Sports Tech and CES

Sports Tech and CES



hey everyone I'm Tyler suiters and here at the Consumer Technology Association we own and produce CES it is the biggest tech event on the planet it is the largest tech event on the planet this week the confluence of Technology and sports for businesses for fans for athletes professional and otherwise it is technology that impacts athletic performance it impacts fan engagement and the business of sports whether that's on the field or off the field and we are talking to a group of tech investors they are from the VC field the CEO field and the H o F field you'll find out what that means if you have including already you are getting business insight from former pro athletes and I think you'll recognize some of their names these are folks whose current careers combine sports and technology this is interesting stuff you know it's strange to see someone who has had such a strong well-known athletic career get even better after that career comes to an end and he or she is looking for something new but former NBA all-star Baron Davis is a great example and he's joining us now Baron good to have you here look I don't want to talk down your basketball career because it was long and it was stellar no question but man you've become a VC superstar in the sports world tell us about what you're up to right now before we delve any deeper a lot of you know out of survival and I think that for me and allowed me to explore other arenas and other opportunities to see where groan and and the market you know was shitty and so you know I kind of took that as an opportunity you know as an athlete to you know look at younger companies as you know the potential next generation of superstars and you know in the world aren't companies that you know people say this are disruptive now um and those more sought of survival and you know warning knowledge right really wanting to have the knowledge to learn and knew that it was going to be a life after basketball and prepare myself for that mm-hmm well I think in I don't want to carry the sports analogy too far but in one sense it's like becoming a sports franchise owner right you are the funding you are ultimately calling so many of the shots because you have the control but to hear your excitement about it it sounds like you enjoy playing the role of scout – right discovering this talent and this opportunity and this innovation well before it hits the market maybe before anybody else does you know you get to start from scratch right and you get to learn you know different you know a lot of people odd about people's tendencies you get to learn about what what you're capable of doing right as an investor as as an athlete right and where you can contribute right because for me it's all about investing in things that I can contribute to and so if I could if I can do that then I know that you know I can be a good teammate so how do you find your way into the technology sector at that point because I think the natural transition for athletes at least in the past is been things you really understand well that could be a restaurant it could be a clothing line there are the obvious partnership opportunities that it seems come up when you move from just in or sir of a company or a product to a potential financial role so what drew you to technology specifically for me was looking at the way technology was working and how I could use technology to influence what I was doing or bring technology into my space and so for me it was like a man this thing's cool I think I'll start a tech company and so it was all about you know learning and learning on the fly but at the same time the family that it is I was paying for Business School and I want to turn this and check powerful it pertained to what I was doing with my life and I'd imagine that your time in the city with the Golden State Warriors must have had an influence you know at the time as well very much now I mean now that's a hot spot for venture capital internationally not just here in the US I mean it's it's you know you gain mentors you gain coaches you getting people who you know really really who expect you and looking at the tech community it's one of the most liked it it's one of the most sharing communities as far as information like people want you to win right where there's no much competition the competition is about a competition isn't online for us to innovate right and sometimes you know you may have two or three companies out of that but everybody's supporting and trying to help each other and that's what I like about the tech community so you know when it was me that wanted to you know start a tech company you know the community was active and they were supportive of everything that I was trying to do so how do you break into that how do you go from the guy on the court that they see from one two three rows back forty one nights a year to someone that that you present yourself as a potential partner to these folks who are you know buying the sweets or and the courtside tickets or there to you know spend time with you it behind-the-scenes parties that they they pay for access to how do you put yourself on that equal footing um I think for me is it was you know the first company was IBG calm and it was like you know how can I use technology to do something that will be fun for me and my friends and so it's building a social platform right that allowed you know you and your friends to compete whether it's a three-point contest best dress whatever it was and you know for you know the way we built our company is you know I always wanted to be a creator and so we just needed to find the right you know people who could build the technology and you know just through you know meetings and you know knowing and and and doing a lot of research – and having a lot of good you know mentors and people like that you come up on the right people mm-hmm so but at the same time it sounds like you are coming from a position that is so familiar in the startup world which is you had a pitch