Run of Greater Boston, Consumer Technology Association’s Health and Fitness Technology Division, and the Cambridge Friends School, of which she is an alumna. Meridith is a college basketball player-turned-marathoner who has completed 9 marathons in the past 6 years, and is proud to have earned her Six Star Medal having run all the World Major Marathons. She received her A.B. from Bryn Mawr College where she received the Anna Pell Wheeler Prize for Mathematics, and her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. Meridith is a Kauffman Fellow as well as a Harvard Business School Blavatnik Fellow. Shownotes:
November 16, 2020
How big tech are getting their FAANGs stuck into sports with Nick Meacham, SportsPro Media
What impact is big tech having on sports? How do FAANGs (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Google) view the value of sports media rights deals? Are they here to disrupt the status quo or beat broadcasters at their own game? We dive into all this and more with Nick Meacham, Managing Director of SportsPro Media. Fuelled by an extensive background in the sports and media industries, Nick has spent the last 10 years developing SportsPro Media into the global leader in sports industry news and insights. With a distinct focus around media rights, broadcasting and technology, SportsPro’s audience of more than 1.5 million sports industry executives are supported by an events portfolio of conferences hosted in five countries across the globe. Nick’s expertise is built around the burgeoning digital and OTT landscape transforming sports consumption. He spends time advising sports industry stakeholders on how to tackle the sports broadcasting revolution. Nick also serves as an independent director of the British Volleyball federation. Shownotes:
November 9, 2020
The role of automated production in the return of global basketball
Unprecedented times for sport has forced us to rethink what’s important whilst consolidating some simple truths often taken for granted. This Panel discussion, drawn from the recent Sports Tech World Series European Conference, focusses on production automation and connecting with remote basketball fans via the FIBA connected stadium, the incredible journey of the New Zealand Basketball League over the last 6 months and how forward-thinking combined with technology can drive remote engagement for fans, players, leagues and federations. Featuring: Andrew Collins (Chief Product Officer | Synergy Sports), Jonas Curty (Head of Marketing, Communication & Events | Swiss Basketball), Justin Nelson (General Manager | NBL NZ) & Tim Kelly (CEO | 5Stream) This episode is brought to you by Synergy Sports. Synergy provides an integrated suite of technology which enables teams and leagues to capture, analyze, produce, distribute and commercialize their data and video content. They operate in 41 countries around the world with over 500 FIBA Connected Stadiums as part of their partnership with FIBA, the world basketball governing body. In the US, Synergy Sports also serves every single NBA, G League, WNBA and NCAA Division I basketball team as well as over 270 NCAA Division I baseball teams and is now moving rapidly into other sports. Since 2019, Synergy Sports has aggregated a library of 64,524 basketball games around the world and 13,234 baseball games in the US. Shownotes:
November 2, 2020
How crowd intelligence is used to safely return fans to stadiums with Julie Johnson Roberts, Armored Things
Julie Johnson is Co-Founder & CEO of Armored Things, a Boston-based SaaS company using AI to transform physical security and operations for large venues and campuses. Armored Things is focused on the critical need to surface critical data points in real-time to venue security and operations teams. Julie co-founded Armored Things after working at Qualcomm, where she was focused on cybersecurity and the Internet of Things for both the corporate venture capital arm and as a strategic liaison for the Bay Area research and development team. Previously, Julie held various positions across trading, investment management, and venture capital. She has degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton, and Harvard Business School.   Shownotes:
October 26, 2020
Too many ads or too little action? Statistical analysis of the live broadcast experience with Katherine Rowe, Sports Strategist
Katherine Rowe is data-driven sports strategist conducting research and strategic consulting for a range of sports properties and brands. The topic of today's discussion is centred on a research project she conducted with Professor Kirk Goldsberry (an ESPN NBA analyst and noted leader in the world of sports analytics) on understanding the makeup of the most valuable properties in sports — live game broadcasts — and to map out how these broadcasts vary across different sports. Katherine is an MBA graduate from the McCombs Business School at University of Texas at Austin. During her time at UT she worked as a graduate research assistant for Professor Kirk Goldsberry. Katherine also worked across marketing and sales strategy for the University of Texas Longhorns and created a strategic roadmap for growth for executives of the NBA’s Summer League. Previously Katherine served as an officer in the U.S. Army, responsible for mission-critical combat telecommunications in a number of front-line deployments. She continues to actively support transitioning military veterans for their next chapter of leadership by helping them gain admission to the best college or graduate school possible through Service to School. This is in addition to her own Bridging the Gap initiative aimed at increasing opportunities for Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) in the sports industry, including a scholarship place to the annual Sloan MIT Sports Analytics Conference. Shownotes:
October 19, 2020
The sports tech entrepreneurial journey, from startup to acquisition, with Travis McDonough, Kinduct
Travis McDonough is the founder and CEO of Kinduct, an Athlete Management System (AMS) which collects data from external sources and automates certain reporting and alerts regarding human body performance and well-being. Kinduct is used by over 550 teams, leagues, athletic associations, performance centers, military and healthcare organizations around the world. Their clients include dozens of NHL, NBA, NFL and MLB teams, as well as Gatorade, Olympic sports associations, and enterprise healthcare partners. Travis holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from Dalhousie University and a Doctor of Chiropractic degree. A health care practitioner, Travis has dedicated his entire career to his passion for sparking innovation and driving constant improvement in the sport, health, and wellness industries. His work in these fields has been widely recognized, earning numerous awards including Atlantic Canada’s Innovator of the Year, Halifax Business Person of the Year, Atlantic Business Magazine Top 50 CEOs (inducted into Hall of Fame in 2018), ITAC Ingenious Award, and The Experiential Learning Award via Game Changers Awards and Halifax Partnership. Kinduct was recently acquired by mCube, a US-based technology company enabling the Internet of Moving Things (IoMT). This acquisition is the largest exit for a Canadian Sport Tech company in history, and one of the largest exists in Nova Scotia Tech History.
