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Meta Launches New Mobile Fantasy Game in Partnership With the NFL Called NFL Pick Six – SportTechie

Meta has launched a new mobile fantasy game called NFL Pick Six in partnership with the league. The free-to-play prediction game is available on Facebook’s mobile app for iOS and Android devices.
Fans are asked to pick the winner of upcoming games for that week and earn points for making correct predictions that are tracked via in-app standings. The game also has a link to bring users to NFL.com to subscribe for NFL+, the league’s new subscription service for watching games on mobile phones. NFL Pick Six also lets fans share their predictions with friends via Meta’s social platforms.
The game is intended be a casual experience. “It’s just pride on the line,” Rob Shaw, Meta’s director of North America sports partnerships wrote on LinkedIn. Meta’s existing partnership with the NFL includes the Pro Era VR video game for Oculus headsets and virtual avatar apparel made around Super Bowl LVI.
Dallas Mavericks guard Spencer Dinwiddie and Atlanta Dream forward Monique Billings have joined the athlete advisory board at Strive, the startup that makes sensor-embedded compression shorts to measure lower-body strain and muscle activity. Strive’s existing athlete advisors include Baltimore Ravens tight end Mark Andrews, Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor, WNBA All-Star Cheyenne Parker, and tennis player Giulianna Olmos.
Dinwiddie, an NBA player since 2014, suffered a career-threatening ACL tear in college and another ACL tear in Dec. 2020 while playing for the Brooklyn Nets. He’s since recovered and helped lead the Mavericks to the Western Conference Finals last season but thinks Strive’s metrics will help reduce his injury risk going forward. Strive’s app shares data on muscle load and movement to identify imbalances and overly stressed muscles. 
“I learned of some asymmetries in my quad firing that could have predisposed me to having possibly another injury, but with the Strive technology I was able to uncover some discrepancies,” he said in video for Strive. “Looking at what Strive technology could have done pre-ACL recovery in terms of injury prevention, looking at what it could have done righter after surgery, I see how it can help in all phases for sure.”
Strive raised $6 million in June and its team clients include the NFL’s Ravens, Lions, Chiefs and Chargers, Manchester City and Leicester City of the Premier League, plus teams in the NBA, MLS and college programs like University of Kentucky basketball. Strive has more than 200 elite athlete users as well as NIL deals with Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford and University of Pittsburg running back Israel Abanikanda.
The glass-less 3D animation company IQH3D has launched a cloud-based automated 2D to 3D conversion software designed to augment coverage of this month’s upcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar.
The subscription-based product, 3DWIZZ, allows fans and businesses to transform standard World Cup images and clips to 3D quality by uploading them to the newly released IQH3D Holo Frame, the IQH3D SKYY Tablet or SEAA Android smartphones.
Through the company’s stereoscopic technology, World Cup enthusiasts can view their favorite visuals in 3D without the use of 3D glasses. These IQH3D glasses-free devices are also compatible with iPhones via the IQH3D app, Android surface tablets, holographic picture/video frames, computer monitors, screens up to 200 inches in size, LED videowall systems up to 100 feet.
Florida-based IQH3D is marketing the product to sports bars and hotels on the premise that the most dynamic 3D displays are on 55 and 65-inch displays or in venues that can house the 100 to 200-inch screens. The FIFA World Cup runs from November 20 through December 18 in Qatar.
Immersive tech company BeFootball has launched a metaverse-based soccer game to coincide with this month’s FIFA World Cup Qatar that will allow users to play their own version of the tournament.
Called “Super Player,” the virtual reality game can be obtained for free in the Meta Quest store and will award $3,000 in prizes through the conclusion of the actual 2022 World Cup on December 18. Users can choose between a “Keeper” mode, where they become virtual goalkeepers trying to block a barrage of shots in a limited amount of time, or “Header” mode, where they will be tasked with scoring goals with their heads. The best goalie and header will win cash prizes.
Super Player users will be able to pick a virtual World Cup team of their choice and play against other virtual national teams. They are also allowed to play as many simulated World Cups as they want, and the more they compete, the higher their ranking can rise for awards. 
