Nike+ Fuel Lab powers up in San Francisco with new partnerships


As per its previous announcement Nike has gotten its development lab up and running in San Francisco. The lab designed to help enhance and expand the ecosystem of apps and hardware that can partner with its line of NikeFuel-based sports technology.

The announcement coincided with that of three partnerships with Nike. The three are MyFitnessPal, RunKeeper and Strava all of which will be integrating Nike technology into their own products, hoping to expose Nike’s technology to millions of potential additional users.

Strava develops running and cycling GPS-based apps that enable users to take any GPS device out on a run or ride and then view their route on a map after the fact using its app on a PC. RunKeeper is an app for both Apple iOS and Android devices that tracks a users pace, distance and other factors including weight loss. Despite its name it can be used for more than just running as it works well with cycling, or for less active users, walking. MyFitnessPal is a calorie counting app.

Using the ability of NikeFuel to monitor activity, and for that matter inactivity, is core to what Nike is providing to these developers. The Nike+ NikeFuel line has expanded to include arrange of products some broadly focused and others targeting more specific activities. In the lineup are Nike+ FuelBand SE which includes Nike+ Groups and Sessions; Nike+ Running which includes Nike+Coach; Nike+ Training Club that includes more than 100 workouts and then there is Nike+Move.

It will be interesting to see how widespread the adoption of this technology will be. I wonder if Nike can leverage this partner strategy to the level of ubiquity that Facebook has achieved in getting comment sections to accept a Facebook login as a standard mode?

Latest version of Fanatic sports app has enhanced features


The Fanatic sports app, from the same named company has some simple tools and an easy to use interface but its purpose is even more basic; it is designed to unite fans who are seeking sporting experiences with similar minded fans. However even simple ideas can be improved on, and that is what the company has done with its latest release.

The idea makes a lot of sense, particularly for people who travel a great deal and find themselves in a strange city yet want to watch their favorite team. You simply access the app, available for both Apple iOS and Android devices, and find a local sports bar that is highly rated for supporting a specific team so that you can watch in a comfortable atmosphere rather than having to worry about if your allegiance could create backlash from rival fans.

The company has built on this base and added or enhanced a number of features that most fans probably want such as the ability to organize a viewing party at a venue using social media.

The addition of a Live Score feature addresses a shortfall in the original program. Fans do not just want to know the score of the game they’re watching, and it always seems that the moment you look at the television the scores have finish scrolling and you miss the numbers for other favorite teams that might be playing simultaneously.

The news feed has been improved with a more robust and filtered feed that helps eliminate the chaff from the wheat. It has a private chat feature that enables chat before, during and after the event and includes a push notification so that you can quickly respond to comments.

Its core service, to find favorite team bars in different cities has gained an improved search function as fans using the app have increased the number of bars that are rated as well as expanded the geographical reach of the program.

The app can find bars for a wide number of sports and leagues including the NFL, NBA, NCAA, MLB, NHL and MLS, along with the top European soccer leagues, including the English Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Ligue 1, Serie A and the UEFA Champions League, and the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Malware Growth a Threat to Mobile Users-Even Sports Fans


Almost every sports fan that I know has a host of different sports-centric apps on their tablets and smartphones covering everything from leagues wide news to ones that simply focus on an individual team or even player, but there are dangers lying in wait for them.

Everybody is aware that computers can get viruses and malware, annoying applets that do everything from track web sites that are visited to trying to steal passwords, address book and financial information. Now that threat is increasingly coming to mobile devices as well.

A report from antivirus detection company McAfee shows that malware for mobile devices is experiencing a tremendous upsurge and that it is primarily focused on one specific operating system, the Android platform.

The report shows that the rise in malware attacks is experiencing tremendous growth, coming from a relatively low of 792 samples in 2011 to 36,699 in 2012. Of those attacks 97% were against Google’s Android operating system.

