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Naasir Cunningham, the consensus No. 1 high school basketball prospect in the class of 2024, has partnered with NFT marketplace VerifiedInk to launch a digital trading card he designed on July 19.
Cunningham, a 6’7” forward, started his high school career at Gill St. Bernard’s in New Jersey but recently joined Overtime Elite, becoming the first playing in the new league to forego a salary in order to retain his college eligibility. His NFT cards are now available for viewing in advance of bidding that begins next week.
VerifiedInk is a name, image and likeness (NIL) platform that enables high school and college athletes to create and mint their own NFTs. Athletes retain 94% of the profits and continue to earn a royalty when the tokens are sold in the secondary market. VerifiedInk co-founder and co-CEO Nate Slutzky is a former Division I assistant football coach who previously founded Verified Athletics, a college recruiting service.
Gemini Sports Analytics, a no-code predictive analytics platform, announced a $1.5 million seed round co-led by Florida Funders and the Florida Institute. Also investing were leAD Sports & Health Tech Partners and Ocean Azul Partners.
Founded by a pair of sport scientists, Gemini Sports Analytics is a tool that sits on top of a club’s athlete management system and leverages machine learning to efficiently derive actionable insights from the vast troves of data. GSA has partnered with Snowflake DB and DataRobot for its cloud and AI functionality. 
GSA announced that it has signed letters of intent with franchises in the NFL, NBA and European soccer. Its co-founders have notable experience in elite sports: CEO Jake Schuster has worked with New Zealand Rugby, USA Field Hockey, Florida State athletics and Vald Performance; Jose Fernandez led the sport science department for the Houston Astros for the 2016 through 2021 seasons.
Foresight Sports has been named the official launch monitor partner of Callaway Golf and its subsidiary Topgolf Entertainment Group in a continuing effort by the companies to gamify the sport.
Callaway will install Foresight’s GCQuad launch monitor, as well as its brand new GC3 personal launch monitor, into its growing number of Topgolf venues and Toptracer Ranges. With more than 80 Topgolf venues facilities soon operating world-wide, alongside 600+ Toptracer-equipped ranges, Callaway was looking to advance its ball and club performance data for golfers of all levels. 
Foresight’s launch monitors allow a calibration-free setup that can be used for both an outdoor facility or indoor simulator. Its parent company, Vista Outdoor, also designs, manufactures and markets products for cycling and other recreational sports.
A pair of players from the Germany’s 1. FC Cologne will wear artificial intelligence vests designed by MindFly as part of this Saturday’s “Innovation Game” versus Italy’s AC Milan at RheinEnergieSTADION.
Serving essentially as an AI-powered bodycam, the lightweight vests will allow fans to experience the Telekom Cup game from a player’s first-person perspective. The AI Video clips will be disseminated post-match on social media and also be made available for purchase as NFTs.
As recently as May, MindFly also inked a deal with basketball’s professional EuroLeague, which next season will fit multiple players with similar AI bodycams.  Previously, the EuroLeague club Bayern Munich agreed to have players don the AI clothing during workouts, and the goal long-term appears to be broadcasting entire games in real time through MindFly’s technology.
MindFly, a startup based in Israel, is also currently in negotiations with undisclosed leagues and broadcast networks in the U.S. Its AI cloud platform auto-directs the game or practice footage and generates instantaneous 4K and HD highlight clips for social media, NFT, OTT and TV broadcast platforms.
Golf star Ian Poulter has launched a content channel on Recast, a Scotland-based streaming platform for live and on-demand sports content. Videos of Poulter preparing for the upcoming Open Championship will be shared exclusively on the channel ahead of Thursday’s first round.
Poulter, who recently lost his Mastercard sponsorship after leaving the PGA Tour to play for Saudi Arabia’s LIV Golf, will post golf swing tips, tricks, and behind-the-scenes content from tournaments on Recast. The platform follows a micro-payments model in which fans do not need a subscription but instead make small payments to access in-app credits to watch specific content on Recast. Poulter’s channel includes practice content and highlights from the first two LIV Golf events.
Other sports properties with channels on Recast include the DP World Tour, World Curling Federation and English soccer clubs Manchester City and Millwall FC. Recast has raised $17 million in funding and its investors former Pixar CFO Simon Bax and West Indies cricket star Chris Gayle.
“As the age of free agency in golf continues to grow, connection with new and existing audiences around the world will be massively important in broadening the sport’s appeal and its accessibility, platforms such as Recast will play a really big role in that,” Poulter said in a statement.
Multi-camera video analysis systems are being installed at 28 sports training venues in Australia as part of the government’s new AIS Video Optimisation Grants program. The installations span Australia’s national team training venues for Olympic sports such as hockey, swimming, golf, fencing, gymnastics, squash, surfing, volleyball, cycling, taekwondo, and water polo.
Australian company Fulcrum Technology is providing its player-tracking camera system and connected software, which can import performance data from wearables and other video analysis platforms such as Stats Perform, Instat, Hudl, Wyscout and Synergy Sports. Players and coaches can view feedback in real-time on Fulcrum’s app, which lets coaches draw over video for added analysis.
The Australian government has committed $1.17 million to install Fulcrum’s AI-powered system, which comes as Australian athletes are training for the 2022 Commonwealth Games set to begin July 28 in England. Australia is also set to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games in Victoria and the 2032 Olympics and Paralympics in Brisbane.