Madrid-based BeFootball’s platform also lets users switch from a game-play mode to a fitness mode for metaverse-based exercising, as long as they deploy a VR headset and have an Internet connection.
Matchday is the first blockchain-based gaming company to partner with FIFA and the global players union, FIFPRO, to license player names and other IP from the soccer federation. 
Additionally, Spanish and FC Barcelona star Alexia Putellas, who is the first consecutive winner of the Ballon d’Or Féminin international player of the year award, joins Matchday as its founding global ambassador, advisor and investor. There are now 20 total player ambassadors, with the rest to be announced later. Play Time Sports-Tech HoldCo LLC, the investment vehicle of Lionel Messi, is one of the known investors in Matchday.
The company’s first game is Matchday Challenge: FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Edition, and the next release will be a casual mobile game in 2023. The multi-year partnership with FIFA explicitly includes not only the men’s World Cup in Qatar but the women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand next year. Fans will be able to collect and own Matchday player cards that include the name, image and likeness of the 65,000 professional players FIFPRO represents globally.
Fantasy sports platform Fandex Inc. has received a U.S. patent for its proprietary stock exchange that lets fans purchase and sell virtual shares of their favorite teams and players.
Founded in 2017, Fandex’s free-to-play model was among the first to grant customers a way to virtually invest in their fantasy franchises and athletes in over 12 sports, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The company, according to CEO Matt D’Alessandro, is hoping to parlay the decision from the United States Patent and Trademark Office into future iGaming licensing and partnerships. Fandex also hopes to add even more fantasy sports for fans to choose from.
Designated as a “game of skill,” Fandex is about to launch a pay-to-play contest in Europe ahead of this month’s FIFA World Cup Qatar and develops other contests in the U.S. with betting platforms such as FanDuel and Sports Grid. Other companies have begun to mirror Fandex such as Mojo, where users buy stock in athletes that guarantees payouts on the player’s end-of-career statistics.
Youth members of Best Buy Teen Tech Centers in the Twin Cities will receive behind-the-scenes looks at how technology is used during NBA and WNBA games through a new partnership between Best Buy, the Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Lynx. Chinese consumer electronics company TCL, a sponsor of both teams, is also funding the program to support local teens to pursue careers in technology.
Teens will attend Timberwolves and Lynx games as well as team facilities to see how technology is used on gameday. Executives from both teams will also talk about career opportunities at the intersection of sports and technology. For every basket made during the TCL Big Screen Shootout fan contest held at Timberwolves games this season, TCL will donate to Best Buy Teen Tech Centers with the goal of raising $100,00 to support internships and scholarships.
Best Buy operates more than 50 Teen Tech Centers nationwide where members learn hands-on skills related to jobs within photography, augmented and virtual reality, and 3D design. TCL, which sells electronics such as TVs and mobile phones, is active in sports and esports through other sponsorships with Giannis Antetokounmpo Topgolf, League of Legends, and China’s Edward Gaming. Best Buy plans to open 100 Teen Tech Centers by 2025.
Financial platform MoneyLion has become the official money app and jersey patch partner of the NBA G League Ignite.
With the multi-year agreement, MoneyLion’s branding will be prominently displayed across the front of G League Ignite road uniform tops. MoneyLion will also release G League Ignite content on its mobile app throughout the upcoming basketball season and initiate ticket giveaways at Ignite road games for MoneyLion users.
One of MoneyLion’s fintech missions has been to provide financial literacy for athletes through its proprietary data, technology and network platforms. In September, MoneyLion inked a financial education deal with NIL software company INFLCR, which has 64,000 users across 4,000 college and pro teams. Through the partnership, student-athletes were able to view short-form financial literacy videos on INFLCR courtesy of MoneyLion.
The NBA G League Ignite is a developmental league for emerging players preparing for the NBA draft, including some teenagers. The league has put a priority on helping those players with life skills such as fin tech and community service.
FIFA has named Calm the official mindfulness and meditation product of the World Cup later this month as well as the women’s World Cup in 2023 and FIFAe Nations Cup 2023, an esports tournament. 
