By TERRY LYONS, Editor-in-Chief
BOSTON – During the 22 weeks of “While We’re Young (Ideas)” existence, the topics addressed have ranged from the great Dick Young and the origins of a notes column to New York’s Runyons drinking establishment and its Stages of Drunkenness to the insider story of a Frank Coffey to Steve Kerr meet-up, to the saga of Andrew Luck to news about the Boston Bruins. The goal is to touch all the bases. Today we’re providing a “Day in the Life” of a Sports Tech entrepreneur, namely yours truly.
Wednesday, September 18
6:30am – It was up and at ’em (not atom or Adam, as some might say). After a quick cup of pour-over Peets coffee, the daily update of all things Digital Sports Desk, it was out the door in the New York suburb of Rye.
7:55am – The seven-fifty-five from Rye originated in Stamford, Connecticut at 7:38am and arrived at New York City’s Grand Central Terminal at 8:41am.
8:45am – Grabbed a second cup of fresh brewed at GCT with prices reserved for kings and had time for the high end NYC shoe shine at one of the oldest and finest shoe emporiums on the lower level of Grand Central. An old, comfortable pair of casual Skeetchers were transformed into a spit-shined, dressy-looking pair of casual shoes in fewer than five minutes with an $8.00 price tag ($5 to the nice, young man who did the transformation).
9:00am – A short walk to the Lexington Avenue – Downtown 6 – line for a short subway ride to Bleeker Street on the lower East Side of Greenwich Village was combined with a five-minute walk to The Kimmel Center at New York University, on the Greatest College Campus in the World.
9:45am – Smooth and easy check-in to attend HYPE Sports Innovation’s Demo-Day for its Blockchain Accelerator program.
10am – Vince Gennaro, associate dean at the New York University-Preston Tisch Institute for Global Sport, welcomed the group to the campus of NYU and begins the day-long final, Demo-Day program which originated back in June with its workshop. Uli Becker spoke on behalf of HYPE.
In recent months, HYPE had extended its value offering beyond its accelerator programs by establishing a $75 million fund specifically to support the growth and scaling demands of the startups. The HYPE Fund invites investors to join a 4:30 PM introductory session about the fund. Today, it was roster cut-down and demo day.
10:15-am – to – 12 Noon: Each group made a five-minute pitch and was available for brief Q&A from two “juries” of industry executives.
The Start-Ups presenting included:
- Bethereum (Hong Kong): Bethereum combines Blockchain and gamification to deliver the most innovative and engaging betting platform on the market.
- Instant Sponsor (United States): Instant Sponsor is a Blockchain-powered global sports sponsorship marketplace.
- Lympo (United States): Lympo – health and fitness app that uses an incentivization model and rewards people for living healthy lifestyles.
- Vanywhere (Israel): Vanywhere is a brand new platform that incentivizes brand advocates to work on behalf of the brand.
- Puml (Australia): PUML – is a new HealthTech platform that helps incentivise active movement through a sophisticated rewards protocol based on blockchain technology.
- SportZblock (Australia): SportZblock is a blockchain powered private social network for clubs fusing the proven trio of betting, social media and e-commerce that captures, attributes and distributes digital rights to clubs via securing ownership of data at source.
- IQONIQ (Monaco): IQONIQ is a revolutionary fan engagement & social media ecosystem that exclusively targets the Sports, Media & Entertainment industry.
- Peerspoint (Switzerland): A non-profit + for-profit market blockchain platform core for supporting athletes & sport federations; securing performance data, health/drug data, promote gender & socioeconomic equality & AI/ML data driven governance to tackle widespread malpractice.
- Globatalent (Spain): Globatalent blockchain Sports Exchange. A global Marketplace for the sport industry. We developed a tool that can be used by clubs and athletes to finance themselves and improve their FAN engagement.
- Tixico (Latvia): Tixico is an EOS blockchain-based ticketing service designed for both the primary and secondary market.
1:15PM – As lunch was served, the two juries of judges met to decide best presentations and one deserved start-up which would gain recognition as the HYPE Best Start-Up, Best Presentation (Pitch), Best Pitch Runner-Up, and a special NYU Tisch award for sports innovation.
