Category Archives: Athletes Voice

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Marshall Newhouse Wants to Change the Perception of What Athletes Can Be

SportTechie’s new series features the views and opinions of the athletes who use and are powered by technology.As part of this series, SportTechie talked to Marshall Newhouse about what he has learned from wearable devices, his interest in technology, and his post-NFL business plans.
To be the first to hear each athlete’s insights, subscribe to the Athletes Voice newsletter. And visit the Athletes Voice page to read the whole series.
Marshall Newhouse is a veteran offensive lineman for the Carolina Panthers, with prior stops playing for the Buffalo Bills, Oakland Raiders, New York Giants, Cincinnati Bengals, and Green Bay Packers. He won the Super Bowl with the Packers as a rookie, and later became the team’s starting left tackle charged with protecting quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ blind side.
He studied advertising and public relations at TCU, graduating in 2010. Newhouse lists “entrepreneur” first on his Twitter profile, even ahead of “Super Bowl Champ.” He lives in Austin in the offseason, and in 2017 he joined a SXSW panel on the intersection between technology, fashion, and politics.
The Use of Wearables
“There’s a nonstop kind of assault in that area for athletes, whatever you want. Whether it’s heart monitoring, GPS, biometrics, sweat—there’s a litany of stuff. I haven’t been an early adopter for a lot of stuff. I’ve known about it, but I haven’t actually implemented it into my routine because I’m so habitual.
“Offensive line is a unique position. It’s still misunderstood by a lot of people who do football stuff for a living. That applies directly to GPS, too. We’re in a stance. Sometimes we’ve moving backwards or applying force in different ways biomechanically. Sometimes we’re moving forward pushing things or pushing other players. And sometimes we are flat-out running, but it’s not as fast or as linear as other positions, so it’s harder to track.
“What they tracked when we had it, it was just distance covered. As a lineman, if I’m covering a ton of distance, most likely I’m running a lot, and that means there’s an exponentially larger wear and tear on my body. They use that data for recovery. I’d be interested to see what Catapult’s doing as far as fine-tuning that to what a lineman does on a play-by-play basis, factoring in his weight and how much force he’s producing and how that affects how he breaks down over a practice, a game, or a season.”
Heart Rate and Sleep Monitoring
“I’ve learned how unique everyone’s body is and how it reacts to stress and stressors and how that affects your performance. When you read a chart after you’ve worn a heart-rate monitor, you realize where you’re peaking, where you’re having lulls, and where your body’s freaking out a little bit. You learn about stuff that you knew innately, but you could never really translate it into a language of sorts and a way to actually apply it.
“I’m 29 and have been playing for nine years, so there’s a lot of stuff I wish I had known when I was in college about my stamina, my explosion, my output, or even what day of the week to hit legs, or when after a hard practice to get stretched—all those little things that go into fine-tuning how an athlete performs.
“I’m a terrible sleeper, and I absolutely knew it. I had actually been tested a few times for sleep apnea, and every time they tell me that I have a mild case but not bad enough to need a CPAP machine. I have known for a decade now that I don’t sleep through the night, but eventually I hope something comes along that helps me with that. A lot of it has to do with the fact that I’m an offensive lineman and we play at an unnatural weight.”