October 12, 2020
Building a better business through internal innovation with Andy Olsson, Cleveland Cavaliers
Andy is Manager, Business Process Analysis at the Cleveland Cavaliers. During his time with the Cavs, Andy has led the execution of software implementations, designed process improvements and rollouts. All while spreading awareness for the Cavaliers Mousetrap team, a part of the organization’s business intelligence group, which was recently awarded the Ideascale Innovation Management Award for “Best Innovation Engagement Strategy”. With the Cav's focus shifting towards analytics, Andy aims to streamline processes based on data utilization. Originally from Buffalo, New York, Andy joined the Cleveland Cavaliers as a Business Analyst during the 2016 NBA Finals, just in time to witness the greatest comeback in Finals history. Before relocating to Cleveland, he spent three years as Manager of Customer Experience with Yahoo Fantasy Sports. While there, his team deployed numerous enhancements to the Fantasy Sports platform to ensure users received an unrivalled experience. Andy received his Bachelor’s degree in Sport Management from SUNY Fredonia and is a Six Sigma Green Belt. Shownotes:
October 5, 2020
The data initiative giving UK Olympics a competitive edge with Dr. Sarah Domone, English Institute of Sport & John Blenkharn, UK Sport
Dr Sarah Domone is the Lead Consultant for the English Institute of Sport (EIS) Sport Intelligence Team whose mission is to support Olympic and Paralympic sports in their use of performance data to maintain their world leading edge. A Sports Engineering graduate from the University of Bath, Sarah went on to complete a PhD in Biomechanics with the Centre for Sports Engineering Research at Sheffield Hallam University before working in the physical activity sector as the Data and Insight Manager at ukactive. John Blenkharn joined the Sport Intelligence team at UK Sport as Programme Manager following the Rio Games in 2016. John is currently leading on a data knowledge building strategy across Olympic and Paralympic sports which seeks to equip performance staff with the tools and skills required to enhance an understanding of how data can inform decision-making. Prior to joining UK Sport, John worked in project management roles for Marks and Spencer, the United Nations Environment Programme and BAE System. Outside of work, John plays for the Warrington Wolves Physical Disability Rugby League team. Shownotes:
September 28, 2020
Technology trends in athlete branding, marketing & empowerment with Jarrod Barnes, Los Angeles Rams
Jarrod currently works as the Manager of Former Player Engagement with the Los Angeles Rams. In this role, he works to integrate former players as brand ambassadors into the overall marketing, sponsorship, and fan engagement strategy of the organization. Additionally, investing in the holistic development of former players through professional development and well-being initiatives. A native of Columbus, Ohio, Jarrod Barnes has always looked to defy the odds. During his collegiate athletic career at The Ohio State University, Jarrod became the first student-athlete in the history of The Big Ten Conference to pursue a Ph.D. while on an active roster. Following his playing career, he joined the Ohio State Football coaching staff as an Intern Defensive Back’s Coach and would eventually transition into athletics administration at Clemson University, as the Assistant Director of Student-Athlete Development.  Following his time at Clemson, Jarrod launched Prime U, a leadership development platform designed for athletes, coaches, and professionals in the workplace to develop more self-aware, effective, purposeful leaders. Jarrod is also the Co-Founder of The Lab Community, an online community for sports professionals. Jarrod is also a mentor for sports technology startups through the leAD Sports Accelerator and on the Board of Directors for the Sports Business and Leadership Association, a non-profit organization that specializes in providing access to sports business careers for underserved populations. Shownotes:
September 21, 2020
The contact warning & tracing tech helping the NFL & NBA’s safe return to play with Jim Garofalo, KINEXON
Jim Garofalo is the Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing at KINEXON. KINEXON equips more than 75% of NBA teams with next level technology that assists with performance profiling, conditioning, training loads and injury management. The company pivoted during the COVID-19 pandemic to launch KINEXON SafeZone - a contact warning and contact tracing solution to combat the spread of COVID-19, which has been used by companies around the world, including all 32 NFL teams. At KINEXON, Jim drives the market expansion into North America for professional clubs, leagues, sports organizations and media houses and establish successful sales partnerships. Jim’s experience in the sports marketing and sports performance landscape spans two decades with extensive experience in developing marketing strategies and executions that drive brand affinity and sales for some of the industry’s most trusted brands. Prior to joining KINEXON, Jim was the Vice President Client Service for MKTG INC., a part of the Dentsu Aegis Network. In this role he led the Chicago office’s relationships with Dick’s Sporting Goods, Gatorade, NCAA and Performance Health’s Biofreeze brand. Under his direction, the team executed numerous award-winning campaigns. Before that, Jim worked for more than 9 years at PepsiCo’s Gatorade as a member of the Sports Marketing Team. Here, Jim implemented global marketing strategies for the Gatorade Sports Science Institute that connected athletes, teams, leagues and sports performance professionals with Gatorade’s science and product portfolio​. Shownotes:
September 14, 2020
How AI & Computer Vision are overtaking wearable tech in high performance coaching with Marilou McFarlane, SportsTechWorks
Marilou McFarlane has worked passionately building sportstech businesses for much of the last decade and now consults for startups in the space as the Principal of SportsTechWorks. Her latest client is Mustard, a new sports performance startup which democratizes access to elite level coaching by offering the only motion analysis app providing same-session feedback, in addition to personalized instruction from the world’s best coaches. The app is powered by an AI platform built on 40 years of data from leading coach and former MLB pitcher Tom House. Prior to her role at SportsTechWorks, Marilou was president of North America – Soccer for STATSports, and introduced the APEX Athlete Series consumer product to U.S. Soccer’s youth ecosystem of 4 million players. Prior to that role, she was CEO of venture-funded CoachNow (previously named Edufii) and guided this mobile platform for connected coaching to successful merger/acquisition in 2017. Marilou has a passion for driving growth opportunities for women in sports both on and off the field. As founder and CEO of Vivo Girls Sports, Marilou and her team created a digital media property that was rapidly accepted globally by young women aged 13-24, Olympians and advertisers alike, and subsequently inspired the launch of espnW.  In late 2017 she founded the non-profit group Women in Sports Tech (WiST) with the mission to drive growth opportunities for women in the industry. Current partners include IBM Sports, Nike, the NBA, Catapult Sports, Spartan, and numerous private donors and foundations including the Mark Cuban Foundation.  A former UNC cross-country and 3:06 marathon runner, she is a natural and enthusiastic leader, as well as the happy wife of a fire captain and mother of 2 illustrious daughters, who each captained UNC women’s soccer championship teams and went on to play professionally, before heading to Harvard Med School, Stanford GSB and Microsoft. Shownotes:
