Friday Grab Bag: SensoGlove wins award, Nike+ grows

The Nike+ Fuel Lab, the recent expansion of Nike’s effort to get a larger body of developers working on its Nike+ technology has started to invite a select group of tech companies to work with it on the platform.

The 2014 Nike+ Fuel Lab in San Francisco is a 12-week program for which the company said it will select 10 companies to partner with it in developing apps. Among the resources it will provide are access to Nike+ and NikeFuel APIs and SDKs, work space and mentorship a well as $50,000. Send in your application now!

Patent trolls under attack in Congress
Companies that are fighting patent trolls, individuals or corporations that file frivolous patent infringement lawsuits may have a new, potent tool in the defensive arsenal as the U.S. Congress may consider a bill intended to curb such behavior.

Introduced by Bob Goodlatte, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee one aspect of the law would be that winners would receive fees from the loser unless the loser had a ‘substantially justified’ position.

Baseball teams worth more than you thought
Bloomberg News spent nine months working out how valuable each Major League Baseball franchise was by looking at all forms of revenue and came to the determination that the teams have been undervalued by an average of 35%.

The team that came out on tops was the New York Yankees, pegged at $3.2 billion. In the breakdown it shows that the teams’ regional sports network accounts for almost $1 billion of that value, or more than many of the bottom teams totals.

Sensoglove wins Tech award
Sensosolutions digital golf glove, SensoGlove, has won Golf Magazine’s 2013 Techy Award as announced in the publication’s November 2013 issue. The Techy Awards cover 20 different categories that span all aspects of the game of golf.

So it’s not a surprise that the category that the SensoGlove won was Techiest Glove. The glove is filled with sensors that help you adjust your grip by position and power so that your hands are in the correct place and exerting the right amount of pressure.

Web connected video devices to outnumber world population soon
If it seems that everyone next to you at a sporting event is using their camera, tablet or heaven forbid, camera to take still images and video to put onto social media you are not far off. According to a recent study by market research firm HIS, as reported by Home Media Magazine, devices may outnumber humans soon.

The study estimated that by 2017 the total installed base of Internet-connected devices that can play video is expected to reach hit 8.2 billion a 90% increase from the 4.3 billion that is estimated to be connected by this year’s end. The planet’s population in 2017 is estimated at 7.4 billion.

Bloomberg Sports adds Fantasy Alarm to ‘Front Office 2012’

Have you missed out on making an important trade or swapping out an injured player simply because in your busy day you missed looking to see how your team/league was doing at a critical time?

Well if so, and you are a user of Bloomberg Sports fantasy baseball app “Front Office 2012” then these issues will be a thing of the past. The company has integrated the Fantasy Alarm feature into the program and it is free to all subscribers.

You do have to sign up for the feature which will alert you via either e-mail or text. The program tailors its messages based on your roster so that you are not bombarded with messages that are not relevant to your team.

There are a variety of types of messages including alerting you when a player is not in the starting lineup, with a 60-90 minute lead prior to the game. Other information includes when a team changes closers, who is on or off the DL or riding the pine now in the minors.

It covers game time decisions about player availability but also forecasts 24 hours out on probably starting pitcher match-ups as well. Fantasy Alarm estimated that it will send out 25 million messages this year to fans. As an added bonus players who sign up for the Fantasy Alarms alerts will be entered into an All-Star Getaway Sweepstakes for the 2012 MLB All-Star Game in Kansas City.

This seems like a can’t miss item for fans of fantasy baseball. I know a number of people that have missed out on points because a player was sitting out a game or was injured and they missed it for any of a number of reasons. Now you can eliminate that element of chance on your team. Of course still no solution for closers that give up 3 run homers in the ninth.

Look to Mobile Apps to Stay Competitive in Fantasy Baseball

With the second start to this year’s MLB season, and I am still not sure what the league gained by starting last week in Japan followed by a long layoff, all fantasy teams should be in place for the long haul to October greatness.

However the fact that the draft is completed means that only the first step is finished, and then comes the monitoring of teams and players, keeping a hawk eye not only on the waiver wire and the injury report, but also how your own roster is performing so that gaps and shortcomings in a lineup can be repaired quickly and efficiently.

I still know one or two people that primarily use one source for all of their information, but with the growing number of sites that are available it makes sense to have multiple sources for data, and to have an app or two loaded in your smartphone or tablet so that you can react instantly.

