Dear Colleague,

May was another busy month in the world of elite sports. In the world of soccer, Kylian Mbappé was one of the most talked about topic this month. Mbappé ended up renewing its contract with PSG for the next three seasons through the end of the 2025. According to Sky, the PSG offer surpasses the terms of the Real Madrid deal, which included a $137M signing bonus and $25M of annual net salary. Speaking of Real Madrid, the Spanish club won its 14th Champions Leagues after defeating Liverpool 1-0, which is more than the next two most successful clubs in Europe — AC Milan have seven, Liverpool six — combined.

In Europe, Chelsea confirmed that a consortium led by L.A. Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly has won the battle to buy the Premier League club in a $5.2B deal.

In the world of pro basketball, the NBA finals are now set. The Boston Celtics set up NBA finals with the Golden State Warriors after holding off the Miami Heat in Game 7. Boston won 100-96 in Miami to secure best-of-seven series 4-3. After a two-year playoff hiatus, the Warriors are headed to their sixth NBA Finals appearance in eight seasons after eliminating the Dallas Mavericks with a 120-110 win in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals at Chase Center on Thursday night.

In the world of American Football, one of the biggest news during the off season was Tom Brady signing a deal with Fox. The New York Post reported that the seven-time Super Bowl champion will receive $375M over 10 years, the richest contract in sports broadcasting history, and more than Brady will have earned via his 23 seasons in the league.

In the world of pro rugby, French top 14 club La Rochelle won the European Champions Cup. The LOU, another French Top 14 rugby team, also won the Challenge Cup, the “small European cup” after beating the RCT. The Lyon club won against the RCT for the first European final in its history (30-12).

In the world of pro baseball, the Yankees now lead the American League (33-15) while the LA Dodgers lead the National League (33-14).

In the world of pro tennis, the French Open tennis is well under way. Many believe that the 19 years old phenomenon Carlos Alcaraz could go all the way this year. But there is another heralded 19-year-old still alive in the men’s singles draw, a guy from Denmark named Holger Rune. Of note, last month Alcaraz became the first player to beat Nadal and Djokovic back-to-back on clay en route to winning the Madrid Open. But Rafael Nadal and Djokovic won’t make it easy for the youngsters in Paris.

In the NFT/Metaverse/Crypto/Blockchain space, Microsoft partnered with Kawasaki for industrial metaverse. Nike also sold an NFT Sneaker for $134,000. German Football League (DFL) also has awarded licenses worth over $179M for stickers, trading cards, and NFTs to OneFootball, Sorare and Topps. eBay also announced the launch of a series of exclusive NFTs through a strategic partnership with OneOf, a premier green NFT platform for communities across music, sports, and lifestyle.

Picture: eBay’s Wayne Gretzky NFT collection

La Gazzetta Dello Sport also released their first NFT collection, paying tribute to the great passion in this sport. The collection also pays its dues to the new Serie A champions, AC Milan. Lega Pro and DaChain have partnered with Eleven Italy to launch a collection of NFTs to celebrate the 2021/22 Serie C play-offs.

Picture: Lega Pro’s NFT collection, powered by DaChain.

In addition, Sorare teamed up with the Major League Baseball, MLB Players, Inc. to launch the first Major League Baseball NFT-based free-to-play game, which will be released this summer. LaLiga teamed up with TVM to build official its metaverse for fans and partners. Qatar also kicked off Ooredoo’s first-of-its-kind EA Sports Tournament broadcast in the Metaverse. The UEFA also entered the Roblox metaverse to promote the Women’s Euro 2022. The Rafael Nadal Academy also announced the metaverse version of its academy developed by Telefónica. Valentino Rossi also entered the metaverse with VR46. Gatorade is also preparing to launch virtual beverage products and NFTs in the metaverse after filing two trademark applications at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Samsung also entered the metaverse race and is developing a new virtual reality headset. Australian Football League (AFL) has agreed a five-year NFT and metaverse partnership with Animoca Brands and wants to launch VR and gaming products.

The English Football Association is also “exploring” minting its own NFT collection. GreenPark Sports and Laliga announced an expansion of their multi-year licensing partnership to include in-game NFTs featuring a special NFT collection of Matchday Jerseys. DraftKings is also readying to launch Reignmakers Football, the gambling operator’s first NFT-based fantasy sports game. Celebrating the return to the NHL Playoffs, the LA Kings and released three versions of the 2022 Playoffs digital collectible.