September 7, 2020
How UEFA has approached the unprecedented challenges of 2020 with Daniel Marion, UEFA
Daniel is the Chief of Information & Communication Technology (ICT) at UEFA, leading a team of more than 80 people and an extensive third-party network of national and international suppliers and vendors. He joined UEFA 20 years ago and has held different jobs within the areas of ICT and Digital Media. Daniel has extensive experience in the delivery of ICT solutions thus enabling the operations of major Football competitions, including the UEFA Champions League and the last five UEFA European Championships, in areas ranging from Networking, Event Management and Digital Media. During the last two European Championships, Daniel held a position in the tournament management team, playing a key part in ensuring decision making and issue solving at the highest level. In the last couple of years Daniel worked on optimising internal/external processes and significant cost efficiencies, while maintaining an above-average level of service for UEFA to its business partners and 55 member associations. The overall objective of ICT is to bring value to its stakeholders and help UEFA deliver the ultimate best service and experience during competitions. Daniel is also part of the UEFA Digital Board and UEFA’s Innovation Hub looking at enabling the Digital Transformation of the organisation on all domains from B2B, B2E and B2C, whilst also part of challenging the normal delivery of football as we know it today. Daniel holds an Engineering degree and an MBA from the London Business School. Shownotes:
August 31, 2020
The digital evolution of Asia’s largest sports media property with Niharika Singh, ONE Championship
Niharika is Head of Product and Tech for ONE Championship, a Singapore-based mixed martial arts (MMA), Muay Thai, and kickboxing sports media property, which was launched in 2011 by entrepreneur Chatri Sityodtong and former ESPN Star Sports senior executive Victor Cui. It’s Asia largest global sports media property with a broadcast to over 2.6 billion potential viewers across 150+ countries. Niharika leads the digital strategy for the company across its owned and operated assets. An ex-McKinsey consultant, Niharika found her true calling in building and scaling businesses when she joined Treebo, a travel tech startup, in 2015. She has worked across strategy, revenue and product in her previous stints and is excited by the possibilities that technology and digital platforms bring to all three of those verticals. At ONE Championship, she is leading the charge on revolutionizing the way fans interact with the company and helping build the ONE Super App into the most loved sports App in the world. Shownotes:
August 24, 2020
A creative approach to data insights with Patrick Ward, Seattle Seahawks
Patrick Ward is the Director of Research and Development for the Seattle Seahawks where his role centers around data analysis on a variety of different topics for the team. Before joining the Seahawks, Patrick was a sport scientist within the Nike Sports Research Lab. He also founded Optimum Sports Performance in Tempe, Arizona, a strength and conditioning facility where he trained high school, collegiate, and professional athletes. Patrick has been invited to present research and speak at conferences including MIT Sloan Analytics Conference, Casacadia Symposium of Statistics in Sport, World Congress of Science in Football, and NSCA National Conference. Research interests include training and competition analysis as they apply to athlete health, injury, and performance across a variety of sports. Patrick has a Ph.D. in Sports Science from Liverpool John Moores University and is a National Strength and Conditioning Association Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (NSCA-CSCS). Shownotes:
August 17, 2020
Managing the return to play for student athletes with Nate Brookreson, NC State.
As lockdowns lift and college students from across the US eye a return to class, student-athletes are also gearing up for what they hope is a return to competition. At this point in the year, it’s anyone’s idea if college sports will get a season but the smart money is indicating that play won’t return for the majority of sports until 2021. On this week's episode, Nate Brookreson shares how technology and data were used to remotely train student-athletes during the lockdown and how it's being used going forwards in the "new normal" of COVID-19 works outs.  Nate is the Assistant Athletic Director of Strength & Conditioning for Olympic Sports at North Carolina State. Nate’s primary training duties at NC State are with women’s basketball and swimming while supervising the implementation of training for over 500 student-athletes. Prior to NC State, Nate was the Director of Athletic Performance for Olympic Sports at the University of Memphis.  While at Memphis, Nate worked primarily with men and women’s soccer, men and women’s golf and track & field sprinters while supervising training for the Olympic sports department.  Before heading to Memphis, Nate was the Director of Athletic Performance at Eastern Washington University, working primarily with football and volleyball while supervising the training of all EWU student-athletes. Additionally, Nate served as a student strength and conditioning coach at the University of Georgia, assisting with baseball, softball, swimming and diving and women’s tennis. A native of Lacey, Washington, Nate earned his Bachelor’s degree from Central Washington University and Master’s degree from Eastern Washington University in Exercise Science.  He is certified (CSCS) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association and (SCCC) the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association. Special thanks to VALD Performance for their support of this week's episode. Shownotes:
August 10, 2020
Using innovation to future proof Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta Falcons, and Atlanta United FC with Andrew Shannon.