in mind you had an elevator story you had your narrative set and you had already identified a potential audience so you were coming ready with a pitch not just with capital right you know I was prepared mm-hmm you know it's basketball has taught me that if you are going to participate right you must be you must practice and you must learn the fundamental skills right and if you can bring to the table your talent and your qualities and you know you have you can be a great asset to a team and so that that was my mentality you know going into it is you know be equipped to be prepared right and at every step of the way and if I'm not prepared then that's when I should be learning and asking for help so talk about the transition then baron from when you're first starting out and as you said you're thinking about what you and your friends want to do and and how to aggregate that that community through a tech platform to where you are let's say last year when you come to CES and you are among the most important tech influencers on the planet how do you get from where you started to to where you are now in terms of understanding the community and having that pitch honed and also being on the other side knowing how to read a pitch knowing how to evaluate potential partners based on a half-hour conversation if not a five-minute conversation yeah I think you know kind of you have to go through it right you have to go through it you have to you know it's all a part of the process and for me you know I pay the dues you know I've looked at you know a hundred companies this year done due diligence on them all but it's also like upset with you know a lot of great investors to hear you know their thoughts on you know and their takes on where they think the industry is going and you know I think it's really just important to when you had a place like that you can become overwhelmed the most important thing for you to do is to take the time to listen all right listen and learn and be WiDi and you know actually see us like like I'm a kid in the candy store right so you know I know that there's gonna be some really cool people that connect with and some really interesting companies and and you know you just you can get overwhelmed and I think that you spend the day and you enjoy all the great things that CEO sounds the office and then the next day you know it's all business making sure that you're prepared you know that I'm prepared to go out and you know whether it's a company that I'm meeting through intro or you know but it's a business deal that I'm sitting and I'm ready to make I need to I need to make sure that you know that's game day me and so I'm not really that wide I I'm focused on all the things that I need to be in take care of well let's dive a little deeper into that Baron because that's an interesting approach this dichotomy of go there and and be a fan for lack of a better term right see what there is to see touch try feel all this amazing innovation but you're able to sounds like to to flip a switch almost to get into business mode what did you discover on on the second half of that the back half of when you were in business mode and CES and having those conversations and those important meetings yeah for me it was you know showing up being prepared there's those media there's some of the most innovative companies new startups you know all kind of all kind of opportunity to be distracted that second day but I think that's why you you want to take the first the first day and just enjoy yourself the second day you know I'm coming in and I know that I have a presentation or I have you know i have i have a business still to get done i'm gonna be fully prepared and that's where my focus is gonna be you've had read of soy baron go ahead pick it up right where you want to yeah no I'm saying that's you know more importantly that's what my focus is going to be and you know that's where you know those are my destination I have I'm landing destinations and so you know you see me day two it's more staying focused on where I need to get to right and then you know if there's a break or something like that then you know I can entertain a new conversation but more importantly you know that second day is it's all about focus it's all about you know giving the attention to the client the person you're meeting with because everybody is that CES to you know to really enhance their business I don't know if you can separate the former NBA star from current VC investor and tech visionary but where do you see as an investor Baron sports and Technology going as a sector and as an opportunity well one sports is forever growing and so the audience is is only getting younger and the older audience is only becoming more than mastaba and so when you look at that you're looking at you know entire families now being able to enjoy entertainment and entertainment that has a universal language and communication right in a feeling and so I think sports from a from a technology standpoint it's in this infancy right huh as far as being able to you know connect fans to the players players to the fans when you look at social media and players having their own voice you know that's that's really never ever happened you know where each and every player is allowed to have a place and beast about EMBA brand so you know technology has it has a golden opportunity to connect right and it has the opportunity to create more honest content and get you closer to the closer to the athlete right these athletes are 360 degree athletes they want to be intact they understand technology better than a lot of the people investing in it the actual users you know for instance for at night you know in eSports and Gaming might be these kids are making it anything and we're following what the chins that they're setting there and I want to end with a business-related question I'm sure you've had to compare yourself time and time and on the court – your predecessors what guard do you most see yourself like who's the one player you most want to emulate