Picture: LA Kings’ NFT collection

The NBA and NBPA also launched a new NFT initiative, The Association NFT, where the collectible’s design will be dynamic and change over time. The Golden State Warriors also announced their second-ever NFT drop to commemorate the team’s 2022 NBA Playoff run, becoming the first professional team to orchestrate a responsive NFT collection for fans.

Autograph also announced an exclusive deal with Penske Entertainment and Team Penske. The relationship encompasses the NTT IndyCar Series, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and Team Penske. Cricket Australia (CA) and the Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) announced they have signed a multi-year licensing deal with Singapore-based collectibles platform Rario and NFT trading company BlockTrust. Lastly, Under Armour filed trademarks for the Metaverse.

In the world AR/VR/MR, Apple showed its upcoming AR/VR Headset to the Apple board. Apple’s Headset is said to feature 14 cameras enabling lifelike avatars. Meta also showed off wrist-worn XR controller prototype to Ray-Ban Parent EssilorLuxottica. In addition, The Famous Group helped the Colorado Avalanche (NHL) launch a slick Mixed-Reality With Chipotle, and Turner Sports.

In the world of sports performance and wearables, Zone 7 announced a partnership with Liverpool FC to help them better prevent injuries. Oura also teamed up with Gucci to build a smart ring. Google finally announced the Pixel Watch.

In the world of sports tech investments, investments reached $632M, which was down -23% , compared to April 2022. 78% of funding came from Metaverse/NFT startups, up from 58% last month.

Lastly, if you have a sports tech product and startup and want us to review and do a full analysis of your sports tech product (e.g. sleep tech, wearables, biosensors, NFT/Metaverse..) that would be published here on our Upside newsletter and website, please reach out to us at

As a reminder, we launched our Upside Global platform to bring together our sports, tech & health community of 6,000+ executives under a single web platform. Members include executives from the NBA, NFL, NHL, MLS, MLB, NCAA, Laliga, English Premiere League, Ligue 1, Bundesliga, Series A, Brazilian soccer league, Olympic teams, Pro rugby, Pro tennis, as well as representatives of startups, brands, VCs, and athletes.

If you are a head athletic trainer, CTO, CMO of a major sports team or league looking to connect with the most innovative startups or connect with your peers to network, or if you are a startup CEO looking to connect with top teams or investors, you can join our Upside community of executives from the NBA, NFL, NHL, MLS, MLB, NCAA, Laliga, English Premier League, Olympic teams, top VCs, startups (AR, VR, wearables, sleep tech..) and more!

Your opportunity for growth starts now, create your free executive profile today to join our online community and click on “become a member today” as a first step. It is free to join! It only take one minute to create your profile.

Join the Upside online community

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? Top Stories We’re Reading This Month

?Upside: 12 Most Common Mistakes Made by Sports Tech Startups

? Upside: eSport Analysis: Key Trends, Vendors, Recommendations to Teams. Looking back at the past 2 years.

⚽ The Soccer Tech Ecosystem Analysis: From wearables, VR training, NFTs DNA testing.

? Upside Analysis: Mental health Issues In Sports & How Tech Can Help.

⚡ ?️ ? Upside: Image Projection Mapping Market: Where we are heading.

? Microsoft partners with Kawasaki for industrial metaverse

?Nike Sold an NFT Sneaker for $134,000

? Apple Shows AR/VR Headset to Board in Sign of Progress on Key Project

? Apple’s Headset Said to Feature 14 Cameras Enabling Lifelike Avatars, Jony Ive Has Remained Involved With Design

? Meta Shows Off Wrist-worn XR Controller Prototype to Ray-Ban Parent EssilorLuxottica

? The Famous Group Breaks the NHL’s Mixed-Reality Ice With Colorado Avalanche, Chipotle, and Turner Sports

⌚ ​The Silicon Valley algorithm helping Liverpool cope with history-making quadruple assault

⌚ ​Oura and Gucci team up for smart ring

⌚ Google finally announces the Pixel Watch

⌚ Best Strava compatible watches and smartwatches to try

? Startup investment recap (April / May 2022)

? Tech Stats of the month

? Snapshots & videos of the Month

Let’s jump right into the insights and upside for all of these top stories

?Upside: 12 Most Common Mistakes Made by Sports Tech Startups

In the past 10 years we have worked with a large number of sports tech startups across various sports tech subsectors (GPS, AMS, Biomarkers, AR, VR, NFT, Metaverse..). We have worked with startups that had amazing technologies with great founders, but for the most part there is no perfect startups out there. In this analysis we discussed the most common mistakes made by sports tech startups.