Andrew is currently the Director of Emerging Technology for AMB Sports and Entertainment which encompasses the Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta United FC, and Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Andrew is a technologist with a background in IoT and big data product development. His career has centered around technology, first in consulting, then building a start-up, and now as an innovator-in-residence for AMBSE. Andrew got his start in tech entrepreneurship during his MBA, when he co-founded Aspirum Technologies. Later, he envisioned and commercialized many new products and features at Microsoft, including Windows Ink, Windows Focus Assistant, and Windows Timeline while on the Windows team, and Azure Sphere and Azure Time Series Insights while on the Azure IoT engineering team. Andrew is an Atlanta native, attending Georgia State University for his undergrad and Georgia Tech for his MBA and MS-CS.  Andrew shares how AMBSE is using technology for the safe return of fans to Mercedes-Benz Stadium with a "frictionless fan-experience". Shownotes:
August 3, 2020
Investment trends in sports, fitness and health tech with Melanie Strong, NEXT Ventures
Melanie Strong is the Managing Partner at NEXT VENTŪRES, a new venture capital firm designed to maximize growth opportunities in the exploding sports, fitness, nutrition and wellness markets. Mel has spent most of her life in the sports industry and believes that access to a healthy and active lifestyle can transform culture. She spent over 17 years at Nike, leading international marketing teams across running, women’s, soccer and training. She worked on all of Nike’s digital sports and tracking products and was most recently Vice President and General Manager for their skateboarding business. She continues to serve as an advisor to Nike’s accelerator, Valiant Labs, sits on the board of performance brand PowerDot, and is an advisor for photography app VSCO. Mel shares her perspectives on how the investment space has changed for the sports, fitness, nutrition and wellness markets since the COVID-19 pandemic; how these markets continue to blend and merge; key growth advice for Founders of their portfolio companies; and how constantly challenging biases and assumptions by bringing a fresh perspective to the world of VC can lead to better investment outcomes. Shownotes:
July 27, 2020
Improving access and enjoyability for fans with disabilities with Bryce Weiler, The Beautiful Lives Project.
Bryce Weiler is a co-founder for the Beautiful Lives Project and disability consultant for the Baltimore Orioles. Bryce was born four months premature and developed an eye condition called Retinopathy of prematurity that caused him to be blind. Bryce attended public school from elementary through his freshmen year of high school and completed his high school education at the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Indianapolis. Bryce’s passion for sports on the radio led him to commentate on radio sports broadcasts for the University of Evansville, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Sports Management and Communication, and Western Illinois University, where he earned a master’s degree in Sports Administration. After college, Bryce began developing programs for fans with disabilities. The first teams to join him in his work were the Baltimore Orioles and the New Britain Bees baseball teams. There's a lot of focus on how to use technology to better engage fans but implicit in most of these discussions, and the accompanying technology innovations, is the focus on engagement for abled-bodied fans. But how can sports teams and leagues better cater to all of their fans, including those with disabilities? Bryce shares his unique perspective on how to disability should not be a barrier to sharing in the fundamental human experience of sports. Shownotes:
July 20, 2020
Staying ahead of the curve in sports broadcast, OTT and digital disruption with Carlo De Marchis, Deltatre.
Carlo is Group Chief Evangelist at Deltatre, a role designed to push boundaries and ensure innovation remains at the heart of everything Deltatre does, including their work across OTT platforms, linear broadcast and next-gen digital experiences for top teams and leagues, such as FIFA, UEFA, NFL, The Premier League, MLB, DAZN, BBC, Discovery, BT Sport and AT&T. Carlo’s been with Deltatre for over 32 years months serving in a series of technical roles throughout the organization including as CTO, Chief Product Officer and Chief Marketing Officer. Sports are returning to play with a number of major differences. Most notably from a fan experience perspective is the limited amount, or complete lack, of fans allowed in stadiums during games. We’re also seeing altered schedules, with compressed seasons and competitions overlapping as they race to fill the available time before 2021 rolls around. Carlo shares how can technology be used to enhance the fan experience through this pandemic driven disruption of the status quo. He also shares more broadly on how sports rights-holders can respond and predict the digital disruption faced by the industry as fans expect to be able to consume what they want, when they want it and how they want it delivered.  Shownotes:
July 13, 2020
Recreating the in-stadium experience at home through IoT connected devices with Janet Gibson, Scorz
Janet Gibson is the CEO and Founder of SCORZ, global pioneers in large-scale multi-sensory sports fan engagement. Their immersive platform brings a new dimension to in-home audience engagement by amplifying campaigns and initiatives using integrated internet of things products and platform technology. Some of their products include the Budweiser smart scoring glass and the ice hockey smart scoring light which both react to events like team scoring moments or celebrations, to bring the stadium experience into fans living room. Janet has 25 years leading manufacturing and export businesses from growth and expansion through to successful M&A. Commencing in 2015, she lead the BuzzConnect Sports Technology business, driving growth of IoT Fan Engagement products in market. Janet purchased the BuzzConnect business in 2019 and established Scorz to expand on their capability as the pioneers and global leader for in-home and in-stadium sports fan engagement solutions. Shownotes:
July 6, 2020
Driving a data-led digital transformation in one of Spain's oldest football clubs with Franco Segarra, Valencia CF
Franco Segarra is the Head of Data/Analytics, Ticketing and Fan Experience at Valencia CF, one of Spain's most successful and oldest football clubs. He is responsible for all data insights of the club while also managing tickets/pricing, fan experience, and customer support departments from a data-driven angle. Franco has contributed significantly to the club’s ambitious digital transformation project and at the same time extended help in steering several strategic business decisions.  A former bank manager and Chief Technology Officer, Franco has over 12 years of professional experience in different sectors, but with a continued focus on applying technology and performing digital transformations in various businesses. On this week's episode, we unpack the data-led digital transformation of Valencia CF including: updating data processes vs. data culture within the club; the process of going cashless in their 97-year-old stadium; the role of the club's website as the external face of the digital transformation and why it was honoured by the prestigious Webby Awards; the latest innovations in fan experience, ticketing and business intelligence on the horizon. Shownotes:
June 29, 2020
What can traditional sports and esports learn from each other with Adrian Montgomery, Enthusiast Gaming
On this week's show, we're joined by Adrian Montgomery CEO of Enthusiast Gaming, one of the world’s largest publicly traded esports companies, and former NHL Team President. Drawing on his unique experience as a leader across traditional sports and esports, we dive into how esports, gaming, sports and entertainment continue their convergence; the future of privatization when it comes to 3rd party data ownership in gaming and entertainment; and what that means for brands and advertisers trying to reach the coveted Gen Z.  More about Adrian Montgomery Prior to leading Enthusiast Gaming, Adrian served as President and CEO of Canucks Sports and Entertainment, one of Canada’s premier sports and entertainment organizations. He is the former president of Tuckamore Capital Management, a conglomerate with over $700 million of annual revenue, and was also the former CEO of QM Environmental, one of Canada’s largest contracting companies. Adrian has been active in the political process throughout his career and has served as a political advisor to Leaders at all levels of government. Adrian also a member of the New York State Bar Association. More about Enthusiast Gaming Enthusiast Gaming operating across three main pillars: Media, Events and Esports teams. The digital media platform includes 100+ gaming related websites and 900 YouTube channels. Enthusiast’s esports division, Luminosity Gaming, consists of 7 professional esports teams under ownership and management, including the Vancouver Titans Overwatch team and the Seattle-based Call of Duty team. The entertainment division owns and operates Canada’s largest gaming expo, Enthusiast Gaming Live Expo, EGLX, and the largest mobile gaming event in Europe, Pocket Gamer Connects. Collectively, the integrated ecosystem reaches over 200 million gaming enthusiasts on a monthly basis. Shownotes:
June 22, 2020
Bridging the physical-digital divide through Virtual Sports & Esports with Dr Julian Tan, Formula 1
This week we are joined by Dr. Julian Tan Head of Digital Business Initiatives & Esports at Formula 1. Julian’s responsible for leading Formula 1's digital strategy, transformation & growth, including F1's global esports business, with the aim of redefining how fans engage with the sport through digital and esports. Prior to this, Julian was a Senior Consultant at global management consulting firm, The Boston Consulting Group. Here he helped some of the world's largest and most important organizations spearhead their commercial strategies and digital transformations. Julian holds first-class bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Oxford and a PhD in the micromechanics of carbon fibre laminates from the University of Cambridge. This discussion was originally recorded as part of the Sports Tech World Series - European Conference 2020.  This year's Conference has gone virtual with 6 micro-events over 6 weeks starting Friday 5th June. It's free to register and you'll have access to 18 hours of content from some of the brightest minds in European sports innovation. Shownotes:
June 15, 2020
Revolutionizing personalization in the fan experience with Mike Downey, Microsoft
We're joined by Mike Downey, Principal Architect of Sports Technology at Microsoft. He oversees the engineering planning and execution of Microsoft’s brand partnerships in sports, eSports, and entertainment working with large sports leagues and franchises including NBA, NFL, PGA Tour, NASCAR, ESPN and others. Prior to joining Microsoft, he spent nine years at Adobe primarily working on the Flash product family. Upon announcing NBA's multi-year technology deal with Microsoft, Commissioner Adam Silver stated: “This partnership with Microsoft will help us redefine the way our fans experience NBA basketball." Mike share's how this partnership came to fruition and the elements of this new agreement he believes will have the biggest impact on the fan experience. Mike also shares his perspectives on the rapid growth in esports and how this can be sustained as traditional sports resume.  More episodes and shownotes:
June 8, 2020
Pushing forwards the fan experience with Tim Tubito, NFL
Tim Tubito is the Director, Event Presentation & Content at the National Football League. On this week's episode, we discuss how the NFL develops and delivers on ever-evolving technology, such as in the Super Bowl mixed reality presentation and the pivot to a Virtual Draft, to deliver an exceptional fan experience for the world's largest sporting league. Tim is an Emmy award-winning producer and director with over 15 years of production and game presentation experience with the New York Jets, Madison Square Garden Company and most recently the NFL. In his current role, Tim oversees Event Presentation and Content for all of the NFL’s major tent pole events including the Super Bowl, The NFL Draft, NFL Kickoff as well as Game Presentation Strategy across all 32 clubs. Prior to this Tim was at the Madison Square Garden Company where he was responsible for games and events for the New York Knicks. In his this role, he was in charge of game scripting, as well as managing all event activity, including live music, arena lighting, entertainment coordination, and partner/marketing integration. He spent 12 years with the New York Jets in several different roles including overseeing football video operations then switching to the business side with responsibility for content, event presentation, virtual and augmented reality initiatives and experiential production. More episodes and shownotes:
June 1, 2020
How technology is making sports betting bigger, smarter and fairer with Dr Laila Mintas
This week we're joined by Dr Laila Mintas to understand the role of technology in growing and securing the multi-billion dollar sports betting market. Including how the industry has coped with the COVID19 shutdown and how tech can be used to safeguard against fake "ghost games" being run by criminal organizations in lieu of real events. Dr Mintas is a an expert consultant in the sports betting, digital sports and fan engagement industry . She was named a 2019 SBJ Power Player in Sports Betting and one of Business Insider´s Leaders of the Sports Betting Industry. Prior to establishing her independent consultancy, Laila oversaw all US operations for the sports data provider, Sportradar. Laila has also served as the Head of Legal and Head of International Development for FIFA’s Early Warning System (FIFA EWS) and Director of Sports Integrity at CONCACAF, the governing body for Soccer in North America, Central America and the Caribbean being responsible for all 41 member countries. Since 2009, she has published a significant number of law articles and has lectured at the Humboldt University of Berlin and Columbia University in New York where she is a Professor for Global Sports Law. More episodes and shownotes:
May 25, 2020