Most of these are available on both Android and Apple’s iOS. One or two are available on a BlackBerry and I did not find any that specified Windows Phone, although I imagine that will change in a year.

These are in no particular order and with that we will start with Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball ’12. Many fans are familiar with this free app and a few new features have been added including Facebook and Google logins as well as features such as real time score updates and player stats.

Another I am sure most are very familiar with is ESPN’s free Fantasy Baseball app, although when you say free there is a pay option of sorts. The basic app gives you team management, the ability to accept or reject trades from other managers and a host of news, tweets and video from ESPN’s Fantasy Baseball analysts.

If you are an ESPN Insider, or want to join for the extra features you also get push notifications when players are benched or are send to the DL. It also has exclusive video and news from the ESPN team. For those looking towards next year it is good to remember that it also has Spring Training notes so get the app early. A user must have an ESPN Fantasy Baseball team.

Fox Sports is not about to be left out in the cold on this and has a new version of Fox Fantasy Baseball. It allows you to join an established Fox league or form a private one with customizable rules and offers a variety of scoring systems including rotisserie and head-to-head.

The app allows a great deal of league customization with leagues ranging from four to 20 teams and a variety of draft, trading, and score keeping options available.

CBSSports.Com has its Fantasy Baseball app that has three different main settings. For the casual fan or those new to a fantasy league there is a setting for you, and you can organize a league or enter into an established one.

At the second level, called Premium Games, a player can win up to $3,500. This has four levels of participation, in part determined by the fan’s experience and the entry fee that they wish to pay, with fee’s for a first team ranging from $29.99 for the $150 prize to $499.99 for the $3,500 prize. Cash prizes awarded to the winner of each ten team league.

For the experienced that want a customized experience there is the Commissioner- where you can set customized rules for the league, rosters draft format and a variety of other features. CBSSports offers a range of apps that will work with the league.

We have already covered Bloomberg Sports Front Office 2012 here so all I will say is that it is a very full featured app that covers a wide range of areas that fans would want or need information about players or teams.

For those that are late or waiting until the first week of the season to hold their draft there is GlassWareMobile’s Fantasy Baseball Draft Wizard for Android. While not specifically for stat heads it helps to understand simple terms such as VORP. It provides three years of stats for players and gives dynamic adjustments to players’ value in real time.

Roto Sports RotoWire Fantasy Draft Kit 2012 is another place to go for the draft information that you need. You enter your league parameters and it will generate a draft either based on player rankings or dollar vaue. It contains 2012 projectsions for over 1,000 players and continuously updates them

Interested in tracking minor league players in case you are in a league that allows September call-ups to count? Try MiLB.Com Triple-A 2012. No video on the $4.99 app but it has pitch by pitch tracking for the International and Pacific Coast League teams as well as standings schedules and other information.

For those that do not bother tracking minor league players you do not know what you are missing. I love how some guy in a windswept PCL team will come to the majors with gaudy numbers that just do not translate well the MLB parks and pitching. This is a way to stay ahead, especially if your league requires a rookie each year.

There is just about something for everybody here, aside from operating system limitations. Most but not all are free, a positive price in my mind, and deliver and increasing array of information to fans. I would be interested to hear any pros or cons on these apps from any users out there.

Bloomberg Sports Delivers Front Office 2012 for Fantasy Baseball Fans

Almost all fantasy baseball players that I know employ a wide range of tools to help them make the selection that will propel them to the winning position in their league and guarantee a full off season of bragging rights. Or at least that is the hope.

Bloomberg Sports, one of the more recent players in the field of fantasy baseball analytics, has just released its third season of “Front Office”, its entrant into this competitive field that includes not only the latest player stats but also an updated suite of tools.

The tool suite in the Front Office 2012 app now allows players that have National or American League only fantasy leagues and it includes a regular season tool that provides instant updates via text and email on players on their roster.

Another key feature is its ability to provide up-to-date lists for roster changes, free agent pickups and other decisions, as well as a customized dashboard which gives players all critical information about their team or teams in one easy to follow location.

After using the program to help select their team a fan can get a customized analysis of their team, comparing it to others in the league and showing head to head comparisons. It also provides customized recommendations to improve your team. Not that I need that of course.