The jurists included:
- Vince Gennaro – Associate Dean NYU Preston Tisch Institute for Global Sport
- Uli Becker – Chairman HYPE, former Reebok CEO, former adidas exec.
- Gayatri Sarkar – Founder, She VC, Managing Director HYPE
- Tracy Deforge – Founder, The Players’ Impact, Co-Founder Boston VC Sports
- Rob Nenner, veep Washington Redskins, HYPE Board member
- Cameron Myler – Court of Arbitration for Sport, NYU, former 4x Olympian, Luge
- Nir Ben Levi – CEO, HYPE, US
- Alex Filatov – Co-Founderm, Managing Partner TON Labs
- Mike Stevens – former NY Giants CMO, NBA exec.
- Radames Soto – President, kinina Ventures
- Per von Rosen – Senior product manager, broadcast for Sportradar
- Ricardo Roberts – Venture Partner, VU Venture Network
- Brad Cohen – President, Ingress Ventures
- Ken Hershman – Partner, Electronic Sports Group, former president HBO
- Dennis Cranstoun – Director, Sandbox Advisors
2:30pm – A “fireside” chat, or more accurately a simple sports panel gathered together, including Rob Nenner (Washington Redskins), Mike Stevens (former NBA exec and former CMO of the NY Football Giants), Boston favorite Tracy Deforge (head of The Players’ Impact), and moderated by Seventy Six Capital’s athlete in Residence Brendan Harris (former MLB player and player personnel exec).
3:00pm – The two juries convened and announcements were made:
- The HYPE Best Start-Up award: @Lympo
- Best Pitch: @bethereum
- Runner-Up: @InstantSponsor
- Special TON Labs Award: @Tixico.io
4:30pm – HYPE held a special investors’ informational meeting and networking hour where its senior entrepreneurs and management team presented the overall direction of HYPE Sports Innovation as it moves forward. Included in the group was Gayatri Sarkar, the newly appointed managing Director for HYPE in its North American subsidiary.
6:30pm-9pm – While the day concluded for most, @DigSportsDesk was asked to speak to an evening class at the NYU-Tisch Global Sports Management school, held right at the Kimmel Center.
Thursday, September 19
6:30am – Early wake-up and drive from New York to Boston, Massachusetts
1:10pm – First pitch of San Francisco Giants at Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park in Boston.
4:45pm – Upon conclusion of the 5-4 SF Giants victory over the Sox, departed Fenway for 125 High Street and the new offices of the law form of Burns & Levinson and a meeting of Boston Venture Community Sports, starting its second season of networking meetings for sports tech investors and entrepreneurs.
6:15pm – Burns & Levinson partner and head of the sports practice Josef Volman welcomed a group of 60+ investors and sports tech industry execs to the new all-purpose room for the firm, and introduced Jeff Volk, co-founder of NY VC Sports, the sister organization of BVC Sports. Volk is Deltatre’s svp for business and revenue.
6:30pm – John Kosner, the head of Kosner Media and partner (along with NBA Commissioner emeritus Dave Stern) in micromanagement ventures, masterfully conducted a 1:1 with Will Ahmed, founder and CEO of Whoop.
7:00pm – Bruce Smith, CEO and Founder of Hydrow, brought a display model and spoke of his journey with the start-up in the high-end, State-of-the-Art rowing machine industry.