Workforce management tech for sports and mass participation events with Shannan Gove, Rosterfy
On today's show, we dive into the role technology plays in engaging and managing volunteers at large sporting and mass participation events. The crucial role of volunteers in the success of large scale events is often overlooked and certainly underappreciated under. Shannan Gove (Director andd Co Founder at Rosterfy) shares his perspectives on why it's incredibly important as sports look to return from shutdown, they also consider how they can engage their workforce to return with them. Shannan is an expert in large scale paid and volunteer workforce operations. Since starting Rosterfy in 2010, Shannan has a proven track record working with the worlds largest events including the last four Super Bowls, numerous FIFA World Cups and mass participation events across 5 continents such as the London Marathon,  Spartan Race and Ironman triathlons. More episodes and shownotes:
May 18, 2020
Tech innovation learnings from a startup sports league with David Michael, XFL
This week we’re joined by David Michael, the former Chief Technology Officer for the XFL. Unfortunately, the XFL was one of the early victims of the COVID-19 sports shutdown, ceasing all operations and subsequently filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy after only 5 weeks (20 games) into its inaugural season. However what it managed to achieve in that short period was impressive and holds lessons for surviving sports teams and leagues in how to use technology to engage fans in new and innovative ways. During his time at the XFL, David was responsible for all technology in the league and across its 8 teams. This included leading a team of 150 people covering digital products, football tech and enterprise technology. Prior to this, he was the Chief Information Officer for The Madison Square Garden Company. As the executive responsible for technology he led enterprise wide customer facing digital products as well as back office tech functions. Shownotes and more episodes:
May 11, 2020
The quantified self and macro trends in sports technology with Dr Martin Schlegel, Chemneera.
On this week's show, we’re going big picture looking at macro trends in the sports technology industry. Topics covered include: the rise of the quantified self; smart stadiums as precursors to smart cities; the convergence of wearables and video analytics; technology innovation and adoption post coronavirus shutdown. Martin is Principal Consultant at Chemneera, a leading sports technology global advisory firm, with more than 20 years experience in the sports and recreation, construction and specialty chemicals industry in the areas of product development, process engineering and research and development commercialisation. He sits on the Advisory Board of the International Sports Technology Association and the Australian Sports Technologies Network.  Shownotes and more episodes:
May 4, 2020
Building A High Performance Culture With Science And Technology
Discussion with Danielle Gescheit (Head of Professional Tennis Operations, Tennis Australia); Dr Tannath Scott (Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of New England / NSW Rugby League); Kim Crane (National High Performance Director, Surfing Australia); Tania Gallo (Head Sports Scientist, North Melbourne Football Club); and William Strange (CEO, SPT). On today’s show, we’re discussing how science and technology can be applied to get the most from athletes and coaches across a range of sports and environments. Our experts share their own definitions of high performance and what the most successful adoption of technology has been towards building a high performance culture in their organization. They share how to navigate the dysfunctional marriage of the art and science of coaching, including different approaches for working with "old school" gut coaches vs "new school" data-driven leaders. We round out the conversation with a look into trends, both positive and negative, in the field of sports science. Guest Bio's, More Episodes and Show Notes:
April 27, 2020
The science of performance coaching in esports with Taylor Johnson, Statespace.
Taylor is the Chief Performance Engineer at Statespace, a neuroscience and AI gaming company developing holistic training tools to increase human performance, with a particular focus on cognitive output in esports and gaming. Prior to this, Taylor held several human performance roles with collegiate sports teams and the NFL as a Strength and Conditioning coach with the San Francisco 49ers. During his stint at the 49ers, Taylor was in charge of the physical preparation and rehabilitation of the players as well as developing and implementing the team’s nutrition and sports science/wellness program. On today's show we learn more about Taylor’s very unique career path and how he's bringing the science and skills from traditional sports performance into esports. We discuss the notion of pro esports players as "athletes", understand why the current career of a pro esports player is only 2-4 years, and what then can be done to increase players performance and longevity. We also look at how cognitive performance training can be applied to traditional sports and other areas such as stroke recovery. More episodes and show notes:
April 20, 2020
Global learnings from China's sport ecosystem with Sam Li, Sina Sports.
Sam is Head of International Business Development at Sina Sports, one of the largest sports digital media platforms in China. Sina Sports are the exclusive Chinese broadcast partners for over 90 sports properties, including the European Champions League, UFC, Wimbeldon and PGA Tour. In conjunction with their sister company Weibo, China’s largest social media platform, Sina Sports also operates social media accounts with more than 100 million followers. They've also expanded into offline sporting events including Asia’s largest FIBA-certified 3 on 3 basketball tournament.  Sam shares his insights on the Chinese sports ecosystem, including the "pyramid of fan engagement" and how Sina Sports use a combination of digital, social and offline to service these different user bases. Sam also discusses how China is recovering from coronavirus shutdown and what that could mean for sports reopening domestically and around the world. More episodes and shownotes:
April 13, 2020
Esports Investment, Partnership and Growth Opportunities
Discussion with Matt Archambault (Head of Partnerships & Business Development, North America, Riot Games), Greg Stangel (Chief Revenue Officer, Misfits Gaming), Justin Varghese (North America Marketing Manager, Dreamhack) and Nicola Piggot (Co-Founder, The Story Mob). On today’s show, we’re discussing one industry sector that’s inadvertently benefited from the global shutdown of sporting leagues and the increasing number of stay-at-home and social distancing orders: esports. The continued upward of trajectory of esports, even in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, presents a unique opportunity for stakeholders in traditional sports, including teams, athletes and their partner brands, to fill the void for fans affected by the shutdown as well as connecting with a new, younger audience. Guest Bio's, More Episodes and Show Notes:
April 6, 2020
Legal implications of the global sport shutdown with Julian Moore, Mills & Reeve.
