The Sports Tech Company Backed By LeBron James, Naomi Osaka & Drake
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Some of the biggest names in sports are betting on the future of sports technology.
Co-founded by former football players Andrew Hawkins (Hawk) and Troy Jones, StatusPRO is a sports technology and gaming company that combines player data and XR (augmented reality & virtual reality) to create a suite of training and fan engagement products.
The company closed a $5.2 million seed round in August, including investments from KB Partners, Titletown Tech, Greycroft, Verizon Ventures, Haslam Sports Group, 49ers Enterprise, and SC Holdings.
Ps. for those that aren’t familiar, Titletown Tech is a VC partnership between the Green Bay Packers & Microsoft, and Haslam Sports Group is the holding company of the Cleveland Browns & Major League Soccer’s Columbus Crew SC.
The interesting part: StatusPRO has found initial product-market fit, and the strategic investors are rolling in.
The Miami-based startup announced yesterday that LeBron James, Drake, Maverick Carter, Naomi Osaka, Jimmy Iovine, Paul Watcher, and a host of professional athletes have invested in the company.
“I look for investment opportunities that can have a lasting impact on culture and society—and StatusPro is poised to do that. It’s not only going to influence gaming and entertainment (two things I am passionate about) but also the way athletes can train and analyze their performance.” Osaka said in a statement.
The company was founded in 2020.
So, what exactly does StatusPRO do? In simplest terms, they combine athlete data and extended reality (think augmented, virtual & mixed reality) to create training & entertainment products.
Here’s how it works: Each NFL player wears multiple data-tracking chips within their equipment while playing. These chips track various things, but most importantly, the coordinates of a player’s movements through a game and the speed at which they do it.
StatusPRO then uses that data to create 3D simulations for every player, placing the output within a VR headset and allowing players to experience the play without ever being hit.
The result? According to StatusPRO, the proprietary training technology is already being used by multiple NCAA and NFL teams, including the Baltimore Ravens.
But athlete training is just one part of the equation — fan engagement is the other.
StatusPRO is also using that same data-centric approach to create an immersive experience that aims to give fans an authentic experience of what it is like to play professional football….but from the comfort of your couch.
As an example, StatusPRO teamed up with Lamar Jackson (investor) last year to create the Lamar Jackson Experience, a package that includes a VR game you can play at home, multiple arcade games, and a live activation.
Here’s a look at how “The Lamar Jackson Experience” came together.
Now that SportsPRO has received enough funding to dive deeper into the capital-intensive world of VR/AR training & experiences, this will undoubtedly be a story worth following.
It’s an ambitious mission, but they aren’t the first company to attempt this.
Some of you may be familiar with STRIVR, the virtual reality training solutions company born out of Stanford University more than five years ago.
They found initial traction working with NFL and college football teams to train their athletes virtually, using a VR headset to help athletes experience game scenarios the same way they do on the field without physically jeopardizing their bodies.
STRIVR also saw initial success, but with a belief that the space was being commoditized following considerable investor interest, the company quickly pivoted from sports training toward workplace training.
That’s not to say SportsPRO won’t be successful. They have a strong group of investors, both venture capital & strategic, which should give them a significant advantage in product, distribution, and eventually, sales.
I hope everyone has a great day, and we’ll talk tomorrow.
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THE JOE POMP SHOW: My episode with Darren Rovell is now live!
How he got started in sports business
Kobe Bryant’s $400 million investment win
John Elway’s $700 million mistake
How big the sports betting market will get
The best athlete investor in history
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