The program retails its ability to sync with the major hosting sites from Yahoo!,, and as well as a few others. The program is available for PC and Mac computers as well as for Apple iOS and Android tablets and smartphones.

Can Become the iTunes for Fantasy Sports?

In a move expected to be announced at this week’s Fantasy Sports Conference in Las Vegas, is going to open up its fantasy sports game infrastructure to independent developers, in an effort to perhaps become the iTunes of fantasy sports.

Reported by the Sports Business Journal Daily,’s move is a bold one in the largely secular world of fantasy sports, where almost every provider has traditionally tried to keep customers to itself. Unfortunately for fantasy players that often means that if you play in different leagues on different platforms you must maintain separate lists of teams, passwords and logins, an especially tough task if you are trying to access your league info on a mobile device.

Theoretically, by opening up its fantasy infrastructure could build an iTunes-like ecosystem where third-party developers could create applications that blend the player environment either with new over-the-top apps (like ones that allow fantasy players to talk smack to each other) or with apps that might let a player access teams from different fantasy platforms in one place. Just like under iTunes, developers will share revenue with on a 70-30 split, with 70 percent of associated revenue going to developers and 30 percent back to

MSR favorite developers Bloomberg Sports and StatSheet are part of the first wave of partners, according to the SBJD report. Here’s a money quote from Bloomberg head honcho Bill Squadron:

“This effort by CBS connects directly with the vision for fantasy that we also have,” said Bill Squadron, head of Bloomberg Sports. Bloomberg will enhance its Front Office fantasy baseball and Decision Maker fantasy football applications using the fantasy data. “Having this level of deep integration is going to be very helpful.”

Here’s the Wall Street Journal take on the announcement.

Bloomberg Exec Squadron at Baseball Winter Meetings with Mobile Scouting Pitch

Bloomberg Sports' Bill Squadron

Bloomberg Sports is pushing hard at The Baseball Winter Meetings in a bid to sell more teams and players on the merits of sports information products that tailor video and statistics to an individual player’s needs, has confirmed.

Bloomberg Sports head Bill Squadron and two sales executives are maintaining a big presence at the annual Major League Baseball Winter Meetings, which began today and run through Thursday, December 8 at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas. Bloomberg’s goal is to sign as many as 11 new Major League Teams as clients for its Pro level product, which would make Bloomberg a perfect 30-for-30  in selling its Pro level of service into teams.

“Right now, we have 19 out of 30 clubs,” Bloomberg’s Squadron told Mobile Sports Report. “I am not going to make predictions, but I guess our goal is to have all of them.”

Used during the 2011 season by the Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers, among others,  Bloomberg Pro is a secure, rights managed, web-based system that provides real-time analytical tools, data and video to team executives, employees, broadcasts and players.  The 2012 version, which will be showcased at the Baseball Winter Meetings, is faster and has improved scouting data, including reports from Caribbean leagues, college and high school baseball, Squadron said.

Bloomberg will be closely watched at the Baseball Winter Meetings. If successful in sewing up the baseball market, it is likely to quickly push into NBA and NFL products in the year ahead. Such products as Bloomberg’s are a natural fit for the new world of mobile sports because the next generation of professional athlete is completely comfortable using iPads and other devices to access game-day information, and there are more video-centric and Sabremetric-savvy professional athletes than ever before.

Bloomberg’s product isn’t the only data and video platform available in professional sports. As reported by MobileSportsReport, Modevity LLC is used by National Football League teams and the National Hockey League’s Phoenix Coyotes to deliver playbooks and scouting videos to players through its ARALOC Sports Platform. There are significant differences between Bloomberg and Modevity. Bloomberg has ready access to video, news and analytics by being a part of the same company that dominates financial services information, among other verticals. Modevity handles proprietary information generated by coaches and players, and shared in a totally secure environment. Both are examples of new ways sports teams are leveraging technology to get an edge.

For his part, Squadron is an executive of interest to the mobile sports business community. Before joining Bloomberg, Squadron worked at SportVision, which is the company behind the Emmy-Award winning Virtual Yellow 1st & Ten line shown on network football broadcasts, the FoxTrax hockey puck used during the NHL All-Star Game and the concept of virtual advertising shown during television sports broadcasts. If Squadron continues to enjoy success at Bloomberg, it could make one of the first time a mobile sports innovator has risen through the ranks to much broader responsibility at a Fortune 500 company.