To Read the full Upside analysis, click here.

? Upside: eSport Analysis: Key Trends, Vendors, Recommendations to Teams. Looking back at the past 2 years.

Two years ago there was a lot of excitement about the eSports market with many pro teams (e.g. soccer clubs, basketball teams, etc..) launching their esports teams. So what is the state of the esports market today? Are pro teams still focused on the world of esports? This is what we plan to discuss in this analysis. But before we do that, let’s talk about the current trends, the market size, the ecosystem. As we noted in a previous analysis, the numbers are staggering.

To Read the full Upside analysis, click here.

⚽ The Soccer Tech Ecosystem Analysis: From wearables, VR training, NFTs DNA testing.

Soccer is by far the most popular sports in the world with 4B soccer fans globally, according to Worldatlas. Real Madrid have retained their position as the most valuable European football club for the 3rd consecutive year, with an Enterprise Value of €2,909 million, ahead of Barcelona and Manchester United, according to KPMG’s report “Football Clubs’ Valuation: The European Elite”.

To read the full analysis, click here.

? Upside Analysis: Mental health Issues In Sports & How Tech Can Help.

Over the past few years, a growing number of athletes (Naomi Osaka, Michael Phelps, Serena Williams, Usain Bolt, Mardy Fish, Kevin Love, etc..) leagues and teams have talked about mental health. Often considered as “taboo” in the world of pro sports, the problem has become too big to ignore as mental health issues impact not only professional athletes but also student athletes.

To read the full analysis, click here.

⚡ ?️ ? Upside: Image Projection Mapping Market: Where we are heading.

In the world of elite sports, over the past few years, projection mapping has become an emerging trend among pro teams and brands as a way to enhance the fans experience in stadiums and drive fans activations. In this analysis we discussed the key players, current and technology trends that are set to impact the project mapping space in the coming years. It is worth pointing out that the goal here is not to discuss all the players in the space as there are many, especially local AV companies. Instead the goal is to highlight some of the key players out there. This list is highly subjective.

To Read the full Upside analysis, click here.

⭐ Upside Podcast Interviews of the Month

? Upside Chat: Jon Persch, Chief Commercial Officer, American Magic (US Team for the America’s Cup team yacht racing competition)

?Upside Chat: Dr Ron Dick, Duquesne University, Ex NBA/NCAA exec, on Tom Brady’s 10 Yr Analyst Contract, the NIL, the Crypto Market, the NBA Playoffs & NHL Star Sidney Crosby.

? Upside Chat: Sebastien Audoux, Head of Digital Sports Content, Canal +, a Leading Sports Broadcaster.

? Upside Chat: Dr Andy Barr, Consultant, Brooklyn Nets (NBA) & Quantum Performance Founder

? Upside Chat: Jake George Schuster, CEO, Gemini Sports Analytics (New Data Science As a Service Company)

? Upside Chat: Dr Brian Moore, CEO, Orreco (Leading Sports & Data Science Platform)

? NFTs/Metaverse/Blockchain News

? Microsoft partners with Kawasaki for industrial metaverse ( | Via : CNBC

You may not be ready to jump into the metaverse for fun, but it could be coming to work sooner than you think. Microsoft announced Tuesday that Kawasaki is a new customer for the tech giant’s so-called “industrial metaverse” ⁠— a fancy way of saying factory floor workers will wear a HoloLens headset to help with production, repairs and managing supply chains. It will use the headsets to help build robots.

HoloLens, first launched in 2016, lets the wearer experience augmented reality, which overlays digital imagery in a real world environment. For Microsoft’s industrial metaverse, that means stitching together many of the company’s technologies like cloud computing to help factory workers and managers build products faster and more efficiently.

⬆️ The Upside: We believe that this is a good move by Microsoft as Microsoft is set to be a key player in the metaverse space based on its leadership in the mixed reality market (e.g Hololens..), gaming (XBox, Activision..) and strong brand. But let’s not be foolish here: Microsoft is doing this and becoming more vocal about its plan for the metaverse because all the other big tech companies (Meta, Google, Samsung, etc..). But Microsoft has some catch up to do in 2 key areas: VR and NFTs. We expect other large tech companies to follow suit and offer similar experiences in the coming months. For more info, you can check out our latest analysis on the NFT Sports market here. You can also check out our sports metaverse ecosystem analysis here.