what about now and your current role as as an investor as a business later who has a strategy and approach that you think yeah that's that's what I want to be in this sector for me I think it's being an innovator a creator in this sector right not just somebody who's investing right with somebody who is building something and has an opportunity to be known for for building something that's also our right a platform a company that's where I'm looking at so you know my focus is really about searching for innovation and finding that team of people that I'm looking to be disruptors with the next gate Bay the next great product and the search continues at CES 2019 Baron Davis former NBA all-star but becoming a rising star really well-known voice and name in the technology investment sector as well they aren't always good to talk to you my friend thanks for being with us all right can you imagine having an Olympic gold medal and putting that second or third on your business resume Angelo Ruggiero has a gold along with three other Olympics medals for her time with the US women's hockey team she also has an undergraduate a graduate degree from Harvard University she is a CEO in the confluence of the sports tech world and she's joining us right now Angela not to pump up you know your resume any further but man which comes first for you sports are your entrepreneurial career it's all honest there's a common theme I think you'll find from athletes and entrepreneurs and yeah just try to apply that theme and and do things that I'm passionate about and are willing to get up early and stay late for so billing my company at the sports innovation lab is definitely in a way replaced my Olympic experience and dedication and winning gold medals for for America so anyone who has dived into your background it's easy to not long and safe Sports innovation lab I get it you're CEO now and this is just after your time with the Olympic Committee of course you were two medalist this makes sense that you got into sports but I don't want to gloss over the fact that you have an undergraduate degree from Harvard you have a graduate degree from the University of Minnesota in sports management and you have an MBA from Harvard I mean that's as impressive a pre-business resume as your amateur hockey career in some senses yeah I think sports is one of the best vehicles to learn intangible about yourself about others working in a team setting goals I think education is a way to learn tangible you know how do you build a pro forma how do you build your marketing team etc etc so I think I tried to take the same approach I did early on in my hockey career which was what are the things I can learn and prepare for as I want to I want to be an Olympic gold medalist and on the business side I said what are the weather what are the component pieces I need to know to be successful in business and education just gives you such a an easy way to learn and quickly acclimate yourself and hopefully we're ready I mean we're building a company that doesn't exist in the market currently and and I'm leveraging on my athletic background and my educational background as well so I'm very curious you use the term learned so frequently there Angela as CEO of Sports innovation labs you are very much about data collection data gathering data analysis data usage around the sports sector in a sense helping fans and companies and athletes themselves learn more about the entire arena athlete performance Specter exactly so we're a research data analytics company built on software the foundation is a software platform that gives us unique data sets and insights that our analysts then go and and and dig deeper in a more qualitative manner but it's again same approach when I was about to get ready to play in my gold medal game against Canada you better believe we had a scout and we had several Scouts and we had a game plan we knew what our competition was we understood our strengths and weaknesses relative to our competitors we you know could train every individual and again that same approach I think makes common sense in business know who your competitors are know where the market is heading understand the data and for us can we help and enable sports companies technology companies that are moving into this sector at an increasing pace we have we've mapped over 3,500 companies to date that are doing something around the sports tech sector and give them these insights that our company objectively curates and and and sources and give them access to that data so they could you know perform at their best so it's a similar analogy I think I approach at least what you would do as an athlete what I think any good business person should should think about yeah I hadn't thought of you all as an outsourced scouting department but that makes a lot of sense when you when you run through the five areas that you all identify approach and and to large degree quantify what stands out for you what is the the V emerging category among those five and and it's probably best to start by listing all five and I could eventually get around to each of them without any help but but I know you've got them at your fingertips and and can recite them but memory five major trends that emerged based on our research where where is the bubbling on the supply side of the market around sports attack one you've got what we call immersive media companies that are developing digital sports con to provide consumers with greater control or choice they're accessible social interactive the nonlinear or traditional way you would consume sports or any content for that matter that's immersive media next-gen sponsorship the evolving way that technologies are helping brands athletes teens really create and measure the effectiveness of their digital experiences and and integrate that into a very seamless way so that your fans and-and-and are actually understanding those brands better eSports everyone has to ask us about eSports it is a sport it's the first truly digital sport so we're really looking