Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

The Chicago Bulls have become the first pro sports team to offer an NFT collection on Coinbase, the cryptocurrency exchange that became the NBA’s exclusive crypto sponsor last year. Fans can bid to buy tokens from the Bulls’ NFT logo collection for the next 24 hours through an auction held on the Coinbase NFT marketplace.
The collection consists of 23 different 1-of-1 NFTs — a nod to Bulls icon Michael Jordan — all uniquely designed by 23 web3 artists that the Bulls partnered with. Each artist was asked to create their own depiction of the Bulls’ logo, which the team hasn’t changed since its inception in 1966. The NFT collection is called “Aurochs” after the extinct ancient cattle species that’s considered an ancestor to the modern bull. Each NFT has a start price of .2 ETH (about $255 USD). 10% of proceeds from each NFT will go to After School Matters, a free STEM, leadership, sports and arts program for high school students in Chicago.
Coinbase is reportedly paying the NBA almost $200 million over four years, according to Bloomberg. The company also has a multi-year deal as the cryptocurrency platform and NFT partner of the Bulls. That deal will see Coinbase provide in-arena crypto education and giveaways to “educate and inspire fans to participate in Web3 and the cryptoeconomy” according to the Bulls.
Coinbase is the largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume in the U.S., but has not produced sports teams NFTs up until working with the Bulls. That approach contrasts with Coinbase’s competitors such as and FTX, whose sports sponsorships have often included NFT rights for teams and leagues. The 76ers are an NBA team to offer NFTs with while the Warriors and Wizards have NFTs with FTX.
As the Yankees’ Aaron Judge and the Cardinals’ Albert Pujols approach historic home run milestones, nVenue will track their pitch-by-pitch home run probabilities throughout their Apple TV+ broadcasts Friday night.
With Judge at 60 home runs—one shy of Roger Maris’ Yankees and American League mark of 61—and Pujols two home runs shy of becoming the fourth player with 700 for his career, both of their games will be included in Apple’s season long Friday night MLB package, which are streamed for free to all users.
The on-screen probabilities computed by nVenue rely on complex models with dozen of inputs related to the batter, pitcher, ballpark and historical data. Prior to the game, nVenue will publish predictions for Judge’s first plate appearance on its Twitter feed, as well as additional predictive content. According to nVenue, Judge begins his first at-bat around the league average probability of hitting a home run (roughly 2.25%). Judge’s chances of a walk are eight times the league average at an 0-0 count, but nVenue notes that Judge’s chances of homering increase as the count progresses, highlighting the 2-1 count in particular.
The Dallas-based startup also plans to reveal for the first time more detailed information on social media about how its probabilities are calculated.
Amazon’s gaming-focused streaming platform Twitch will no longer let users share content from websites that offer slots, roulette, or dice games if the site does not hold a license in the U.S. or another jurisdiction that provides “sufficient consumer protection,” Twitch said in a statement. The updated gambling policy comes shortly after a popular streamer known as Sliker confessed to scamming his Twitch viewers out of $200,000 to fuel his own video game gambling addiction.
Silker, whose real name is Abraham Mohammed, routinely asked his Twitch audience to send him money claiming he needed the cash due to issues with his bank account, according to Kotaku. He recently admitted that the real reason was he used the money to buy weapon skins on the items marketplace in the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive video game.
Many Twitch streamers have sponsorships with gambling operators, but Twitch will no longer let users share links or referral codes to gambling sites including,, and, which brands itself as a crypto casino and sports betting platform, has sponsorships with UFC and Premier League club Everton.
Twitch’s new policy will go into effect on Oct. 18. “We will continue to allow websites that focus on sports betting, fantasy sport, and poker” reads Twitch’s statement.
The NFL and Amazon livestream Thursday Night Football games for free on Twitch. Other leagues to stream games on Twitch include the NWSL and English Premier League, as well as NBC’s Olympic programming. Twitch’s parent company Amazon recently signed a deal with DraftKings to provide gambling odds on a pre-game show for Thursday Night Football on Prime Video.
