The Miami Heat announced on Thursday that fans who attend games this upcoming season can only get through the gates with a ticket on their phone. In doing so, the team becomes the first in the NBA to require mobile-only entry. Other teams, like the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Cleveland Cavaliers, have mobile-only ticketing, but permit fans to use their drivers license and credit card to get in.
After 14 years in the NBA, the six-time All-Star Stoudemire played this past season for Hapoel Jerusalem — a team he had partially owned — and it has opened up his world even more to tech investing as Israel is a sports technology hotbed. He said he has done speaking engagements and attended seminars there. In April, he hosted a food and bar crawl in Jerusalem in conjunction with Forbes’ Under 30 Summit for entrepreneurs and walked down the streets wearing Snapchat Spectacles.
Stoudemire participated in a $2.25 million seed funding round for e-commerce platform Tapiture in 2014, and the company announced a year and a half later it was shutting down. But he’ll continue to look into tech investing. “It’s smart because there are so many things that can happen,” Stoudemire said. “There’s so much room to improve, and if you’re onto something that’s really big, you’ve got a chance to have a big payday at the end, which is the ultimately goal for all of us. But you have to build your platform up.”
“I think the sports technology in Israel is starting to build more, and I think teams are trying to start to experiment with these different technology companies,” Stoudemire said. “I think here in the States, we are doing a great job of using the technology with all sports, whether it’s high school sports, youth sports, college or NBA.”
NBA legend Kobe Bryant has financially invested in and joined the board of 15 Seconds of Fame, a social media app that delivers personal video content to fans at live events to boost engagement. The five-time NBA champion has agreed to invest in and advise the fan engagement startup through his investment company, Kobe Inc., which he formed in 2014. Terms of the deal, including the size of Bryant’s investment, have not been disclosed.
“I’ve seen first-hand how much these personal video moments matter to fans and, through IP innovation, 15SOF has essentially opened up a new medium to consumers, as well as brands and licensors,” Bryant said in a statement. The app also delivers fan content at live events that aren’t sports, such as concerts.
The Clippers and Second Spectrum have partnered to bring a fan engagement tool using the cameras that are already in NBA arenas that can take the feed and recognize players and plays and can do analytics around it. The software will tell the fans what kind of play was run, how it was defended and can give them updates on their fantasy players.