Here Now, The Notes: One of the NBA’s all-time greats,Vince Carter signed a contract Friday with the Atlanta Hawks, and he’s planning on returning for his 22nd — and what he has said will be final — NBA season. Contract terms were not announced. … Even though 2019-20 will be Carter’s last season, he has a chance to mark a couple of firsts. When Carter plays in his first game of the new season, he will become the first NBA player to play in 22 seasons, surpassing Dirk Nowitzki, Kevin Garnett, Robert Parish and Kevin Willis. When he plays in the first game in the 2020 calendar year, he will be the league’s first player to play in four decades. … Carter was the 1998-99 NBA Rookie of the Year with the Toronto Raptors, who selected him No. 5 overall in the 1998 NBA Draft. An eight-time All-Star, he enters his second year with the Hawks, where he’ll also be counted on to mentor a young team that includes guards Trae Young, Kevin Huerter and De’Andre Hunter, forward John Collins and rookie swingman Cam Reddish. … Of that group, Collins will be oldest when the season starts, turning 22 on Monday. … Last season in Atlanta, Carter scored 7.4 points per game in 76 contests with the Hawks while playing on a one-year, $2.4 million contract. He started nine games. Carter, whose acrobatic dunks helped earn him the nickname Vinsanity, has averaged 17.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists in his career. Aside from the Hawks and Raptors, he has played for the New Jersey Nets, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies and Sacramento Kings. … He was the 2000 winner of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest and won an Olympic gold medal with Team USA later that summer. … On the flip side of that equation, veteran NHL defenseman Dan Girardi announced his retirement on Friday. Girardi, 35, appeared in 927 career games with the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning, tallying 264 points (56 goals, 208 assists) with a plus-78 rating. Signed by the Rangers as an undrafted free agent from Welland, Ontario, Girardi played for the team from 2006-17. He spent the past two years with the Tampa Bay Lightning, appearing in 62 games last season with 16 points (four goals, 12 assists). He also played in 143 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, recording eight goals and 28 assists. … “I gave my all every single night and left it all out on the ice,” Girardi said in a statement. “Now it’s time for the next chapter of my life to begin and I couldn’t be happier … and so is my body.”
Los Angeles Angels radio broadcaster and former MLB pitcher Mark Langston was hospitalized in Houston Friday night following a medical emergency. The team has not stated the nature of the ailment, but the Los Angeles Times reported CPR was administered in the radio booth at Minute Maid Park. … Langton, 59, had read the starting lineups for the series opener between the Angels and Astros just before the emergency, the Los Angeles Daily News reported. Victor Rojas, the television voice of the Angels, tweeted after the game that Langston was “doing well.” … “Scary sight tonight watching things unfold in the booth two doors down from us. Currently sitting with Langer in ER and he’s doing well, sharing some laughs about his pizza intake in NYC this week. Keep Mark in your prayers as they continue to run through protocols,” Rojas wrote. … The Angels are expected to update Langston’s condition on Saturday. He has been the Angels’ radio color announcer since 2012. Langston was a four-time All-Star during his pitching career, in which he went 179-158 with a 3.97 ERA and 81 complete games. He played for the Seattle Mariners (1984-89), Montreal Expos (1989), Angels (1990-97), San Diego Padres (1998) and Cleveland Indians (1999). … Hotel magnate Barron Hilton, an original owner in the American Football League, died at his home in Los Angeles, his family announced Friday. … Hilton died Thursday of natural causes at age 91, the family run Conrad Hilton Foundation stated in a press release. After serving in the Navy and pursuing other business opportunities, Hilton joined the family business in 1954, eventually becoming chairman, president and CEO of Hilton Hotels Corp. … In the late 1950s, he was approached by American Football League pioneers Lamar Hunt and Bud Adams about owning a franchise, and Hilton founded the Los Angeles Chargers in 1959. The team moved to San Diego after one season and appeared in five of the first six AFL title games, winning one. Hilton sold controlling interest in the Chargers to Gene Klein in 1966 for $10 million. … The NFL paid tribute to Hilton on Friday. “Simply put, the modern NFL would not be what it is today without the vision of Barron Hilton,” said Dean Spanos, who now owns the Chargers franchise. “A founding father and charter member of the upstart AFL’s sarcastically self-dubbed ‘Foolish Club,’ Barron was a pioneering leader, risk-taking entrepreneur, prolific philanthropist, devoted family man and, of course, anything but foolish. … It seems fitting that we celebrate a life extraordinarily well-lived the same year as we recognize the Chargers 60th anniversary season since without Barron, there would be no Chargers.” … The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is working to find the source of the drugs that Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs took before he died, ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” reported this week. … Skaggs, 27, was found dead in his Southlake, Texas, hotel room on July 1 when the Angels were in town to play the Texas Rangers. His autopsy revealed he had oxycodone, fentanyl and ethanol in his system. … Fentanyl is a powerful opioid, and the DEA typically joins investigations when fentanyl is involved to try to find the source, ESPN reported. … MLB deputy commissioner Dan Halem declined to comment on the report, but Angels spokeswoman Marie Garvey told ESPN, “We continue to cooperate with law enforcement on this important matter.” … When the medical examiner’s office released the autopsy report on Aug. 30, Skaggs’ family issued a statement that potentially implicated a team employee in his death. No team employee, however, has been tied publicly to the case.