NFT marketplace VerifiedInk has created NFTs for three top collegiate basketball players as it continues to pursue NIL deals with NCAA and high school student-athletes. 
Kansas’s freshman center Ernest Udeh, Creighton’ senior guard Baylor Scheierman and Tennessee’s freshman power forward Julian Phillips each released their respective digital tokens Sept. 20th through Sept. 22nd, with Phillips’ selling out overnight. 
VerifiedInk just recently earned $1.2 million in funding in a seed round led by Sixers Innovation Lab. Prior to that, the company made news when, through an NIL deal, it created an NFT for the No. 1 high school basketball recruit from the Class of 2024, Naasir Cunningham. Cunningham also signed in April to play in the Overtime Elite league, who has had players ink brand ambassador deals with the smart basketball SIQ. 
VerifiedInk claims to be the first NIL platform to specifically help college and high school athletes design, mint and sell NFTs and uniquely allows its roster of over 500 amateur athletes to drive their own profits. Players who join VerifiedInk are able to design their NFTs at no cost and can keep 80% of the earnings when sold via VerifiedInk’s marketplace. The players also earn royalties whenever their cards are re-sold.
Blockchain infrastructure company Chain has been named the official blockchain and Web3 sponsor of the NFL’s New England Patriots, MLS club New England Revolution, Gillette Stadium and its surrounding Patriot Place shopping center. Kraft Sports + Entertainment, the parent company of the teams and Gillette Stadium, has struck a multi-year agreement with Chain.
Chain’s software services include blockchain ledger support, cloud computing, and NFTs. Chain’s services will be used to bring both digital and physical blockchain-related experiences for fans at Gillette Stadium. Chain marks at least the second blockchain-related sponsor for the Patriots after the team struck a deal with crypto fan token company Socios in April.
The NFL began allowing teams to sign partnerships with cryptocurrency companies in March, but its regulations still prevent teams from using the words “crypto” or “cryptocurrency” to describe sponsorships. “What should be super clear is we are not promoting cryptocurrency, that’s not part of our policy here,” NFL SVP & Head of Consumer Products Joe Ruggiero told SBJ’s Ben Fischer in March. “What we’re excited about is the broader applications of blockchain technology.”
FIFA has developed a player app that will make tracking data available to every participant in the 2022 World Cup taking place in Qatar later this year.
Produced with input from FIFPRO, the global association of pro player unions, and in accordance with its new Charter of Player Data Rights, the FIFA Player App will collect objective player tracking data for an optical system installed at every stadium for metrics on speed, distance, accelerations and positional heat maps.
Additionally, the app will feature enhanced event data—in which FIFA performance analysts provide granular details on passing, pressure and the like—and intelligence metrics that use machine learning algorithms to compute advanced insights into play.
All of the data distributed to players will be synced to video for review from multiple camera angles and available to each athlete soon after each match. Players will also receive action photographs in the app from every competition that they can share on social media.
Prior to the 2018 World Cup, FIFA made optical tracking data available for real-time access by analysts and coaches on every team during the match. That system was provided by ChyronHego TRACAB, but it is unclear who will be the vendor in 2022. Hawk-Eye was selected to assist with the new semi-automated offsides technology, although that system will run independently.
The National Federation of High Schools has expanded its relationship with Pixellot to make the tech company’s analytics platform, VidSwap, available to NFHS member schools. 
Pixellot, which makes AI-powered cameras, has a long-standing partnership with the NFHS, having teamed up with PlayOn! Sports in 2017 to offer discounted devices to schools who could stream their competitions on the NFHS Network. During the pandemic, the High School Support Program reached a deal to make the program free for member schools outside of a one-time installation cost. Nearly 9,000 high schools now have Pixellot cameras in place, and all
VidSwap is the analytics platform that Pixellot acquired in December 2019, at which time it became available to the NFHS Network and now has been expanded to coaches at each school. VidSwap automates the collection of data such as shot charts and player heat maps, as well as other team and player stats. The reports and video clips are available within a few hours of a match’s completion. The stated goal of the program is making analysis a more efficient process for coaches as well as boost the profile and recruiting potential of high school athletes.