What Is The Metaverse? Facebook's Strategy And How Microsoft, Disney, and  Amazon Could Win. – JOSH BERSIN

?Nike Sold an NFT Sneaker for $134,000 | Via : NY Times

The market for collectible sneakers has skyrocketed in recent years. And until recently, so had the market for NFTs, or nonfungible tokens, which function as digital certificates of ownership for works of art as well as tattoo designs and virtual real estate. It was only a matter of time before the two hypebeast markets collided.

In April, Nike released its first collection of virtual sneakers, called Cryptokicks, which comprised 20,000 NFTs, including one designed by the artist Takashi Murakami that was bought by someone named AliSajwani for $134,000.

“The mechanics around NFTs and sneakers are pretty similar,” said Jurgen Alker, who runs the NFT studio for Highsnobiety, the lifestyle site that covers streetwear and sneakers. “Both are created around scarcity and drops. It is about community, status and belonging to something.”

⬆️ The Upside: This should not come as a surprise to see Nike already leading the way in the virtual shoes/NFT market. Why? Because they acquired RTFKT a leading startup in the BFT/virtual shoes market that has a very strong track record there. RTFKT sold 20k avatars worth $80M and generated $100M in total revenue in 2021. Nike is also selling virtual goods (“skin” type virtual t shirts and shoes on Roblox). Nike is just getting started there and we expect them to increase their lead over time. That being said, we expect its competitors (adidas, Under Armour..) to follow suit and offer competing products (NFTs, virtual shoes, etc..) in the coming months.

Bryson Honjo, 31, a sneakerhead from Hawaii, paid about $15,000 for his NFT of a Nike Dunk Genesis Cryptokick.

Picture: Nike

? AR/VR/Video/Digital Sports News

? Apple Shows AR/VR Headset to Board in Sign of Progress on Key Project | Via : Bloomberg

Apple Inc. executives previewed its upcoming mixed-reality headset to the company’s board last week, indicating that development of the device has reached an advanced stage, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The company’s board, made up of eight independent directors and Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook, convenes at least four times a year. A version of the device was demonstrated to the directors during the latest gathering, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the meeting was private.

In recent weeks, Apple has also ramped up development of rOS — short for reality operating system — the software that will run on the headset, according to other people familiar with the work. That progress, coupled with the board presentation, suggests that the product’s debut could potentially come within the next several months.

⬆️ The Upside: This should not come as a surprise as Apple execs need to show progress with this project which could be a game changer for the company and a new Billion dollars opportunity for Apple. Apple is rumored to be working on some hybrid AR/VR glasses and we expect Apple to unveil this product in 1Q23. Now to be fair, as we noted before, based on our intell, all the major tech companies (Microsoft, Google, Samsung..) are working on similar hybrid AR/VR glasses. As soon as Apple enters the market they will all follow suit and adjust their offering to match Apple product. For more info, you can check out our latest analysis on the NFT Sports market here. You can also check out our sports metaverse ecosystem analysis here.

Report: Apple Mixed Reality Headset Coming In 2022, Apple Glass In 2025, AR  Contacts in 2030 - VRScout

? Apple’s Headset Said to Feature 14 Cameras Enabling Lifelike Avatars, Jony Ive Has Remained Involved With Design | Via : macrumors

Earlier this week, The Information‘s Wayne Ma outlined struggles that Apple has faced during the development of its long-rumored AR/VR headset. Now, in a follow-up report, he has shared several additional details about the wearable device.

For starters, one of the headset’s marquee features is said to be lifelike avatars with accurate facial expressions captured by 14 cameras:

Other challenges, such as incorporating 14 cameras on the headset, have caused headaches for hardware and algorithm engineers. The cameras include those that will track the user’s face to ensure virtual avatars accurately represent their expressions and mouth movements, a marquee feature.

The report adds that Apple’s former design chief Jony Ive has remained involved with the headset project as an external consultant to the company:

One person familiar with the matter said Ive’s consulting work for Apple since he left includes the headset, adding that he is often brought in to help his former team push through their preferences in areas such as battery, camera placement and ergonomics over those of engineers. Two people said even after Ive left Apple, some employees on the headset project were still required to make the trek from Cupertino to San Francisco, where Ive has a home, to get his approval on changes.

Ive has continued to tweak the headset’s design. While earlier prototypes had the battery in the headband, he prefers a design that would tether the headset to a battery the user wears, similar to Magic Leap’s headset design. It couldn’t be learned if this approach will make it into the final design.

⬆️ The Upside: We think that Jon Ive’s continued involvement is critical here as part of the AR/VR headset project. He can help Apple maintain very high standards in terms of design, and user experience. Otherwise this project could go in the wrong direction and Apple could end up launching some AR/VR glasses that won’t be on par with Apple’s reputation for high quality products.

