Today, the makers of Pokémon Go look to give basketball fans a similar augmented reality experience with the launch of NBA All-World.
Athlete's Voice: Podcast hosts Quentin Richardson, Darius Miles
Dragon Seats acquires Athletic Recovery Zone
Data, content platform key to Learfield-Alabama extension
Full Swing simulator adds PGA Tour pros
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Inside NBA All-World, the new AR game from creators of Pokémon Go
AR mobile game publisher Niantic is spinning the core concept of its popular Pokémon Go title into NBA All-World, its first licensed sports game, reports SBJ's Joe Lemire. Launching globally today, the app blends user-friendly gameplay with roster management along with hoophead lifestyle, fashion and culture.
The free-to-play geolocation games seeks to create an immersive basketball experience that’s as concerned about beats and kicks as threes and dunks. Notable brands such as Adidas, Puma, Todd Snyder, Mitchell and Ness and Slam have all partnered, and the game’s soundtrack includes hits from T-Pain, Tyga and Lil Uzi Vert. The NBA and NBPA are licensors.
Four NBA players are brand ambassadors: the Warriors' Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins as well as the Timberwolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns and the Rockets’ Jalen Green. Niantic head of global marketing Glenn Chin said another console sports game wouldn’t have moved the needle, but this was “a new platform to express our kind of love and nerdom for hoop.”
Real world outdoor basketball courts are gathering places for competitions and likely spots to find digital NBA players that can be unlocked for one’s roster. All-World players can find digital currency for boosts at banks. Sneakers and apparel can be found at sporting goods stores.
For now, game play is all digital, with shooting contest and one-on-one games contested by thumb swipes and taps
Former NBA teammates Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles are the subject of SBJ Tech's latest Athlete's Voice feature, discussing Knuckleheads, their basketball-focused podcast from The Players’ Tribune and trending topics like today's access to recovery and performance technologies compared to their playing days.
"The technology is amazing that they have now with the information that's given," Richardson said. "We really just missed that I would say."
Miles and Richardson have also debuted a POAP (Proof of Attendance Protocol) NFT that gives their podcast listeners behind-the-scenes access to content and gear and serves as a digital collectible for certain episodes. Read the full piece at SBJ Tech.
Dragon Seats' tie-up with ARZ creates power spot across football
Dragon Seats and Athletic Recovery Zone's dominance in the climate-controlled sideline bench industry is being consolidated following Dragon Seats’ acquisition of Jacksonville, Fla.-based ARZ earlier this month for an undisclosed sum, according to SBJ's Bret McCormick. The combined company will be called Dragon Seats.
Based in Cleveland, Dragon Seats cornered the football bench market in the Midwest and northern half of the U.S., counting dozens of Power Five college football teams and nearly two dozen NFL teams as clients. Many of its benches on college sidelines bear DeWalt’s marks, a marketing deal born out of Dragon Seats’ relationship with Learfield. In ARZ, Dragon Seats acquires a much stronger position in the southeastern U.S., where ARZ has significant college and pro football clients, like Alabama and the Bucs.
Bringing the two companies together produces not only a larger combined client list and geographical reach, but marries an inventive pair of business owners and founders, each with their own patents, Dragon Seats’ Frank Floyd Jr. and ARZ’s Brian Cothren. Read more on how the deal came together at SBJ.
Nearly two dozen NFL teams use Dragon Seats benches on their sidelines
Around the sports tech industry
Alabama has extended and broadened its multimedia rights agreement with Learfield out to 15 years in a deal that adds elements for name, image and likeness, new content and more access to data and analytics, SBJ's Michael Smith reports. New elements will include a content platform created in collaboration with Learfield Studios and new access to data and analytics from Learfield’s Fanbase platform.
Full Swing’s evolving infrared and blue light LED simulators are being adopted by two more elite PGA Tour golfers — No. 5 ranked Patrick Cantlay and No. 6 Xander Schauffele — as the company releases its latest technology at this week’s PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando.
Sense Arena, the cognitive VR training company that works with several NHL teams, had added a virtual Lake Tahoe Ice Hockey Rink to its app for Quest headsets. The new virtual rink will host Sense Arena’s Winter Classic Challenge 2023 from Jan. 23 through Feb. 5.
Motion capture company Qualisys has released an upgrade of its underwater system, updating what remains the only such solution available. Among the sporting use cases are for swimming technique and underwater gait analysis during rehabilitation. Qualisys’ above-ground mocap systems are prevalent in baseball, including at the Wake Forest pitching lab and the Baltimore Orioles’ new biomechanics studio.
ICYMI: SBJ has a look inside the new tech-infused venue coming from TMRW Sports for its TGL competition. The organization have hired CAA Icon to oversee design, development and construction of the venue.