🚴‍♂️ 🏈 NFL is Back! Cheaper Peloton Treadmill is Here. Apple Watch Series 6 Unveiled This Week.

Dear Colleague,

Last week, in Europe a number of European soccer leagues (Ligue 1, Premier League..) kicked off their new seasons. In the US, the NFL was also back this week. Of note, 25 NFL teams announced that they will not have fans at their stadiums at the start of the season, citing various state restrictions. A new survey also indicated that about 40% of NFL season-ticket holders who pushed their packages to 2021 demanded a refund, according to Sports Business Journal. With more wildfires burning all over California combined with a recent heat wave, Bay Area residents also woke up to eerie orange skies and falling ash last Wednesday. It created a strange atmosphere for the Niners and coach Kyle Shanahan as they conducted a walk-through and a practice outside the SAP training facility.

In the world of pro tennis, Osaka won the US open tennis this weekend. The Tokyo Olympics are also projected to be the most expensive Summer Games. The Tokyo Olympics are estimated to cost $15.84B. Tokyo’s spending before billions more are likely added due to the delay.

In the world of AR/VR and digital, standalone VR headsets are finally ready to make a big leap forward. In the wearable and connected fitness world, Peloton announced a more expensive bike, and a cheaper treadmill. Apple Watch Series 6 is now expected to be launched on 15 September. Fitbit also announced a new Fitbit Versa SpO2 watch.


Last week we published our new article entitled “Creatine Supplementation and its Effects on Performance”, written by our new guest writer Daniel Hayes, who is the Performance Coach at the LA Dodgers (MilB).

Read this article on Creatine

On Thursday as part of our Upside Guest writer series, we will publish our new article entitled “LEAN Sports science – When Innovation concepts help practitioners to get closer to the Graal?”. This article will be written by Mathieu Lacome, PhD, the head of R&D for PSG, a top European soccer team (Ligue 1). You can check out his personal blog at Mathlacome.com

Title: Mathieu Lacome, PhD, the head of R&D for PSG

Here is our schedule of guest writers and articles for the coming weeks:

  • September 24: Article title:“Strategies for Performing Under Pressure”. Author: Len Zaichkowsky, PhD, world’s class expert in biofeedback/psychophysiology.

Note: If you want to connect with Len, Mathieu, Christophe, Daniel, don’t forget to create your free Upside profile and join our online community by clicking on the button below.


As a reminder, we are now launching our new Upside Global platform to bring together our sports, tech & health community of 2,500 executives under a single web platform. Members include executives from the NBA, NFL, NHL, MLS, MLB, Laliga, English Premiere League, Ligue 1, Bundesliga, Series A, Brazilian soccer league, Olympic teams, 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, MLBLaliga, English Premiere 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.

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📰 Top Stories We’re Reading This Week

📺  Standalone VR headsets are finally ready to make a big leap forward

Peloton announces more expensive bike, cheaper treadmill; shares surge

Apple Watch Series 6 will be launched on 15 September

New Fitbit Versa SpO2 watch face checks your vitals

💸 Latest Investment Trends

📊 Tech Stats of the Week

📸 Snapshots of the Week

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


🎮 AR/VR/Video/Digital Sports News

📺  Standalone VR headsets are finally ready to make a big leap forward | Via : Venturebeat

Tech company media events broadly divide into two categories: Apple-style events where completed new products are revealed just before they hit stores, and Qualcomm-style events where new technologies are revealed well ahead of actual availability, sometimes without even naming the first products that will include the innovations. Rather than calling one type of event “better” than the other, I view both as valuable; Apple reveals “what is now” while Qualcomm shows off “what will be.” Last December, Qualcomm announced a breakthrough chipset for mixed reality devices called the Snapdragon XR2, following the aforementioned “look what’s coming” strategy. Specifically built for standalone VR and AR headsets, XR2 appeared ready to smoke the smartphone-ready Snapdragon 835 chips used in devices such as the consumer Oculus Quest and enterprise HTC Vive Focus Plus, thanks to generation-caliber performance improvements. A chart promised twice the CPU and GPU performance, four times the pixel throughput, six times the display resolution, and 11 times the dedicated AI TOPS. In short, XR2-based all-in-one VR headsets would perform far more like PCs than mobile phones.

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and general economic uncertainty, many XR developers’ plans changed in 2020: Magic Leap imploded, HTC’s CEO resigned, Facebook renamed Oculus Connect and moved it entirely online, and multiple VR developers pivotedsold themselves off, and/or shut down. To the extent Lynx might plausibly have expected in February to hit its promised summer date for R-1, it’s not exactly surprising that it didn’t. Nothing’s certain at this point, but I’m pretty confident that we’re close to seeing Snapdragon XR2 headsets in stores — notably, early ones without 5G connectivity, rather than more deluxe models that will combine robust CPU/GPU/AI horsepower with the freedom of a cellular connection. I wouldn’t expect those until next year at the earliest, and even then, only in territories with more robust 5G infrastructures than we currently have in the United States. When that happens — and it’s a when, not an if — we’ll start to see VR and AR everywhere, and that will be another huge step forward for this already exciting and rapidly evolving collection of technologies.

⬆️ The Upside: In out view, we are unlikely to see Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR2 powered mixed reality headsets until next year. Ultimately standalone Mixed Reality will become the norm in the coming years. The COVID-19 pandemic is likely having an impact of the launch of these next generation mixed reality devices.

Picture : Qualcomm


🚑 Wearables, Health, Nutrition News

Peloton announces more expensive bike, cheaper treadmill; shares surge | Via : CNBC

Peloton announced a slew of new equipment launches last Tuesday, including a lower-priced, high-tech treadmill and a more expensive bike option with a rotating screen. Share prices surged 9% in early trading. 

The company’s new Bike+ will cost $2,495 and will be available Wednesday. The Tread, which will retail for $2,495, is coming to the U.K. on Dec. 26, the U.S. and Canada in early 2021, and Germany later next year, the company said. The original Peloton bike’s price will drop to $1,895 from $2,245 on Wednesday, coinciding with the launch of the more expensive version. Peloton’s pricier and original treadmill, the Tread+, retails for $4,295. 

“We feel like we’re just getting started,” CEO John Foley said in a statement. “Our goal is to be the go-to at-home fitness solution for as many people as possible ... especially in a world where people are increasingly working out at home.” 

Demand for the 8-year-old company’s original stationary bike and workout programs has skyrocketed during the coronavirus pandemic, with gyms temporarily forced to shut and people stuck at home looking to break a sweat. 

During its latest quarter ended March 31, Peloton’s sales surged 66% from a year earlier to $524.6 million. The company said it ended that period with a connected fitness subscriber base of more than 886,100 people, up 94% year-over-year. Those people pay $39 per month to have live content, like yoga classes and running routines, streamed through Peloton’s app. In addition to a 23.8-inch, rotating touchscreen for streaming floor workouts, the new Bike+ also features a four-speaker sound system, touch-free resistance adjusting, and an Apple Watch pairing option. 

⬆️ The Upside: We think this is a great move by Peloton. It will help the company sustain its lead in the connected fitness market and further put pressure on its competitors. The COVID-19 pandemic is also playing in favor of Peloton as more fitness enthusiasts are adopting these types of at home connected fitness products in order to stay in shape.

Apple Watch Series 6 will be launched on 15 September | Via : Wareable

The Apple Watch Series 6 will be unveiled at an Apple event on 15 September. Apple always announces its smartwatches in September, but with the pandemic still raging on, nothing is certain. But the company has circulated a 'Time Flies' teaser, which says there will be an event held at Apple Park. Noted tipster Jon Prosser had predicted that Apple would launch its new smartwatch on 8 September - which we previously had reported - but it turned out to simply be the announcement of the announcement.So what will we get?

We're assuming it will follow the tradition that we'll see an Apple Watch Series 6. Rumors have speculated that it could offer blood oxygen monitoring, stress and panic attack tracking as well as fast charging or battery life innovation. There have also been rumors of an Apple Watch SE replacing the ageing Series 3. whihc still represents the budget option for those not wanting to pay top dollar for a smartwatch. However, these are still one;y rumors, and some indicate we may have to wait until March for a new budget Apple Watch. A new Apple Watch will also herald the launch of watchOS 7, which right now is only in public beta. We already know that watchOS 7 will bring native sleep tracking, which could logically mean battery improvements or fast charging could be hardware features of the Apple Watch. And we're likely to see more health features, with blood oxygen figuring for the first time.

⬆️ The Upside: It is this time of the year again when Apple announces its new Apple Watch. In our view, Apple needs to innovate in terms of biosensing capabilities (e.g. hydration/electrolyte, Blood pressure measurement..). Of note, Apple’s share in the global smartwatch shipment revenue increased to 51.4% in the first half of 2020 from 43.2% during the same period last year, according to Counterpoint Research.

Picture : Apple Watch

New Fitbit Versa SpO2 watch face checks your vitals | Via : Wareable

Fitbit has released its SpO2 watch face for Fitbit Versa and Ionic devices, which lets users get in touch with their blood oxygen levels. The feature was actually part of the Fitbit Sense and Versa 3 launch event, but it’s landed on the Fitbit App Gallery ahead of those devices. Fitbit’s new smartwatches are due to land on 25 September. It comes after we reported that older Fitbit devices would show new health stats in Fitbit Premium.

The SpO2 watch face shows your blood oxygen level from your last recorded sleep. While SpO2 is landing on pretty much every new smartwatch, many devices just let you do a spot check. However, it’s far more useful to watch this data during sleep, as it can point to sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. This is the data you’ll find in the Estimated Oxygen Variation graph on Fitbit Versa and Charge 3 and Charge 4. But the SpO2 watch face presents it in a different way. The main screen will show your blood oxygen during sleep as a percentage, which is a new presentation of the data for Fitbit. It will show the average percentage, and the high and low range below. However, it won’t offer much guidance on whether your levels are good or bad. You’ll need to be watchful and understand SpO2 yourself – and understand your own personal baselines. Like many health tech companies, Fitbit is still struggling to get the required certification to be able to implicitly warn users about conditions like sleep apnea. The SpO2 watch face also offers more than just blood oxygen data. You can swipe through and get a check on your current Active Zone Minutes data, heart rate and current HR zone, step goal progress and floors climbed progress. It’s a great way of accessing health data on your watch, and rest assured, it does still show you the current time.

You can download the SpO2 watch face on any Fitbit Versa smartwatch and Fitbit Ionic, but make sure you’re running the latest version of the software. You can find it in the Fitbit App Gallery.

⬆️ The Upside: We believe this is a great move by Fitbit. Now many smartwatches offer SpO2 today, so Fitbit is playing catch up here but at least it is trying to close the loop with the competition. Of note, with a strong presence in the health and fitness wearable market, Fitbit has been a leader in the wearable industry (e.g. smart band, smartwatch..) since early 2014, when the company held about 45% of the market share.

Picture : Fitbit


💸 Sports Tech & Health Investment (Fund raising, M&As) Trends — September 2020

  • Ten-time Grammy Award winner Justin Timberlake is the latest big name to join the effort to bring an MLB expansion team to Nashville, officially joining the group as an investor and advisor.


📊 Key Tech Sports Stats of The Week

$271B: Of America’s 400 richest people, 42 own professional sports teams. Collectively, those 42 are worth $271 billion, up 6% compared to 2019. Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer, ranked No. 6, is the highest sports team owner on the list for the sixth consecutive year. Steve Cohen, who is in discussions to buy the New York Mets, would be among the richest team owners thanks to his estimated worth of $14.5 billion.

While not a team owner, Nike founder Phil Knight and his family are ranked No. 17 on the list, worth $39.2 billion.

Top 5 Richest Sports Teams Owners:

  1. Steve Ballmer, Los Angeles Clippers — $69 billion (No. 6 overall)

  2. David Tepper, Charlotte Panthers, Charlotte FC — $13 billion (No. 41)

  3. Robert Pera, Memphis Grizzlies — $10.5 billion (No. 45)

  4. Philip Anschutz, Los Angeles Kings and Galaxy — $10.1 billion (No. 50)

  5. Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys — $8.6 billion (No. 56)

$14.95B: The Tokyo Olympics are projected to be the most expensive Summer Games. The Tokyo Olympics are estimated to cost $15.84B. Tokyo’s spending before billions more are likely added due to the delay.

$14.95 billion — 2012 London Olympics, the most expensive to date.

$7.3 billion — Estimate from Tokyo organizers in 2013.

$1B: More than $1 billion could be spent on sports betting advertising around the NFL season, including an expected $185 million from FanDuel.

$66.25M: The Los Angeles Clippers are moving closer to their future $1.8 billion arena. Inglewood City Council approved the sale of 13 parcels of land for $66.25 million to the Clippers-controlled Murphy’s Bowl LLC.

40%: About 40% of NFL season-ticket holders who pushed their packages to 2021 demanded a refund, according to Sports Business Journal.

25%: As of Sep 8, 25 teams have announced that they will not have fans at their stadiums at the start of the season, citing various state restrictions. Along with that, two teams have yet to formally announce if fans will or won’t be in attendance. Only five teams have committed to having fans inside stadiums, but in a limited capacity.

14%: Peloton Interactive’s stock jumped 14% last Tuesday after the company announced new products. Peloton’s shares were also up 187% year-to-date.


📸 Snapshots of the Week

49ers practice in 'apocalyptic state: With more wildfires burning all over California combined with a recent heat wave, Bay Area residents woke up to eerie orange skies and falling ash on Wednesday. It created a strange atmosphere for the Niners and coach Kyle Shanahan as they conducted a walk-through and a practice outside the SAP training facility. "We just got back in from walk-through and it's orange out here, too," Shanahan said. "I feel like I'm in 'The Book of Eli' -- it's like an apocalyptic state out there."

NFL Mask shield: Chiefs: Chiefs coach Andy Reid used a face shield instead of a mask Thursday night and it appeared to fog up at times.

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