at the technology platforms that eSport sits on top of you're really trying to understand that and and and leverage the insights there to help create best practices across all sports smart venue is another one really looking at how do you venues of the future prioritize speed security sustainability if the goal is really to help your fans create an unforgettable experience before during and after and technologies is changing the way that stadiums are built and run today and then the last one I would say that we cover is called quantified athlete it's any companies that are monitoring measuring or predicting performance and so think about that as the quantified self we see health care a lot we see a lot of these companies these wearable companies etc and I'll just say that's my favorite one because I lived that world for so long in sports I was able to play in four Olympics and and I really had to understand my body and these companies are really hope enabling you to have unique data sets that prolong your hockey career or your life in sort of the healthcare service well another one of your partners at Sports Innovation Lab is Isaiah Casa Vince key who is a former NFL player right played for the Seahawks and and and the Raiders briefly another Harvard guy who made it professional sports I know there are dozens of you out there but on the serious side you're both former athletes um do you get together and talk once in a while about how amazing this would have been even just a decade ago to have this kind of data to analyze your own performance not just game to game but practice to practice absolutely I mean that's and that's the gold standard really now is contains leagues Federation's can athletes have that extended team that can use data right to help them in their careers so we're they're not you know so that you're treated in a personalized manner the the theme that comes out is you know 10 20 years ago every team every athlete really does the same training program today they're saying well what's your age what's your player load how did you sleep the night before what kinds of injuries do you have I mean all these data sets now can be integrated and captured and understood so that you know Angela occurs in our first Olympics gets treated very differently than Angela is in our fourth Olympics in terms of well I might need more rest and I might need more reps as a rookie you know in my first go-around with a younger healthier body so this idea of personalization is what the quantified athlete sector is all about and we're studying that we have over 700 companies alone that we've aggregated a lot of those companies you actually see at CES and they're doing interesting things but we'll give an objective perspective sitting in the middle of that market saying here are the companies we think that matter most and here are the ones that you know might need more investment or more infrastructure underneath in that sector to be successful so we're trying to give an objective voice to the athlete and and eventually the team that's supporting those athletes well so back to your business roots Angela since you're playing days to some degree next-gen sponsorships all right this is getting businesses as closely integrated as possible not just with the teams and the companies that are facilitating coverage of these teams but also the athletes themselves right a major focus of ours given how you know you there's only a few revenue streams but typical teams currently have and sponsorship is a big revenue stream a big driver and you know how we're all able to watch fans and/or watch athletes and nation sponsorship is really saying if we can use technologies to better understand what brands and and teams should be associated or paired can we measure the effectiveness of digital experiences and then integrate those seamlessly with sports events can we leverage social media as an example to allow athletes a better connect to their fans in a very targeted way so next-gen sponsorship is really about understanding making the market more efficient between sponsors and the in the brands and the teams are the rights holders themselves between athletes and the brands that they're supporting and ultimately creating more effective ways to measure a return on investment if you're making you know these hundreds of millions of dollars we're seeing now thrown around at the International Olympic Committee level and and professional sports level well they have to pay another fee on top of that to activate those sponsorships and engage with fans so companies are actually using computer vision and AI machine learning to understand what impressions of those brands are on on your TV screen on your digital screen and that in aggregate you can understand the value then of the sponsorship so the whole next-gen sponsorship market is evolving and technology is paving the way for its evolution mm-hmm tell me which of those five areas angela has you the most excited right now serving time as an athlete as a fan as a businessperson what really strikes you is the the right best opportunity for innovation from a b2b sense I'm really interested in immersive media so I spent eight years on the IFC one of the boards I'm serving on while I was there was the Olympic Channel so it was the over the top platform the digital platform that the Olympic said well we can't reach our fans outside of every two years and we see this at an increasing pace why don't we build another platform that lets you go direct to consumer basically that's what's called the Olympic Channel so this space called immersive media to me the most exciting it's it's creating new ways for fans to create content to engage with content to interact with that content and the Sports Innovation Lab talks about immersive media as the future of sport really where media is really accessible what do you see angela is the opportunities since we're coming up on CES for you at the intersection of sports and technology to engage to find partnerships to find ideas what are you looking