“The data that sports collate from this technology will have an ongoing impact, providing a library of training vision for deeper analysis and potential advances in artificial intelligence,” Australian Sports Commission CEO Kieren Perkins said in a statement. “This is a wonderful story of Australian innovation and collaboration, with Government, sport and technology combining to give our athletes the best chance of reaching their potential.”
In advance of this week’s British Open, TikTok has started a content deal with the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and The R&A, which organizes the Open each year. 
The goal of the partnership is to grow the sport of golf, particularly to reach new fans and more diverse audiences. Some of the expected video clips to be shared will be behind-the-scenes footage and golf tips from pro players.
The #Golf hashtag on TikTok has been viewed more than 27 billion times, with a growing community of amateurs and pros sharing videos. Recent U.S. Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick is among the pros to grow active in recent weeks. 
TikTok is also the title sponsor of Women’s Six Nations rugby and a sponsor of UEFA women’s Euro 2022.
The University of Miami football program has integrated a military fitness device, the Warfighter Monitor, into its summer workout regimen.
In order to prevent over-exertion and enhance biometric data, Miami players are wearing the Warfighter Monitor on their arms to track respiration rate, body temperature and pulse oximetry. The device’s most distinctive tool is its single-lead electrocardiogram, a more advanced and precise way to measure heart rate.
Created by the defense contractor Tiger Tech Solutions, the monitor’s unique electrocardiogram is ultimately what led Eric Renaghan, the school’s director of sports science, to endorse the product and bring it to the team. Saying it’s “not even close,’’ Renagahn claims the Warfighter device eclipses what Apple Watches and Fitbits can do in terms of monitoring heartbeat.
“An Apple Watch, you can reach your hand on the other side and touch the watch and get an electrocardiogram,’’ the CEO of Tiger Tech Solutions Harrison Wittels told the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel. “We’re actually the first device in the world that can do that from a single limb. Why that’s important is because that is the only way to get actual heart rate.’’
Due to the excessive heat in South Florida during summer workouts, Miami head coach Mario Cristobal and strength and conditioning coach Aaron Field have leveraged the Warfighter Monitor—which is not yet deployed by any other college or pro team—to shift training sessions to times that can better benefit players. Last season, the Miami coaches used data from WHOOP to alter workout and practices so players could get better rest, helping to turn around its win-loss record.
The Hurricanes recently received a commitment from five-star quarterback Jaden Rashada, the first high school player to ever receive an NIL.
The Old Course at St. Andrews is set to become the epicenter of the golf world this week when the 150th Open Championship begins on July 14. Thanks to help of Topgolf’s Toptracer technology, the iconic golf course will also be available for golfers to experience virtually. Through July 9-17, consumers can use Toptracer Range platforms to drive approach shots on nine virtual Old Course holes and have their results posted real-time in a global competition.
Not only will golfers be able to compare themselves to the tour pros actually competing at St. Andrews, but participants can take home undetermined prizes. Players simply go to one of the Toptracer’s 550-plus world-wide driving ranges to sign up for 9-shot challenge, where they will also have the ability to play a virtual version of the entire course. Toptracer is also the technology NBC Sports uses to visually track shots on PGA Tour events.
Toptracer, a staple of the Topgolf experience due to its camera-generated analytics, recently unveiled Toptracer30, a more advanced device that assesses a user’s skill level by grading them on 30 virtual golf scenarios —nine different type of tee shots and 21 separate approach shots. Toptracer has also long allowed golfers to play virtual courses such as Pebble Beach, and the St. Andrews 9-shot challenge is another way the company has gamified the sport of golf.
FIA’s World Rallycross Championship will begin its switch to electric car racing Aug. 13-14 in Hell, Norway. The transition to electric battery-powered racing will replace World RX’s automobile series that debuted in 2014.
World Rallycross originally planned to start electric racing in 2020, but the series has been delayed two years due to pandemic-related supply chain issues for car manufacturers. There are now eight races across Europe planned for the upcoming inaugural electric season, which wraps up in Spain in Oct. 29-30.
World RX is now the FIA’s third electric racing offering, joining its Formula E open-wheel series and the SUV off-road Extreme E series. The rallycross powertrains are expected to generate 500 kW of power, the equivalent of 680 hp, and reach 880 Nm of torque, which FIA says will result in faster acceleration than the cars in Formula E.
“We are proud in Norway to be leading the energy transition in the automotive industry – 90% of new cars sold here now are either electric or hybrid – so there are plenty of synergies with what Rallycross Promoter is doing and we look forward to putting on an incredible event for fans next month with sensational action in all four classes,” Tor Helge Forbord Slind, promoter and CEO of Norway’s Hell RX AS, said in a statement.
The WNBA’s upcoming All-Star weekend in Chicago will debut “WNBA Live presented by U.S. Bank,” an outdoor basketball festival that will showcase augmented reality activations and digital technology.
To be staged starting Saturday outside the McCormick Place convention center—and equipped with a jumbotron so spectators can watch the league’s corresponding MT DEW three-point shooting contest and skills challenge—the WNBA’s tech activations include AT&T’s FitCam, where fans can be digitally fitted with AR apparel that they choose through a Snapchat QR code.
Also at McCormick Place, Dick’s Sporting Goods will host interactive arcade games and photo ops, while Microsoft—together with the Jr. NBA—will hold a STEM learning session to educate local basketball-playing children on how sports scientists quantify athletic performance through Microsoft Surface devices.
The WNBA has long made technology a staple of its league. This year’s All-Star Game tips off Sunday at 1 p.m. ET at Wintrust Arena and, on gameday, will also feature an in-arena activation from Google, highlighting WNBA-related search trends.


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