New York Yankees team doctors reported Saturday morning when an MRI of Gleyber Torres’ right hamstring was negative, according to multiple reports. … The second baseman slipped as he fielded a ground ball Friday night in a 4-3 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays, and he came out of the game later when he said his lower legs felt weak. … The Yankees have clinched the American League East, and manager Aaron Boone – before he heard the MRI results – said the team would be cautious with Torres in the waning days of the season. … The Yankees are scheduled to open the postseason on Oct. 4. … Boston Celtics broadcaster and former NBA player Brian Scalabrine will no longer co-host NBA Radio’s morning drive-time show with former NY News and current The Athletic reporter Frank Isola. Instead, former NBAer Brandon Hayward will take the lead role of NBA Radio along with Isola. Five of the last seven World Series champions have missed the Postseason the season following their title: 2012 Giants, 2013 Red Sox, 2014 Giants, 2015 Royals, 2018 Red Sox. … The San Diego Padres fired manager Andy Green, who was in his fourth season at the helm of the club. … “I want to thank Andy for his tireless work and dedication to the Padres over the last four seasons,” Padres general manager A.J. Preller said in a statement. “This was an incredibly difficult decision, but one we felt was necessary at this time to take our organization to the next level and expedite the process of bringing a championship to San Diego. Our search for a new manager will begin immediately.” … Green finishes his tenure in San Diego with a 274-366 record. He had two seasons remaining on his contract. The Padres (69-85) have eight games remaining, including Saturday night’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. … The decision comes after the Padres have dropped eight of their past nine, including Friday night’s 9-0 drubbing to the D-backs in the first game of the series in San Diego. They are 6-13 in September. … “Andy’s class, dignity and leadership through a difficult developmental period for our team should be applauded,” executive chairman Ron Fowler and general partner Peter Seidler said in a joint statement. “On behalf of the entire Padres organization, we wish Andy and the Green family the best.” … And lastly, according to his agent, “a few teams” have reached out to express interest in free agent Antonio Brown since his release Friday by the New England Patriots, according to the wide receiver’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus. … Rosenhaus told ESPN on Saturday he’s been in touch with a few teams, who “want information regarding (Brown’s) legal situation and the NFL investigation” into accusations against Brown of sexual assault and sending intimidating text messages. … ESPN reports that people around the league don’t expect any team to sign Brown until the league’s investigation is resolved. … The Patriots cut the controversial wideout on Friday afternoon, five days after Brown caught four passes for 56 yards and scored a touchdown in his debut with the team. … The NFL released a statement hours later in response to questions about Brown’s status. … “Our office is presently investigating multiple allegations, some of which are the subject of pending litigation,” the statement read, in part. “We have as yet made no findings regarding these issues. The investigation is ongoing and will be pursued vigorously and expeditiously. … “As long as Mr. Brown is a free agent, placement on the Commissioner’s exempt list is not appropriate. If he is signed by a club, such placement may become appropriate at any time depending on the status of the investigation. Upon the conclusion of the investigation, he may also be subject to discipline if the investigation finds that he has violated the law or league policies.”
Digital Sports Desk posts a once-a-week Sunday Notes column, entitled: “While We’re Young Ideas.” It’s a throwback of sorts to the days when sportswriting and the baseball beat were the best jobs in the entire sports industry, maybe the entire world. One of those sportswriters was named Dick Young and he wrote “Young Ideas” with a “Diamond Dust” section for notes and quotes. … We welcome feedback and suggestions (psst, they call ’em pitches) for mentions within “While We’re Young Ideas” or Digital Sports Desk. Please follow and encourage (at least) another person or two to plug into (@DigSportsDesk) (@WhileYoungIdeas) and (@terrylyons).
Field Level Media, GraceNote, and Digital Sports Desk staff reporting contributed to this column.