Jony Ive, ex-Apple design chief, clashed with VR headset team

Picture: Jon Ive and Tim Cook.

? Meta Shows Off Wrist-worn XR Controller Prototype to Ray-Ban Parent EssilorLuxottica | Via : Road To VR

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg showed off a prototype of the company’s wrist-worn XR controller this week to EssilorLuxottica, the Italian parent company behind the Ray-Ban Stories camera glasses and a host of other conventional luxury eyewear brands. Although outwardly it appears to be similar to what the company revealed last year, it’s definitely a vote of confidence by Meta in the tech’s potential as the basis of a future XR input device. Here is a quick demo.

Posting on Instagram, Zuckerberg showcased the prototype to EssilorLuxottica President and CEO Leonardo Del Vecchio, who can be seen pinching two fingers together in what is likely a clicking-style selection gesture.

⬆️ The Upside: This should not as a surprise for many reasons: (1) This is part of Meta’s overall strategy to partner with large fashion brands in order to leverage their solid brand. This is what Meta has done by partnering with Ray Ban for their recently introduced smart glasses. (2) Meta is leveraging the acquisition of Thalmic Labs the Canadian startup that built an EMG gesture-reading armband called the Myo, which detects muscle movements and can handle anything to control other devices. This will be a key part of Meta’s future AR/VR glasses experiences moving forward.

Picture: Meta CEO Zuckerberg showcasing the prototype to EssilorLuxottica President and CEO Leonardo Del Vecchio.

? The Famous Group Breaks the NHL’s Mixed-Reality Ice With Colorado Avalanche, Chipotle, and Turner Sports | Via : SVG

The Famous Group, the Colorado Avalanche, Chipotle, and Turner Sports teamed up to break the ice like never before during the Avs’ second round Stanley Cup Playoff series opener against the St. Louis Blues at Ball Arena in Denver on Tuesday. The game featured the NHL’s first ever usage of mixed-reality technology for broadcast viewers as a Chipotle branded Zamboni brought out a giant burrito bowl and fork to the middle of the rink and a giant hockey glove then burst through the ice, grabbed the bowl, and submerge itself back under the ice.

he mixed reality ad, which incorporated the messaging “Real Food for Real Athletes”, ended with the hockey glove reemerging, hungrily pawing for the fork, and finally holding it up in victory. The virtual sponsorship element could be seen by fans at the arena on the center-hung videoboard and was incorporated into the TNT’s live broadcast of the game.

⬆️ The Upside: We believe that this is a great move by the Colorado Avalanche. This is the type of mixed reality experience that can help NHL teams drive brand activations, and bring new sponsors. Now will it be a big new revenue generator for NHL teams? Probably not right now and not without value added services like gamification/reward program. But we think that this is a great initiative by this NHL team. For the Famous Group this is what they do: Build great fans experience and they have a solid track record helping sports teams build mixed reality experiences.

Video: NHL, Mixed reality experience

? Wearables, Health, Nutrition News

⌚ ​The Silicon Valley algorithm helping Liverpool cope with history-making quadruple assault | Via :

‘I always say we are a little bit like criminal detectives.’ So says Dr Andreas Schlumberger, Liverpool’s head of recovery and performance, but it is hard to imagine even the most enlightened FBI agent employing anything more sophisticated than the extraordinary technology that is helping Liverpool in their quest for an unprecedented quadruple,” writes Jeremy Wilson, the Chief Sports Reporter at The Telegraph.

“Invented by the artificial intelligence company Zone7, who are based in California’s Silicon Valley, Liverpool have been using cutting-edge computer algorithms that both detect injury risk and recommend preemptive action,” says Wilson.

“It all helps to explain why manager Jurgen Klopp chose to rotate nine key players in beating Southampton on Tuesday night, barely three days after needing 120 minutes to win the FA Cup.”

⬆️ The Upside: We believe that this is a good move by Liverpool FC as injury prevention is critical part of teams’ success. For Zone 7 it is a key customer win with a major customer that just reached the Champions League final. Zone 7 is part of a new generation of AI based startup that can help teams better assess the risk of players injuries. We profiled Zone 7 and other vendors in our new analysis on players’ injury risk assessment tools.

Revealed: The Silicon Valley algorithm helping Liverpool cope with history-making quadruple assault

⌚ ​Oura and Gucci team up for smart ring | Via : Wareable

Oura and Gucci have collaborated over a special edition of the smart ring. The Gucci x Oura will retail for $950 compared to the $299 of the standard edition, and it’s made of black synthetic corundum. The subscription of $6.99 still applies.

