It is estimated that by 2027, the XR industry market will reach over 57 billion U.S. dollars.
Recently, NBA star LeBron James and Japanese tennis genius Naomi Osaka jointly invested in a sports technology startup StatusPRO. Other investors include Verizon, KB Partners, Greycroft and important investors in Leeds United.
James and Naomi Osaka are both outstanding players on the court, and both have good business acumen. According to media reports, James has earned US$1 billion since joining the NBA in 2003. He is the first player in NBA history to earn US$1 billion before retiring. Naomi Osaka was among the women in sports with an annual income of US$37.4 million last year. Richest man.
This time, the two people fancy at the same time is a real “Meta Universe” company. It is understood that StatusPRO is a sports technology and game company that has long used XR to provide virtual training and competition scenarios for athletes. It is estimated that by 2027, the XR industry market will reach more than 57 billion U.S. dollars.
A company founded by retired athletes
In 2020, former American football wide receiver Andrew Hawkins (Andrew Hawkins) founded the sports technology startup StatusPRO in Miami. Hawkins previously played for the Cincinnati Tigers and Cleveland Browns. In 2017, Andrew Hawkins announced his retirement. He said he felt his 31-year-old body was not ready to participate in training camps. Afterwards, Hawkins obtained a master’s degree in sports management from Columbia University.
Former American football wide receiver Andrew Hawkins
It is worth mentioning that Hawkins had previously made a friendly guest appearance in a sports comedy called “Now We’re Talking”, which has been aired for two seasons on the CW Seed streaming platform. The play tells the story of two quarterbacks who have retired from the NFL trying to learn to broadcast and adapt to life off the court. This play is sponsored by James-controlled entertainment company SpringHill.
Hawkins’ co-founder Troy Jones (Troy Jones) was previously a college football quarterback. “StatusPRO was born from my experience as athletes with Hawkins,” Jones said in an interview with foreign media. “We are a company focused on helping athletes become better through XR.” The so-called XR concept refers to the use of computer technology. A combination of real and virtual with wearable devices, a human-computer interaction environment, is a collective term for AR (augmented reality), VR (virtual reality), MR (mixed reality) and other forms, which connects the virtual “meta universe” “And the real-world channel.
Troy Jones and Andrew Hawkins
StatusPRO is headquartered in the Overtown community in Miami. The startup’s headquarters has only 9 employees and only 21 employees nationwide. It is worth mentioning that, in order to maintain professionalism, almost half of the company’s employees are former athletes.
In April 2020, the National Football League (NFL) announced that it will soon have its own VR sports experience game-“The Lamar Jackson Experience”. This software is designed and produced by StatusPRO by collecting football player game information. In recent years, the most legendary football quarterback of the NFL and the 2020 NFL regular season MVP Lamar Jackson (Lamar Jackson) has also participated in the investment in StatusPRO and personally endorsed the product.
StatusPRO develops games for NFL
“Like most people of our generation, I am a long-term gamer, and when I first experienced StatusPRO, I was shocked by its authenticity and fun,” Jackson said bluntly in an official release. Compared with similar games in the past, StatusPro is more realistic. “Since I was a child, I have always wanted to participate in NFL games, and now, I am very happy to share my experience with fans, especially children, through this gaming platform .”
2020 NFL regular season MVP Lamar Jackson also participated in the investment in StatusPRO
It is reported that this product not only provides a VR experience for fans, but will also become an experiential training platform for amateur football fans, college players, and professional players. Several NFL teams are currently using StatusPRO technology for game practice.
“Each player in an NFL game wears two tracking chips, one to track their movement, and the other to create XY grid coordinates to obtain the player’s speed and position in each game,” Jones said, “and then combine these data Used to create a 3D simulation of what happened during each NFL game and each player. Then put the data in the simulation into a VR headset and project it on the big screen, so that players don’t need to be on the scene to experience the game with their teammates . “In addition to the NFL, the NFL Players Association and some NCAA college teams are all StatusPRO customers.
James Osaka Naomi joins, will expand StatusPRO commercial territory
In August 2021, StatusPRO received a seed round of funding of US$5.2 million. After the completion of the new round of financing, StatusPRO plans to expand their proprietary XR technology and continue to get involved in more sports. In the future, StatusPRO’s goals are not limited to virtual reality, sports technology and the game market-it hopes to break the rules of the game, raise industry standards, and provide more development channels for people of color in the field, while providing employment opportunities for retired athletes. .
“The experience of being athletes gives us a deeper understanding of how to combine technology with practical applications. We have all witnessed technology helping coaches and technology helping teams and players, but as athletes, we know what is right. I am the most beneficial. In terms of game production, we are putting things that we have experienced but not yet experienced by fans.” said Jones, co-founder of StatusPRO.
The two investors who entered the market this round also have great expectations for StatusPRO. Naomi Osaka, one of the strategic investors in this round, said: “I have been looking for investment opportunities that can have a lasting impact on culture and society-this is what Status PRO will do. It will not only affect games and entertainment (I am passionate) Two things), it will also affect the training methods of athletes and improve their performance on the court.”
In 2020, “Forbes” announced that Naomi Osaka replaced Serena, who had been named the “world’s highest-paid female athlete” for four consecutive years, and became the world’s highest-paid female athlete in 2020. It is reported that Naomi Osaka’s 12-month bonus and endorsement income was 37.4 million US dollars, 1.4 million US dollars more than Serena Williams, and also set a record for a single-year female athlete. “Forbes” also stated that Naomi Osaka ‘s income surpassed the income record of female athletes set by Russian tennis star Sharapova in 2015, when the latter’s income was 29.7 million US dollars.
Another new shareholder of StatusPRO is just promoted to billionaire James. According to Forbes estimates, James has reached a new revenue milestone this year. His personal pre-tax income exceeds $1 billion, which will bring James’ net worth to a height of approximately $850 million.
James’ personal pre-tax income exceeds $1 billion
Maverick Carter, a strategic investor and CEO of SpringHill, a James-owned company, said that Hawkins and Jones, as former athletes, have brought a unique and authentic perspective through the StatusPRO platform, which will change the way people participate in virtual sports in the past. Experience. “
Although StatusPRO has not announced the company’s current operations, according to the company’s data, the XR industry market is expected to reach over US$57 billion by 2027. Naomi Osaka and James undoubtedly have noticed this and look forward to StatusPRO. Can bring them double the benefits.
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