Golden State Warriors swingman Andre Iguodala has been using wearables and apps, such as Golf Game and Zepp Golf, to improve his swing. The 2015 NBA Finals MVP and golf fanatic says devices like these that track athlete performance represent the future of the sports industry.
Iguodala is no stranger to player-tracking technology. The Warriors have been using wearables with sensors made by an Australian company called Catapult Sports to manage athletes and keep tabs on their training ebbs and flows since 2015.
But Iguodala says the current state of wearables in the sports world merely scratches the surface of what’s to come. An avid technology investor whose portfolio includes the trading platform TruMid, lifestyle company Thrive Global, mattress startup Casper, beauty products maker Walker & Company, fashion platform Hingeto and The Players Tribune, Iguodala says he’s watching the wearables market closely for technologies with potential to scale.
“A lot of pros are using them but we’re still in infant stages as far as being able to go into the consumer world where we can scale,” Iguodala said in an interview with SportTechie. “We need to get the amateurs to utilize it so they can perform better.”
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The 33-year-old and 13-year NBA veteran has already started to set his sights on his post-NBA career. His location in Silicon Valley has given Iguodala access to venture capitalists and technologists, which has helped transform him over the past few years into one of the most tech-savvy pro-athlete investors. In his retirement, he’ll be able to add to the strategic business partnerships he’s already started to develop there, while continuing to cultivate his love of golf.
When adrenaline is pumping on 18 and you hit a 6iron 220…. #Breaking80 #ByAnyMeansNecessary
A post shared by Andre Iguodala (@andre) on Aug 4, 2017 at 1:17pm PDT
“I’m a big golf fan. I play, some would say too much, I would say not enough,” he said.
On Friday, Iguodala was set to takeover the Instagram account and do Facebook Live standups for the PGA Championship, bringing the wit behind his unique social media persona to the tournament in an effort to attract Iguodala fans who might not be among the typical consumers of golf.
Soon, his interests will be further meshed in a show set to kickoff on the digital network Cheddar, another one of his investments, called ‘Evenings with Andre,’ which will dissect business, tech, sports and entertainment topics through a series of celebrity interviews.
In the meantime, Iguodala is looking to use the relationships he’s forged in the tech capital to get other pro athletes interested in tech investing. At an inaugural three-day conference called The Players Technology Summit next week, Iguodala and co-host Stephen Curry will give athletes a crash course in startups and investing, while connecting them to influential VCs.
Today, Stephen Curry and I announce the launch of the inaugural The Players Technology Summit, presented by @bloombergbusiness. The Players Summit will bring together top leaders in tech, VC, and sports and will be held in SF in August.
A post shared by Andre Iguodala (@andre) on Jun 19, 2017 at 1:35pm PDT
“We want to put athletes in front of some of these tech guys,” Iguodala said.
The summit comes as more athletes look for ways to spend their money and leverage their globally-recognized individual brands. They’ve already had to turn people away, says Iguodala, because of demand. But the hope is to grow the summit over the next few years.