The partnership is intended to support mental health by making subscriptions to Calm available for free to all players, workforce and volunteers — estimated to number 25,000 — at the FIFA tournaments scheduled over the next calendar year. Soccer fans will also gain access to 50% discounted subscriptions through exclusive offers tied to FIFA events.
Mindfulness and meditation programming in the Calm app encourages better sleep and relaxation as well as reduced stress. The company reports user studies indicating that 84% of regular users are in a better mental state, 81% feel less stress and 73% enjoy better sleep quality. FIFA and Calm will collaborate on content to help community members “find their calm” on matchdays and the rest of the schedule.
LeBron James became a Calm ambassador in late 2019, and the company has become a sponsor of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks and Portland Trailblazers as well as the Big Ten conference.
“Mental and physical health are equal partners in the combined well-being of a person, and care for both must be seen as integral in caring for the footballing family,” FIFA’s director of medical, Andrew Massey, said in a statement. “As a sporting community, we need to create an environment that better supports mental well-being and mental health. The well-being of footballers at all levels of the game has always been and will always be the top priority of FIFA, as can be seen with this collaboration.”
Sports sponsorship analytics startup Trajektory has raised a $4 million funding round led by investments from TechOperators, Bridge Ventures, gANGELS and Mudita Capital Partners. Teams across pro sports use Trajektory’s software to view automated analytics on the value of their sponsorship activations.
Trajektory’s algorithm measures factors such as market demographics, consumer spending behaviors, on-field performance, and sponsor exclusivity to assign ROI values via logo detection technology for brand activations across social and digital media, in-stadium, broadcast, email, podcast and radio. Since launching in March, Chicago-based Trajektory has worked with teams such as MLB’s Arizona Diamondbacks, Milwaukee Brewers, Toronto Blue Jays, the NFL’s Chicago Bears, NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins, MLS club Philadelphia Union, and the NWSL’s Washington Spirit.
TechOperators Venture Capital invests in early-stage B2B SaaS and cybersecurity companies. Trajektory’s other clients include sports marketing and sales agency Integrity 9 and GF Sports & Entertainment.
Topgolf, which has plans to expand to 81 locations world-wide, has broken ground on its latest facility in the greater Boston area.
Located in Canton, Mass., roughly 20 miles southwest of Boston, the venue is slated to open in late 2023 and will be the Topgolf’s first foray into the state of Massachusetts. The facility will have 90 separate hitting bays that each contain heaters, fans and Topgolf’s standard Toptracer technology that tracks ball speed, distance and powers gamification by inserting RFID chips into the golf ball.
Customers, for instance, will be able to play an AR golf version of Angry Birds or a new digital spinoff called Shankstars where mythical characters such as a T-Rex skeleton play metaverse-styled courses that have unorthodox hazards.
The Callaway-owned company currently has 70 sites up and operating, with others coming soon in locations such as San Diego. Its marquee facilities in the U.S. are likely a four-floor, 120-bay venue just outside of Las Vegas and a relatively new spot in West Los Angeles that includes a renovated adjacent 10-hole, par-3 green grass course called the Lakes at El Segundo.
The 10th hole at the West Los Angeles location includes the same ball tracking technology used during PGA Tour broadcasts and can be downloaded to golfers’ smartphones through a QR code at the course.
Topgolf first trialed in the Boston area during its Topgolf Live Stadium Tour, when Fenway Park was converted into a temporary course. Players were able to hit tee shots from the stands in the direction of targets strategically placed on the field. Starting today through Nov. 9th, Topgolf will reprise the Fenway Park experience.
Because Boston — along with Minneapolis’ Brooklyn Center — is one of Topgolf’s cold-weather sites, the company is Topgolf is potentially developing AI and machine learning that can enhance the experience in inclement weather.
“Our golfers do come out and play during a blizzard with friends and family,” Topgolf’s vice president of technology Scott Lovejoy told SportTechie in June. “So, I think AI and machine learning are going to help stitch things together if the ball gets lost in view or the snow.”

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