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Origin of His Interest in Tech
“My dad’s a computer programmer, so we built PCs back in the day. Tech’s been in my blood. I used to play video games all the time, and I briefly did it for small amounts of money because I thought I was cool, not knowing that there would eventually be esports. I used to watch the old TechTV nonstop. I’ve always been interested in tech, not really thinking it could be a career choice especially because I was focused on football, but that’s always been a hobby of mine.
“I used to play a lot of CounterStrike back in junior high, high school—probably more than I needed to, if you ask my parents. Then I transitioned off that to console gaming. I’ve been wanting another [PC]. I’m waiting until I retire to get in one place and I’ll probably get back into it.”
Entrepreneurship
“Earlier in my career, I had a lot of good advice and good advisers in my life—from my parents to other people—about something as accessible as real estate. I’ve got residential properties, I’ve gotten involved in small [limited partnerships] for shopping malls, strip centers, and commercial real estate. That exposure jogs your business mind and gets you thinking on a different level about your return on your investment and about how you go into those situations.
“It’s just a constant learning process that transitions into other avenues of business, whether that’s tech, [consumer packaged goods], food and beverage, or stuff like that. That was my first foray, and I still do real estate. The goal is to have that in the background, churning and making money, eventually for my kids to take over. That was my initial interest in getting into it, especially in Texas, which is so real estate- and business-friendly.”
(Photo credit: Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CES 2018
“I had a mentor of mine, Ryan Nece, lead me around. He runs a venture fund in Silicon Valley, and we just spent four, five days out there—going to booths, talking to start-up founders, venture CEOs, and just immersing myself as much as possible with people in that industry.
“It’s overwhelming. It’s like a flash-bang grenade of the entire industry in one place. On top of that, it’s in Las Vegas. I stayed for the first day in the health tech side, which kind of ties directly into sports and what I do on a daily basis.
“There were a bunch of virtual reality booths, augmented reality booths that, as we’re seeing, are going to revolutionize what you can accomplish in sports as far as rehab, as far as prehab, as far as taking players’ games to the next level. There was a big shift to biometrics and health monitoring. There’s a company called Orig3n—they do a lot of blood testing. They’ve got a partnership with the 49ers, I believe. “
Life After Football
“I did a week at a business summit in New York City [in February] put on by Kaleb Thornhill called Athletes Transition University. He works for the Miami Dolphins, and it’s a way to help NFL players plan for the future and plan for whatever business looks like for them, either while they’re still playing or when football’s done.
“It’s been awesome meeting other players who are doing great things in business and have high expectations for themselves – either in tech and investing like me or in different ways. From a guy like Kelvin Beachum who’s all over the place and just killing it—he’s doing an incredible job in business while also executing his day job, which is football. Or a guy like Ndamukong Suh, who’s really involved. His involvements are less public, but he’s got a lot going on behind the scenes. Then there’s a guy like Justin Forsett who’s literally got a company right now called ShowerPill, which is now sold at Target stores nationwide.
“A lot of athletes are out there doing incredible things in business, and I don’t think it gets talked about enough. These guys are pillars in the community. They’re doing amazing work in the nonprofit sector to give back while also working hard as leaders and innovators – all on top of being professional athletes. I don’t think I’m doing anything particularly unique, but I do want to be a part of changing that public perception of what athletes can do and can be.”

Marshall Newhouse reviewed this content before publication.


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Ryan Howard Hopes to Help Athletes Play Bigger Roles in Venture Capital

SportTechie’s new series features the views and opinions of the athletes who use and are powered by technology. As part of this series, SportTechie chatted with 2008 World Series champion and 2006 NL MVP Ryan Howard at the Ascent Conference in New York City on Oct. 4, and again later on the phone. Howard retired from playing in September and is now a partner at SeventySix Capital and chairman of the VC firm’s Athlete Venture Group.
To be the first to hear each athlete’s insights, subscribe to the Athletes Voice newsletter. And visit the Athletes Voice page to read the whole series.
MLB all-star Ryan Howard played first base for the Philadelphia Phillies for 13 seasons, before signing short minor league contracts with the Braves and Rockies. In 2008, he helped bring the Phillies their first World Series title in 28 years, and just the second in franchise history. That championship was also the first for Philadelphia sports since the 76ers won the NBA Finals in 1983.
In September, Howard announced his retirement with a moving tribute to his fans titled “Thank you, Philly” on The Players’ Tribune. He covered everything from his first at-bat and his first home run to that World Series win and the birth of his son, Darian. (Howard postponed one of our calls so he could be present for one of his son’s games.) “My career, man, it had some interesting bookends. But in between? During the heart of it all? I’ll tell you what—it was a dream come true,” he wrote.
Long before his retirement, Howard was building a post-baseball career for himself. He had told his agent about his ambitions in business, and was connected to long-time venture capitalist Wayne Kimmel and investor Jon Powell. The three eventually joined forces in the venture capital firm SeventySix Capital. Now Howard serves as a partner in the Philly based VC. He’s the chairman of SeventySix Capital’s new Athlete Venture Group, connecting entrepreneurial athletes with emerging startups.
Planning for Life After Baseball
“I was always very forward thinking and that came from my parents. I knew that one day my career was going to be done. A lot of athletes at that time would wait until they got to that point of where they were finished and then try to figure it out. So I was always very proactive in that sense. I had the conversation with my agent at the time, saying ‘Hey, this is what I’m interested in and trying to do post-career.’ Looking to have that seamless transition so that when I’m done I already know the direction I want to go.”
“It’s hard to find good, genuine people to work with. That’s what I was looking for and that’s what I found with the guys at SeventySix.”
Adversity in Sports and Business
“Coming from the athletic world, there’s a lot of parallels to the business world. My personal story starts back when I was a sophomore in high school. Believe it or not, I was on the varsity team, then got cut and sent down to the sophomore team. My sophomore coach came up to me and he said ‘Look, I know it sucks, I know you’re disappointed, but you can do one of two things. You can either sit there and cry about it, saying your shoulda-woulda-couldas, or focus all your energy on doing what you need to do at this level to get back to the varsity level. So I put all my energy into doing what I needed to do on that level so that when I got called up to the varsity level, my first game on varsity I went four-for-four with two home runs and seven RBIs and we still lost eight to seven.”
“For me, it was being faced with that little bit of adversity, and that’s for any company or entrepreneur that’s out there: you’re going to be faced with adversity. All people see is the end product of the major leagues. What people don’t see is the work that goes into it, the behind-the-scenes. What people don’t see is the jungle right in front of you because all you see is the mountaintops that are the major leagues. What people don’t understand is the jungle is what you have to go through to get to the mountaintop. The similarities in the business world mirror each other.”