The Gucci smart ring has a unique braided detail around the circumference, and prominently boasts Gucci’s iconic logo, both made from 18c gold. It starts at just 4g, the same as the standard Oura 3, so you’re not adding any heft to your finger – and it’s still the lightest and most compact smart ring going.

Elsewhere, it’s the same set up as before. You get heart rate and sleep monitoring, and Oura combines the two data sets to track your readiness and wellness for the day. We’re big fans of Oura, and in our testing found the sleep monitoring to be some of the most reliable on the market.

⬆️ The Upside: We believe that this is a good move by Oura as this is part of its overall strategy to diversify its channel/GTM strategy. Oura will be able to leverage Gucci strong brand and distribution. Ultimately Oura needs to scale beyond the consumer and sports sector. We expect Oura to team up with other fashion/retail brands in order to grow its business. For Gucci this should not come as a surprise as they have a history of adopting emerging technologies.

​Oura and Gucci team up for smart ring

Picture: Oura / Gucci smart ring.

⌚ Google finally announces the Pixel Watch | Via : Wareable

After weeks of rumors and leaked photos, Google finally confirmed that the Pixel Watch is real. Today’s announcement is more of a tease than a full reveal, however, with the watch arriving later this fall alongside the Pixel 7.

Given that the Pixel Watch is the worst-kept wearable secret of 2022, there wasn’t anything too surprising in terms of design. As suspected, the Pixel Watch has a circular, domed design and features a “tactile” crown and side button. It’s made of recycled stainless steel and has swappable proprietary bands. It’ll also run on an “improved” Wear OS 3 that features a “refreshed UI” with better navigation and smart notifications. You’ll also have the option to pick a cellular version of the device for standalone connectivity.

⬆️ The Upside: We like the design of the Pixel watch. It is esthetically pleasing. Regarding pricing, the Pixel watch is rumored to be priced in the $200-$350 price range which is reasonable. That being said we believe that Google needs to push the boundaries in terms of biosensing capabilities and leverage Fitbit’s expertise there. They need to add new types of biosensing capabilities like hydration/electrolyte assessment, lactate measurement, glucose monitoring, etc. The point here is to get an edge over the competition (Apple, Meta, Garmin, Samsung…).


⌚ Best Strava compatible watches and smartwatches to try | Via : Wareable

Strava is a great place to store your workout data, and the good news is that most big-name sports watches work with the service, enabling you to have your workout data appear in the service. We love Strava – both for its use of things like Strava Segments, and the community aspect. You’re likely to find more of your pals recording their workouts on Strava than other apps, and that can be much more motivating.

We’re also big fans of the analysis. Strava really makes it easy to dive into looking at your performance levels, and in our experience, does a better job of showing improvement than many of its rivals. Though you will have to pay for the luxury for some of Strava’s best features like creating routes or seeing matched runs and rides data.

⬆️ The Upside: Strava has become the leading social platform for athletes and the largest sports community in the world. Last year, it was reported Strava had 72 million users, but this figure has now increased to 95 million across 195 countries, with 17% of the UK population using the app. We expect Strava to continue its M&A spree in the coming years in order to further differentiate its offering. Of note in March 2022, Strava announced the acquisition of Recover Athletics, the prehab app for runners.

Best Strava compatible watches

Picture: Strava

? Sports Tech & Health Investment Recap – May 2022

Here is the recap of the major sports startups’ investments in May 2022, which reached $632M and were down -23% , compared to April 2022. 78% of funding came from Metaverse/NFT startups, up from 58% last month.

Source: Upside, Confidential, May 2022

New Tech fund & M&As:

  • Andreessen Horowitz launches a $600M fund focused on Gaming, Web3 And Metaverse.
  • Japanese gaming giant Square Enix have agreed to sell a large part of it’s western development arm for $300 million in bid to scale up investments in blockchain, AI and cloud gaming.
  • The PGA Tour has acquired a minority equity stake in AR startup Quintar that will allows fans to get a tech-enhanced golf experience.
  • Epic Games raises $2B to further expand its Metaverse efforts.

? Key Tech Sports Stats of The Month

$5.2B: Chelsea confirmed that a consortium led by L.A. Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly has won the battle to buy the Premier League club in a $5.2B deal.