Julian is Head of Sports (London) for Mills & Reeve, one of the UK's leading sports law practices, acting for some of the biggest names in the industry including Premier League Clubs, National Sporting Bodies, individual Athletes as well as broadcasters, marketing agencies and brands. Julian advises these sports industry clients on a wide range of commercial legal matters, in particular broadcast/media rights distribution, sponsorship rights, event staging and sports technology, including start-ups. On today's episode, we discuss the legal ramifications of the widespread cancellation or postponement of sports leagues and competitions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We discuss potential solutions for rights holders, broadcasters and down-stream companies, as well as what role technology can play in helping the industry recover. We also look into Julian's work with the London Sports Tech Network and advice for growing local sports technology ecosystems. More episodes and shownotes:
March 30, 2020
Digital transformation and the future of sports with Richard Ayers, Seven League.
Richard is CEO and Founder of Seven League, a digital consultancy focusing on sports with clients including FIFA, NBA, FC Barcelona and the Premier League. A former journalist instrumental in the 1997 launch of BBC News Online, Richard spotted the opportunity for sport to use digital to become more creatively valuable and commercially viable whilst serving as Manchester City’s first Head of Digital. On today's episode, Richard is in conversation with Umberto Righetti (Chief Strategy Officer, Atrium Sports) discussing how digital transformation is impacting all aspects of sporting organisations. He also shares similarities he’s seen between digital disruption in the music industry and how learnings from that can apply to sports today. More episodes and shownotes:
March 23, 2020
Turning unknown social media fans into known digital fans with Roi Mozer, Pico Get Personal.
Roi is the COO and the Co-Founder of Pico - Get Personal, a SaaS platform that helps sports teams (including the LA Clippers, St Louis Blues and FC Bayern Munchen) to build 1-on-1 relationships with their fans by making it easy to communicate and connect with fans via social media. They utilize AI and purpose-built chatbots to make the process more efficient for the teams and more personal for the fans when interacting on their preferred social media platform. On today's episode, we discuss the importance for sports teams to join the dots between "unknown" fans on third party social media platforms into "known" fans captured on the team’s internal database. We also explore Roi's unusual entrepreneurial journey from local bar owner to the world of international sports. Shownotes:
March 16, 2020
Using customer biometric data for a frictionless game-day experience with Christian Lau, LAFC.
Christian is Chief Technology Officer for Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) and Banc of California Stadium.  He's responsible for defining the technical vision of the organization, developing the strategy around the use of technology throughout operations, and managing the implementation of technology across the enterprise. On today’s episode we discuss how in a town famous for traffic and entertainment, LAFC are not necessarily competing against other teams in the area but the city itself. Which means the focus is all about making the customer’s experience as frictionless as possible. Christian shares some of the advanced tech they're using to make this frictionless experience a reality including biometric sensors and cutting edge high-speed fibre infrastructure. More episodes and shownotes:
March 9, 2020
Sports tech investment and acceleration with Tim Hayden, Stadia Ventures.
Tim is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Stadia Ventures, a global Sports Innovation Hub (including accelerator and venture fund) for early-stage investment in sports and esports.  They have 40 portfolio companies since their launch in 2015 which have gone on to raise over $53M (including 5 exits). Tim is also a Senior Adjunct Professor at Saint Louis University where he teaches Undergrads and Masters students in one of the top-ranked Entrepreneurship program in the US. On today's episode, we explore the investment trends Tim has seen over the last five years, including the rise of esports and the globalisation of sports capital. We also discuss the essential attributes Tim and the Stadia team look for when making investments in startup founders. Shownotes and more episodes:
March 2, 2020
Bringing laboratory-grade tech to the sporting field with Sam James, VALD Performance
Sam James is Director of Europe and Co-Founder of VALD Performance, a sports technology company that aims to provide sports scientists, physiotherapists and conditioning coaches unparalleled insights into their players’ performance and injury risk. Over 500 Elite sporting teams, performance centres and research institutions around the world rely on the VALD Performance Athlete Testing Systems for screening, monitoring, rehabilitating and training their athletes. In today's episode we discuss, the different technology testing solutions they use and how they were developed; the trend in computer vision and camera technology overtaking physical performance testing; and advice for developing a global business in the sports performance space. Shownotes and more episodes:
February 24, 2020
Applying Artificial Intelligence to sports data Dr. Helen Sun, Stats Perform
Helen is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Stats Perform, overseeing Artificial Intelligence, Innovation, Global Engineering, Design and Data Production teams. Helen joined Stats Perform in 2018 with over 22 years of experience as a technology strategist and thought leader, most recently serving as the CTO of JPMorgan Chase’s Commercial Banking division. In this episode, we discuss the fundamentals of AI and how its application to sports data will change everything from draft decisions all the way to how new generations of fans consume and control sports content. Shownotes and more episodes:
February 17, 2020
VR and advanced tech driving Olympic performance with Troy Taylor, US Ski & Snowboard