for from a CES strategic approach for sports innovation lab yeah we're really excited to be a part of the SportsZone this year at CES which is something we'll co-produced with with CES to develop this amazing four-day experience focused squarely on sports technologies I believe the most innovative companies that are really developing novel technologies or approaches in the sports industry are going to be on-site they're going to want to demonstrate their products and their capabilities really paired at this lively discussion which will help curate on stage around these trends that we talked about today how you know how the whole business of sport is devolving because of tech and I'm excited because you'll have thought leadership there you'll have curated content and you'll actually get to see and feel and touch the different companies that will bring their products it's busy it's crazy 170,000 people so you got to really be focused and have a plan when you get there it's a bit overwhelming but I see it as really exciting opportunity to learn more to network and to really see firsthand the cutting edge of where sports technology is headed for Olympic medals three business and sports related degrees and one CEO position at sports innovation lab that's the briefest I can summarize your resume angela rozier era thanks again we look forward to seeing you at Las Vegas at CES 2019 13 years in the NFL one Pro Bowl one spot is a first-round NFL draft pick and also amazing exposure to business and tech insiders along the way Shawn Springs has had quite a story not just as an NFL cornerback playing at an elite level but now as a business and technology entrepreneur and shot it's great to have you with us I'm glad to be on the show today so we were talking about your background and the fact that as I said you've had this amazing exposure to business and and football is certainly an integral part of your life but this opens some pretty remarkable doors throughout your professional career in the NFL yeah that was you know the NFL is not for long so make sure you develop princess relationships back in a healthy post career and you never know who who could help you or what type of advice you can learn from different people you run across I said so I've always taken to heart made sure that you know I like time to meet people and as a professional athlete a lot of people want to meet you they want to hang out with you yeah I can't imagine some of the business a few people want to talk with a professional athlete about but that's probably a different different kind of podcast you refer to your dad Ron Springs who had an impressive NFL career with the Dallas Cowboys went to a few Super Bowls so that's someone who certainly knew where he was speaking of when he talked about the opportunities you faced but you met someone just as influential if not more so in terms of what the business world held because as a rookie you were drafted by the Seattle Seahawks it's 1997 they're playing in the old king dome right kind of a kind of a dump of a stadium by then playing on astroturf which no one wants to do and you're going all the way across the country after growing up in the DC area to a franchise with not much history not much success but you did have an owner who offered some pretty valuable insights to him yeah you know it's a total change for me and when I landed a seat back it was just like the world missed our founding and started Microsoft with Bill Gates and I just remember when he was purchased in the team and he put up a lot of his own money to to build a stadium but he still had to get the remaining votes from the county to contribute in I remember just one time asking mr. Allen Walker Jenner like hey did you know you gonna become a billionaire or do you think about becoming a billionaire and it's and he easily just looked at and say hey was about becoming a billionaire it was about doing something exciting and disruptive and on this thing we call Internet today and back and and that you saw all in Seattle because I have buddies who works for a company who selling coffee in order that company Starbucks my other body works what company came and said there's company books online you know and and I come into Amazon and Microsoft was previewed earlier every 12 days so I was fortunate about to be put in a town now now big city Seattle who was this you know technology innovation was just this bears not a Silicon Valley Silicon Forest out there yeah I've heard that term I like it how do you know Sean absorb that at such a young age you're what 21 years old coming out of Ohio State been on top of the world right and then told you one of the best for for years and years and years and your focus no question is football and for better or worse Seattle is a football team they're crazy about Seahawks so how do you take the time or how do you have the awareness to think about life after football and and and really glean some wisdom from these people you may well to say that's today foundation that the stylist that when a quiet organization but you know having a father to play the NFL and talk to me about just networking and understanding relationships and all their relationships and ever know who could help you later on in your life you know you know obviously people excited to meet you because you are professional athlete and they I just remember their kids want to beat you this guy will be the president of this company anyone his kids it meet me after the game and I would say sure come over the house play video games no but you're gonna happen I tell me what you do just fascinated and excited about what's going on this yeah I think it's a little contagious mmm-hmm well you your career continued right outside of Seattle you spend time with the Washington Redskins and one season or so with the New England Patriots some pretty successful or at least well-known owners for those two franchises what you learned from business men like like Robert Kraft who who owns the Patriots oh man I tell you the one of the most