Dispatch, Ep 13: Tech is the new car dealership for pro athletes

Molly Wood Apr 28, 2016
Startup booths set up at Collision Conference.  collisionconf.com

Dispatch, Ep 13: Tech is the new car dealership for pro athletes

Molly Wood Apr 28, 2016
Startup booths set up at Collision Conference.  collisionconf.com

This week’s Dispatch is truly a dispatch from the field! I’m writing this now from New Orleans, where I’ve been attending the Collision Conference, a confab of startups, investors, marketers, journalists, assorted tech industry smart people and, as it happens, a surprising number of athletes and sport-related tech companies.

I’ve been watching sports and tech come together for a while now. There’s all the fitness wearables, there’s ever more sophisticated tech for tracking athlete performance and training techniques, algorithms for crunching data to predict wins, losses and injuries. And of course, every new stadium that gets built is more wired than the last

But it turns out the tech industry is also increasingly fertile ground for athletes looking to set themselves up for future careers (the Golden State Warriors’ 23-year-old Harrison Barnes has said he wants to be a venture capitalist when he grows up), or for athletes looking to find a second chapter after retirement.

At Collision, I spoke to retired NBA star Shane Battier (two championships with the Miami Heat), who’s doing the somewhat more typical post-pro athlete path of starting an education-focused foundation with his wife, Heidi. But he’s also an angel investor in several sports tech companies. I talked to the CEO of a sports-oriented social network that boasts Brett Favre as a board member, and a writer for the fairly recently launched SportTechie.com, which tracks these converging paths.

And after all those conversations, one thing is clear: the car dealership is over. The tech startup is the way to retire.

Keep an eye on future Dispatch episodes from more conversations from Collision, and enjoy!

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