Consortium led by LA Dodgers owner signs agreement to buy Chelsea

5B: The 2022 World Cup in Qatar is expected to be watched by 5 billion people around the world, far surpassing the record 3.5 billion who tuned in to the 2018 edition in Russia. FIFA president Gianni Infantino publicized the anticipated number on Monday for the first World Cup in the Middle East. Fox purchased the English broadcasting rights for the 2018 and 2022 tournament for $400 million.

World Cup 2022: Stadiums, fixtures & tickets | US

$5B: All five ownership groups bidding for the Denver Broncos (NFL) reportedly submitted proposed amendments to the sale contract last week after their lawyers were asked to mark up the agreements before any exclusive negotiations are determined.

The requests come ahead of the deadline for second-round bids in June.

The purchase amount could fetch a record price for a professional sports team. Outlets have indicated the sale price could surpass $5 billion and possibly top the recent $5.2 billion price tag for Chelsea FC, which is in the process of being finalized.

  • Todd Boehly, who lead the consortium that to took over Chelsea FC, also leads a group in the running for the Broncos.
  • Rob Walton, heir to Walmart founder Sam Walton with a $58 billion net worth, is another bidder.
  • Josh Harris, co-chair of Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment and a Philadelphia 76ers owner, leads a group that includes Earvin “Magic” Johnson.
  • There are two other unknown groups vying for the team.
Court ruling clears path for sale of Denver Broncos franchise

$1B: According to Spanish publication El Confidencial, Barcelona FC is about to close a deal with Goldman Sachs and All Sport Finance (ASF) that will pay the Catalan club $1 billion in exchange for 30% of its future broadcast revenues and a percentage of the future income derived from Espai Barça, the club’s new stadium complex. But Barcelona reportedly plans to use the funds to lower the liabilities on its balance sheet but also to go after top players and keep existing stars.

FC Barcelona was nearly $1.5 billion in debt at the end of the 2020-21 season and was even technically bankrupt, according to Deloitte.

Barcelona’s Debt Breakdown

  • Player salaries: $443 million
  • Bank debt: $761 million
  • Pandemic impact: $103 million
  • Membership losses: $45 million
Joan Laporta talks Barcelona's 'very worrying' €1.35bn debt - Barca  Blaugranes

$156M: Novak Djokovic, the World No. 1, leads the pack for his third French title and a $2.3 million payout, is back in the hunt for a record-tying 21st Slam, and is on a collision course with the man he’s chasing, Rafael Nadal.

  • Djokovic has earned only $1.4M thus far in 2022.
  • But his $156M in career earnings are the most all-time, topping Roger Federer ($131M) and Nadal ($128M).
  • He’s the No. 1 seed for the fourth consecutive year and eighth overall — and has reached at least the quarterfinals each year since 2010.
French Open: Novak Djokovic through to quarter-finals against Rafael Nadal  | Tennis News | Sky Sports

6.7M: The 2021-22 Pro Bowl averaged 6.7 million viewers. That’s 7% more viewers than the 2021-22 NBA All-Star Game (6.28 million) and 482% more viewers than the 2021-22 NHL All-Star Game (1.15 million). But still, it was the lowest viewership for the game in more than 15 years and pales in comparison to the first round of the NFL Draft.

NFL Draft First-Round Viewership

  • 2019: 11.0 million
  • 2020: 15.3 million
  • 2021: 12.5 million
  • 2022: 10.0 million

And for additional context, the NFL says that nearly 50 million people watch at least a couple minutes of draft coverage (on any outlet) during the typical three-day weekend.

NFL Pro Bowl 2022 - Not much tackling, but plenty of fun as AFC hangs on

$1M: The last time Mick Schumacher’s car was in two pieces it cost Haas $1,000,000.

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8,165: The Oakland Athletics have averaged 8,165 fans per home game this season. That puts them on pace to draw just over 660,000 fans for the entire season, which would be the worst attendance outcome for a Major League Baseball team in nearly fifty years.

For context, their stadium, the Oakland Coliseum, has a seating capacity of 46,847.

2022 MLB Full-Season Attendance (Estimated)

  1. Los Angeles Dodgers: 3.9 million
  2. St. Louis Cardinals: 3.1 million
  3. Atlanta Braves: 3 million
  4. San Diego Padres: 2.9 million
  5. New York Yankees: 2.9 million
In defense of the Oakland Coliseum and its diehard A's fans

383: During the 1.Q22 earnings calls, the “metaverse” was mentioned 383 times compared to 419 times in 4Q22.