While as far as I know no known sports apps have been the focus of a Trojan or any other attack but it is worth noting that it will only be a matter of time. Often scammers will use a tragedy to get past normally skeptical people and have them download an infected app.

The report shows that there are growing numbers of methods to gain complete control of a smartphone, and with the growing use of smartphones as banking and financial tools this could represent a great deal of danger to the average user.

Android, due to the openness of the platform, makes an obvious target for the mobile malware developer. Relatively closed platforms such as Apple’s iOS are much more secure, at least at this point in time.

Watching Golf this Week: The Ryder Cup

It’s really too bad that the Ryder Cup, the biennial golf competition between the U.S. and Europe, takes place in the fall — because that means a lot of fun and interesting golf is going to get lost in the tornado of football this weekend. Fortunately, thanks to the PGA and Turner Sports there’s a boatload of Ryder action taking place online, so get your browsers fired up for Friday morning foursomes. And then some fourballs. What?

Oh yeah, the Ryder Cup’s first two days have something we never see during the regular tour year — team competitions! If you need a how-is-it-scored primer, the BBC has a great one explaining the scoring — but basically foursomes are alternate-shot competitions (meaning each of the two players trades shots) while fourballs are more familiar team play, with everyone playing their own ball and the team with the player with the lowest score wins the hole. Each hole is worth a point, and the team with the higher score at the end wins an overall match point. If the match is tied each team gets a half-point. Singles on Sunday need no explanation. Mano a mano, also match play so it only matters how many holes you win, not your total score.

And after the inflated importance of the FedEx Cup — yes there was some good golf by the big names and congrats to Brandt Snedeker for bagging the big check — there is nothing truer than playing for your country or your continent, no prize money on the line just pressure and pride. This year the Cup is being contested in my home town, Chicago, at the monster known as Medinah. I remember playing there once, just out of high school, thought I had some game, and put something like a 120 on the scorecard. The pros, of course, will be shooting pars and birdies but the scores matter less than the head to head, between the great Euro players led by Rory McIlroy and the U.S. team, led by Tiger Woods.

With live coverage online, on TV and on an app, you have no excuse for not watching some great golf, even if you are also watching football. The great thing about Ryder coverage is that it’s also unlike tournament coverage — there is usually always some tension going on, and the TV folks are usually in a Red Zone-type mode, switching to where the pressure is most high. A great way to end the real golf season. Just wish we didn’t have to be distracted by the return of real refs and all that.

REMEMBER: ESPN for TV Friday, NBC on Saturday and Sunday.


(all times Eastern)

Friday, Sept, 28 — ESPN, 8 a.m. — 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 29 — NBC, 9 a.m. — 7 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 30 — NBC, 12 p.m. — 6 p.m.

SIRIUS XM (Satellite)
8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday; 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. The live broadcasts are also available to subscribers on the SiriusXM Internet Radio App and online at

Ryder Cup Live will be online basically the whole tourney, starting at 8:20 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, 12 p.m. on Sunday, and going until competition is over each day. The live video is free (no cable contract required), and mobile viewers can download the iPhone app, the iPad app, or go to the Ryder Cup Mobile Site if you have an Android device.

ESPN3 is also carrying the ESPN broadcast live on Friday.

The PGA Facebook page is the Facebook home of the Ryder Cup.

The Ryder Cup has something called the 13th Man page, similar to the Social Caddy we saw at the PGA. Lots of Twitter streams, a USA vs. Europe Twitter competition, an Instagram feed… worth a bookmark.


Geoff Shackelford — well known golf writer. If you’re not following Geoff you are missing the online boat.
Golf Channel — official Golf Channel feed
@PGATOUR — official PGA Twitter feed
@StephanieWei — great golf writer who is a Twitter fiend.
Doug Ferguson is the lead golf writer for AP. Good Twitter insights that often aren’t part of your wire-service lead.

Here’s the deets on Medinah Country Club course.

Europe is the defending champ, if you remember. I remember bad raincoats.