Troy is the Head of High Performance for US Ski & Snowboard where he leads on all aspects of high performance in supporting U.S. Ski & Snowboard athletes, including most recently in winning 15 medals (7 Golds) at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games. Troy is responsible for providing strategic and operational leadership to over 30 practitioners in all the Sports Science/Technology, Sports Medicine and Sports Education departments. On today's episode, we discuss how the team integrates technology, including neurocognitive assessments and virtual reality, to solve the unique issues in the inhospitable and everchanging environment of snow sports. Shownotes and more episodes:
February 10, 2020
Understanding fan tribalism through the ultimate "crowd selfie" with Tinus Le Roux, Fancam
Tinus is CEO and Co-Founder of Fancam, the ultimate crowd selfie, helping brands and teams connect with their fans through super high-resolution whole stadium photos. Their clients include the Superbowl, Stanley Cup, Indy 500 and Rugby World Cup. We discuss how Fancam started as a fan engagement tool but evolved into fan analytics tool telling teams more about who’s actually in their stadium and how they’re interacting. Shownotes and more episodes:
February 3, 2020
Taming the Wild West of professional Esports with Adam Whyte, EDGE
Adam spent seven years as a sports lawyer managing player contracts, transfers, and litigating before the Court of Arbitration for Sport. In 2017 he transferred these professional legal skills to the burgeoning esports ecosystem. Using his own first-hand experience as a professional gamer in the “Wild West” of sports, Adam focussed on digitising contracts and automating payments for competitors. Adam discusses the future of professional esports and the convergence of esports with traditional sports. Shownotes and more episodes:
January 27, 2020
The future of tech in sports betting with Nicole Metzgar-Schall, Nathan Rothschild and Wayne Kimmel
The sports betting industry is estimated to grow to $500+ billion within the US market alone. This week we explore how technology is being applied to accelerate the growth of sports betting with Nathan Rothschild (GTG Network), Niki Metzgar-Schall (Sportradar) and Wayne Kimmel (SeventySix Capital). You'll learn what tech underpins in sports betting ecosystem including data collection, data analytics, media and broadcasting; how tech is being applied to ensure integrity; and where venture capital investments are being made in the highest growth areas of the sports betting industry. This panel discussion was recorded live in October 2019 at the USA Sports Tech Conference as part of the Sports Tech World Series. Shownotes and more episodes:
January 20, 2020
Automating video production and distribution for live sports with Umberto Righetti, Atrium Sports
Umberto is Chief Strategy Officer at Atrium Sports, a company he co-founded with the aim of providing sports with a one-stop shop for technology solutions that create new content, engage fans and open further commercial opportunities to grow the sport. Umberto's journey in sports tech is a classic 20-year overnight success story. It began with a voluntary role at his son's local football team and led to work with FIFA and the basketball equivalent, FIBA. On today's episode, we discuss the "Connected Stadium" and how technology automation is enabling sports of all levels to better capture, produce, enhance and distribute their in-game video and data. Shownotes and more episodes:
January 13, 2020
Uncovering hidden football talent through social scouting app with Peter Holm, Tonsser
Peter is the Co-Founder of Tonsser, a Danish football performance app for unsigned youth players looking to be discovered by professional teams. In just three years, Tonsser’s app has acquired over 1M+ football playing-users and is the largest youth football database in Europe. It's been described as the LinkedIn of football and utilises individually sourced and community validated data to uncover the next generation of footballers. Shownotes and more episodes:
January 6, 2020
Disrupting sports media to create unprecedented athlete accessibility with Caley Wilson, Blinder
As the communications manager of New Zealand Rugby League, Caley was frustrated with what he saw as huge limitations around how teams and leagues could make their athletes accessible and get their stories told. So he founded the sports tech startup Blinder to unlock the storytelling potential of high-performance teams whilst respecting the privacy of the athlete. Shownotes and more episodes:
December 30, 2019
The impact of real-time basketball data for coaches, players and fans with Davyeon Ross, ShotTracker
How real-time basketball data analytics is a game changer for coaches, players and fans with Davyeon Ross, Co-Founder and President of ShotTracker. Shownotes:
December 23, 2019
How blood biomarker data is combating athlete fatigue and injury with Dr. Georgie Bruinvels, Orecco
Georgie is a Research Scientist at Orreco working with a range of Olympic and professional sporting teams including the Dallas Mavericks and the US Women's National Team, recent FIFA World Cup Champions. She also leads the science behind the Female Athlete Programme and FitrWomam and FitrCoach Apps. Shownotes:
December 16, 2019
How golf is embracing digital transformation with Michael Cole, PGA European Tour and Ryder Cup
Michael is the Chief Technology Officer for the PGA European Tour and Ryder Cup. His responsibilities include technology, digital, data and data management across the Tour’s 47 golfing tournaments held annually in 30 countries. Show notes:
December 9, 2019
How neuroscience is training brains of elite athletes with Tom Nugent, Platypus Neuro
Tom leads the Elite Performance Solutions division for Platypus Neuro, which provides state-of-the art neurocognitive assessment and training programs to professional sports teams and military operator communities. Show notes:
December 4, 2019
Welcome to Sports Tech Feed!
Each week your host, Thomas Alomes, will guide you through the latest trends across the intersection of sports and technology via in-depth interviews with some of the brightest minds in sports tech from around the World. Our aim in starting Sports Tech Feed is to give you access to these industry learnings so you can apply them in your own professional development. Upcoming guests include: Tom Nugent (VP, Elite Performance | Platypus Institute) Dr Helen Sun (CTO | Stats Perform) Michael Cole (CTO | European Tour & Ryder Cup) Dr Georgie Bruinvels (Research Scientist | Orreco) New episodes are released first thing every Monday morning, ready for your weekly commute, and you can check out notes and previous episodes at
December 2, 2019