Metaverse of madness: 13 big industries the rise of virtual worlds could disrupt - CB Insights Research

300: Days after Novak Djokovic’s statement win at the French Open, rival Rafael Nadal made one of his own at Roland-Garros — and made history in the process. Last week, the 35-year-old breezed past France’s Corentin Moutet (6-3, 6-1, 6-4) in the second round, becoming the fifth player in history — and third man — to record 300 Grand Slam singles victories.

Nadal Earns 300th Grand Slam Match Win | ATP Tour | Tennis

-32.5%: Sports betting didn’t maintain its torrid pace in April, but the Nevada gaming industry still thrived. The state notched its 14th consecutive month with over $1 billion in gambling revenue in April, beating pre-pandemic numbers by 20.5%.

Sports betting in the state, however, showed a marked drop from March, with the total handle declining 32.5% month-over-month to $582.5 million.

With the bulk of the NCAA basketball tournaments in March, Nevada wasn’t the only state to see its sports betting activity dip in April.

  • In New York, mobile sports betting dropped 14.7% month-over-month in April to $1.4 billion.
  • Sports betting in New Jersey slipped 23.9% month-over-month to $926.9 million in April.
  • Those two states had the top April handle, followed by Pennsylvania ($572.8 million), Michigan ($396 million), and Indiana ($360 million). Those states saw respective declines of 19.9%, 17.2%, and 24.4% from March.
St. Croix Chippewa Indians to offer legal sports betting in its casinos |  Wisconsin Public Radio

32%: When asked “5 years from now which of these big tech players do you think will be seen as the most successful in the metaverse, 32% of the people surveyed voted for Meta, compared to 27% for Google and 24% for Apple.

May be an image of text that says '5 years from now, which of these Big Tech players do you think will be seen as the most successful in the metaverse? Apple Meta 24% 32% Microsoft 17% Google 27% ARsenal cgtrader'

14: Real Madrid is now 14 Times Champions league champion a record. It was a repeat of the 2018 final, which Real won 3-1, and once again the Spanish side emerged victorious after a goal from Vinicius Junior.

Teams with the most UEFA Champions League titles - Sports

9: Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibault Courtois made 9 key saves during the Champions league final between Real Madrid and Liverpool FC.

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6: Despite a few rocky, injury-riddled seasons, the Warriors’ NBA dynasty never really died — a testament to the superior organization behind Steve Kerr’s squad. The Golden State clinched its sixth NBA Finals in the last eight years, the first team to do so since Michael Jordan’s invincible ‘90s Bulls.

Steph Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson have formed the core for each Finals run, but injuries have sidelined or hampered them in crucial moments, and Kevin Durant didn’t last long. But the front office compensated with a mini-reboot of the NBA’s highest payroll ($179M) until the core trio were intact.

Warriors reach NBA Finals for sixth time in eight years

$5: The NFL is launching a streaming service called NFL Plus — which could be available as soon as July, according to a recent report. The service was reportedly approved by owners during their league meetings in Atlanta and is expected to cost $5 per month, but that figure could change. NFL Plus will focus on providing access to live games for phones and tablets.

The games would be the same matchups aired on local TV stations and not include the out-of-market games on DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket, a package expected to fetch more than $2 billion each year.

NFL Plus: National Football League to Launch Streaming Service This Summer  | The National Interest

3: Last week Kaepernick worked out for the Raiders — his first formal session in almost three years. The 34-year-old hasn’t played professional football since 2016, later alleging in a lawsuit that he was blackballed from the NFL (he settled for an undisclosed sum).

But while he’s stayed busy — raising over $1 million for social justice initiatives, launching an SPAC, and executive producing a Netflix limited series about his life — the financial outlook for an NFL return is anyone’s guess.

Is Colin Kaepernick signing to the Seattle Seahawks? | Marca

1: By winning the Miami Open, Alcaraz became the third youngest player to win a Masters 1000 event, the second most prestigious tier of tournaments behind the grand slams, and last month he became the first player to beat Nadal and Djokovic back-to-back on clay en route to winning the Madrid Open.

Carlos Alcaraz on his way to victory over Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the second round at Roland Garros

? Snapshots & Videos of the Month.

Orreco: Brian Moore, CEO of Orreco discusses the launch of @thlete their new app for athletes in an interview with Cheddar TV.

Google’s AI: DeepMind, which is part of Google, introduced the graph imputer,
a new model that can predict where players will run, on and off-screen, using past and future available observations of subsets of players. Click here to check out the study.

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Meta Research: Meta showcased the latest prototype of its Avatars 2.0.