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The Keys to Success
“To win, you have to have a good team. You have to have people that are aligned with the thoughts that you want to have, that are going to push you, that are going to make you better, that are going to make your business better and make everybody around you better. That’s how you win championships and that’s how you have a successful business.”
“It’s doing the stuff behind the scenes, it’s making the sacrifices and trying to completely better your business. You don’t want to have any assholes on your team. That’s point blank No. 1: No assholes on your team. You’ve got to have people that are wanting to sacrifice, wanting to work, wanting to build this company or build this enterprise up to where it is a championship [contender].”  
“The mindset for me, honestly, is cut and dry. I’m not going to let anybody dictate what my worth is, point blank. You’re going to run into people that say no, you’re going to have doors shut in your face. The first thing is you have to believe in your product, you have to believe in what you’re putting out there. And if someone else doesn’t believe it? Oh well. There’s somebody out there that does and you continue to work until you find that person that does and can help you. In the meantime, it’s continuing to put in, and put in, and put in all the work that you need to give. It’s not being deterred by any means.”
The Part Athletes Can Play
“It dates back to the older days of marketing where they would hand you a product. ‘Here it is! Smile, cheese, and say Hey, buy this product.’ A lot of that has changed. Before, the athlete would get their paychecks, their endorsement check and whatnot, but you didn’t really know what your value was. Now, because of all the social media platforms, you know what your value is. Now you have the Lebrons and the KD, where they can physically see what their value is that they can bring to a company to help grow that company with their multi-millions of followers on different social platforms.”
“The goal of what we’re doing with the Athlete Venture Group is basically take the athlete and help them help businesses. Having a guy like a Ralph Sampson, or having a guy like DeMarco Murray, being able to utilize their social capital, or my social capital, is something that can be very beneficial to all of these different businesses and startups.”
(Photo credit: Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
Entrepreneur Role Models 
“I’d have to look at Jay-Z. Ten, 15 years ago Jay-Z was just a rapper, now Jay-Z’s one of the biggest moguls in the world. You have to look at Lebron, you have to look at Steph, you have to look at KD and Andre Iguodala. You have to look at what those guys are doing.”
“And before those guys, you’re looking at the Michael Jordans of the world, the Magic Johnsons of the world. And it’s understanding, again, that everybody has those trials and tribulations. Even Michael Jordan, the great Michael Jordan, got cut his sophomore year from his basketball team, but was still able to take that, grow from it, use it, and he is where he is today.”
The Potential of Wearable Devices
“I would have loved to have wearables. As an athlete, you want to be able to to be as efficient with your time as you possibly can. Even if you’re willing to put in the work, you want to work as efficiently as possible. Wearables tell you ‘this is how much you’re doing, you’re putting out more than you need to put out because this chain of muscles isn’t firing so you’re overworking which is thus going to lead to fatigue which is thus going to lead to a potential injury.’ When you have a device that helps you understand your body and where you’re trying to go, you minimize your risk of injury which is going to keep you on the field.”
“When wearables were first coming in, there was this fear about potentially using that data against you in contract negotiations and whatnot. But if you understand that the organization is a business, and thus is looking at potentially investing in you, so they need to know what they’re going to get into, which will help them protect their investment, which will help us all win championships. Thus you have success and they have success … it’s a win-win situation. You’re in this informational age and you’re able to use that data to try to make your team more efficient.”


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Brooklyn Nets Forward Kenneth Faried Launched a Foundation From Fortnite

SportTechie’s Athletes Voice series features the views and opinions of the athletes who use and are powered by technology. As part of this series, SportTechie spoke with Kenneth Faried to find out about his esports gaming and tech-driven training.
To be the first to hear each athlete’s insights, subscribe to the Athletes Voice newsletter.
Kenneth Faried spent the first seven seasons of his NBA career with the Denver Nuggets before an offseason trade landed him with the Brooklyn Nets for the upcoming campaign. The power forward is also a graduate of Morehead State where he broke Tim Duncan’s modern-era NCAA Division I career rebounding record with 1,673 boards.
In June, Faried paired with pro gamer CourageJD—a last-minute substitution as teammate—to finish second in Epic Games’ Fortnite Pro-Am, winning $250,000 for charity. He used that as seed money to start a foundation he’s calling Kenneth Faried HAT. He also sponsors an AAU team called Manimal Elite, in a nod to his own nickname. 
Initial Interest in Technology
“When I went to school, I actually told my mom and my dad that I wanted to study CSIS [Computer Science and Information Systems]. I was going to do that in college, but it was just too difficult for me to do while playing basketball because it was too much of a headache to stay up and do coding. Basketball in college was harder—two-a-days, with sprints at 5 o’clock in the morning because you’ve got school at 8 o’clock. That was brutal. I ended up majoring in speech communication and got a minor in business management.”

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Basketball Training
“I use a camera all the time. We keep track with heart-rate monitors, your explosion, how much weight you’re putting on one knee, or when you jump, which side you favor when landing. I learn so much with technology to get better. I want to know the quickest way to get better or the quickest to not be hurt anymore.
“And look at all the analytics: how many times this person goes right, left. They record that with technology to break down everything. It ends up on your iPad or your phone.”
“There’s a machine, VertiMax, where you wear a vest, and you hook these straps up to a tension band. Usually a coach would throw it off the backboard, and it keeps track of your movements. The bands pull you down so you won’t have as much strength. The plate keeps track of how much force you’re putting down when you’re landing, so you can put less force on the bottom. It keeps track of what I’m doing with my body and how much strength to put on or take off. They usually use air pressure with it, too, so yeah, there’s a lot of stuff going on around here.”
Family (Video) Games
“I got into gaming because of my dad and, weirdly enough, my mom. My mom and my dad both were gamers. My mom has a TV in her room beside her bed where she has an Xbox she likes to play. My dad has his Xbox set up to his TV and uses it for the cable and knows how to do all that. He plays his Xbox with me—like we’ll play against each other in Madden or we’ll play with each other in Dynasty Warriors. I try to get him to play Fortnite, but he’s not real big into that. He likes sports games and RPG games.
“I’ve got my parents all the way up to the Xbox One. We’re going to keep going. Whenever a new system drops, they’re going to get it with me. All those times they said, ‘Go on and go play your game and get out of my room’—it paid off with Fornite.”
(Photo credit: Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
The Fortnite Pro-Am
“Let me tell you about that, that was crazy. First, I was supposed to be playing with Summit1G, but an illness came over him so he couldn’t travel, which was understandable. They replaced him with CourageJD, so me and him teamed up and it was great. Summit and I had already been connected and talking about what we were going to do and had been playing together. For him to not play, I was like, ‘Aw man, I need a substitution.’ I didn’t know he wasn’t going to be there. I literally didn’t find out until I got there, and they told me, ‘Yeah, your partner has changed. You don’t have Summit no more.’ I was like, ‘Wait, what?’
“Courage came in, we met, talked about strategy right there in front of each other, and next thing you know, we played the first game. I came in 35th out of 100, which was a singles match. I was getting warmed up, seeing how people are. I was watching Courage, and he did pretty good—almost came in first on that one. Then the second game together, we came in fourth place and then we lost to Ninja and DJ Marshmellow. They killed us. Then, the last game, same story. We came in second place to them. But it was fun, though. Courage was really a great partner, kudos to him. He was a great teacher also and leader. He led us through the whole thing.”
His New Foundation
“With the money I won for charity, I started a foundation called Kenneth Faried HAT. ‘HAT’ means humble, appreciative, and thankful. I’ve been a person my whole life who believed that, through obstacles in life that you see, you may have good and bad, but you should always remain humble, appreciative, and thankful for everything—no matter what heights you reach in life or what you receive in this life.
“The foundation builds upon that for kids. I’m trying to teach kids to be this way through basketball and the fundamentals of basketball, teamwork, being a partner to somebody, being respectful, listening to a leader and not just a coach as a leader. Some players step up and become leaders. We’re trying to teach that through basketball and other sports.”


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