Pixellot, which streams 150,000 hours of live video monthly, has also partnered with college conferences and pro sports leagues and clubs such as FC Barcelona. The Pixellot Air camera that is now available to NFHS constituents was developed in collaboration with the Barça Innovation Hub.
Tech firm SB22 is introducing a virtual reality betting platform entitled VR22 that will drop fans into the best seats at a sporting event through VR and allow them to place real-time wagers, partake in interactive games and win merch or NFTs.
Through machine learning, artificial intelligence and hand-tracking tools, VR22 will mix 360-degree game streaming with betting functionality. The product is designed to be utilized by sports gaming operators, leagues and pro sports teams, all utilizing SB22’s proprietary transaction platform.
SB22 claims to be the first mobile-centric, iOS-native, fully automated, cloud capable and VR/AR ready tech platform in sports betting. Its iGaming and free-to-play platform, catered to meet Gaming Labs International’s standards, was built specifically for the U.S. market.
Back in December of 2020, the UK-based gambling firm Entain partnered with Verizon Media to similarly combine virtual reality with sports betting. In that case, users were virtually immersed inside sports venues with the option of placing bets on Entain platforms like BetMGM.
MatSing’s multi-beam lens antennas have been installed at Pittsburgh’s Acrisure Stadium to improve the mobile game-day experience for fans using the venue’s Verizon 5G Ultra-Wideband and Nationwide services while attending Steelers games and other events.
As part of the collaboration, a total of 60 lens antennas will cover the upper levels of the stadium, allowing fans to seamlessly “post to socials, check their fantasy rosters or share highlights,” according to MatSing. Every antenna can disseminate up to 48 independent sectors, providing the best possible signal across multiple bands with as few antennas as possible.
The company has previously integrated its lens antennas at venues for the Dallas Cowboys, Las Vegas Raiders, as well as at venues of the past five Super Bowls. In Florida, the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning deployed them during the Stanley Cup Finals at Amalie Arena. And as recently as this past May, MatSing installed those same antennas at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium to improve fans’ phone connectivity for the first Miami Grand Prix Formula One race.
The company’s lightweight lens antennas are superior to traditional antennas, with capability of powering the stadium’s broadband/C-band coverage, emitting and maintaining multiple beams and carrying it out with limited radio-frequency interference. MatSing uses a proprietary artificial dielectric polymer that mirrors the human eye’s capacity to refract light and applies it to network transmissions.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has led a pre-seed funding round in Cerebro Sports, a basketball player performance analytics startup that has signed agreements with multiple college and NBA teams. Cerebro has created proprietary metrics to evaluate players in its global player database based on box score stats collected from games and recruiting showcases.
Cerebro’s dashboard includes player data from high school, college, NBA and overseas competitions. The product is aimed to be used for recruiting and scouting purposes and includes a feature where coaches can specify their search to show players based on the roles they need to fill, such as players who fit the 3-and-D archetype of being a strong three-point shooter and defender.
Top high school basketball programs to have partnered with Cerebro include the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame’s HoopHall series, The Grind Session, Les Schwab Invitational and the Sunshine Independent Athletic Association. Cerebro offers a free version of its analytics platform as well as tiers with monthly subscriptions priced at $10, $50, $100, and $500.
“I’m excited to see how far Cerebro can take their analytics to help NBA teams improve our ability to forecast how good players can be,” Cuban said in a statement.
The San Francisco 49ers are the first NFL franchise to partner with Tempus Ex Machina and have begun incorporating the tech startup’s low-latency data and video for fan engagement. 
Tempus Ex is a league-wide partner of the NFL, and its FusionFeed technology is installed at every stadium. This team deal enables the 49ers to quickly manage and publish highlights across digital and social media channels.
The Pac-12 partnered with Tempus Ex last month to enable its athletes to monetize their highlights on social media via NIL opportunities. Co-founded by president and chief product officer Erik Schwartz, who previously was head of technology at the Alliance of American Football, as well as COO Annie Gerhart the company raised a Series B round a year ago that was led by Silver Lake and Endeavor. It has also received investments from the ADvantage Fund and others.


Leave a comment