valuable lessons I've learned from whoever cried I remember the first day I was there that time I thought so I can sit down a lot of people like changing my clothes to gonna count and mr. cross came and sat down with his boots as she said Sean she said I have my company is represented in 80,000 cities or countries and I have over so many and pull let's know the best thing about crack and my company is I said no sir he said the people who work for it and he said congratulate patriot and shook my hand and that right there was just a valuable lesson so everybody it's just you know you always did as a team or the people that you have building and helping you build your dream let's dive in the business world I mean this is where things transition because inevitably with very few exceptions and your former teammate Tom Brady is probably one of them do professional athletes get to leave a game on their own terms right you always feel like you have another season you have more mileage but you were exceptionally well prepared to transition into what's next and I'd say Shawn you almost sound like you were excited to get into business and technology well for the most part I thought about I thought about what my next life was football was always you football as a platform to take me to the next level so it was one of those things that my dad again in my ear was like a useful fall as a platform and anything go to the next level into the business world kind of took all those lessons learned and you know so here you are today about a dozen employees full-time based outside of DC in a town called Leesburg Virginia with a company called wind packed give me elevator pitch it's a lot it's a long elevate elevator Roger we provide better solutions for our host brands in the sports technology world while helmets and protection gear military automotive so we we are a a four regions a component part meaning we're more like an ingredient brand more like Intel or gore-tex we don't make the product we make the product better as I like to say I stole a v8 BASF yeah copyright vacation yeah we have a technology that we believe can change the way we look in fact it's interesting that you're crossing over into so many other sectors because I think just as you can argue every business every industry has to have an element of technology or to some extent be a technology business today it's hard to be in a single vertical right even sports technology as crossover applications especially when you're talking about your area of safety and protection and measurement and innovation right right say we focus on impact protection about ingredient brand we don't have the full product so allows us to take the learnings from the really really smart people out there like you over the NIH or in over a professor where they talk about rotational impacts and peak linear accelerations and universities everyone I was studying the plane so we try to take those learning and bridge the gap between with the smart doctors are saying biomedical professionals the same and we have a technology that takes a letter and we allow that that learning to work with our host glands like the guys will fill the helmets and we try to bridge that gap between the bond medical professionals and the people who build the products to make the game safer from your perspective Sean being out of the league for about a decade now how much has technology changed the game you have a unique point of view and that not only have you been in locker rooms and on the fields for for so long in the NFL you also are now in a sector that has so many applications that you need monitor it for business what are you seeing well uh well see when you say technology and sports technology I think it's one of those industries that is I think it's number two behind cybersecurity but sports technology from sensor data collection to you know as you can watch basketball game shack tractor and all those different things but to impact protection and companies like mine and sports helmet company like Isis out of Seattle some of these companies are really coming with the innovative of course to include game wind pack blows up right you get series a you go an IPO and you are in defense and professional athletes and amateur sports all around the world are we gonna see Shawn Springs NFL owner at some point I love going to the NFL games and support I think he would see Shawn Springs like center of innovation at Ohio State a soccer like that was building some chemical things or hanging out Boston somewhere you know yeah if if you've read ready player one you know that in 50 years Columbus Ohio will be the internet capital of the world so that might be the right place for former and former NFL Pro Bowler current tech and business entrepreneur Shawn Springs and a CES veteran great to talk to you Shawn we'll see you in Las Vegas sometime soon right all right next week it's a deep dive into digital health a remote patient monitoring wearable technology these are addressing real world issues including one of America's biggest current health crises we've developed a calling pain solution that we're actually using your bio data to help drive the solution that you see in VR we're using breath of that input and then we're tracking HRV as the output so that's that thanks everyone for joining us this week remember you want to subscribe to this podcast we're getting you all prepped up for CES and with a subscription you won't miss any of our episodes as you're gearing up for Vegas in January and speaking of we have the info you need on CES 2019 that's January 8th to 11th in Las Vegas it's all at our website CES dot tech as always none of this is possible without our pair of superstars here in the studio producer Tina Anthony and engineer John Lindsay you guys are the best I just sit here and talk really all right we're glad you're with us and we'll talk to you next week right I'm Tyler suitors let's talk tech again soon you

One Reply to “Sports Tech and CES”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *