Kings’ Fans Can Now Bet Against Each Other: Gambling & Data Camels Poke Noses Under Arena Tent

The ever-innovative Sacramento Kings are breaking ahead of the pack again. According to SportTechie’s Mark Burns, (based upon his discussions with Kings’ Chief Tech Officer Ryan Montoya), fans at Kings’ games will be able to take advantage of the team’s ‘Golden 1 Apps,’ which will allow them to get real-time data about “parking, arena lines, player stats, menu items [and] seat upgrades, fan experiences, mobile food ordering and payment.

Innovative, maybe, but not necessarily cutting edge. Here’s what is cutting edge, though: according to Burns’ report, “the Kings also have a gaming element embedded in the app, where fans can place in-arena wagers against other fans and, at the end of the night, those fans atop the leaderboard will win game experiences and prizes.”

Serial, Contemporaneous Bets: This is startling. It also is a tiny precursor, in rapidly unfolding great story of New-Data’s digital impact upon sports, of what may be coming. Pro tennis, for example, is now vexed with problems associated with world-wide ‘contemporaneous’ wagers placed on each point (as opposed to the entire match). Bettors gain access to important on-site data from ‘trackers,’ attending the match in person, who transmit information digitally, from smart phones. The setup allows ‘serial’ bets to be placed, so fans anywhere in the world can be betting on every point played. (In contrast, as I understand it, British football is not so much vexed by such real-time, per-play betting: they are thrilled by the staggering amounts wagered.)

Player Micro-Performance Data as Basis for Serial, Real-time Bets: With its new ‘Golden 1’ apps, the Kings have built a clever platform, whereby live attendees can similarly participate in ‘in-arena’ betting competitions, which will apparently allow similar ‘serial’ bets, to be placed on each play (or some other logical segment of the game.) And it doesn’t take Isaac Asimov or even Dick Tracy to make an educated (if not wild-assed) guess that, within just a matter of years, ‘fantasy’ fans on the couch at home (or in the arena), may be able to place such serial, per-point bets on football or basketball game, within an app provided by the team. And an additional educated guess is that such betting, whether on-site or off-site, will be exponentially enriched (or complicated) by that fan’s access to the kind of detailed, in-game Player ‘Micro-Performance Data’ generated by hardware and software already available. Imagine sitting at home on your couch, with a read-out on (one of) your screens, telling you the real-time heart-rate, blood pressure, and respiratory rate of every player, but also a prediction, based upon algorithmic-analysis, of every play run by that team for previous 1, 5, and 10-year periods — and then thumb-texting your bet on the outcome (or even the choice of) the next play. And then doubling-down on the next play. And imagine if your participation in such betting is through FanDuel or Fantasy Sports, who have, by the time of this imagined future setting) signed lucrative contracts with the professional or NCAA team to obtain and use such elaborate team and Player Micro-Performance Data.

It’s clear that the team owns its own data. But who owns this extremely valuable Player Micro-Performance Data?

 

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FOIA to Michigan Seeking Nike Wearable Tech Data From FB & BKB Players

My new book, ‘Shamateurism,’ will be coming out in October. It focuses on a new assessment of the big-time college player as an employee.

Two weeks ago I wrote about the new 2016 Michigan-Nike contract, which sells to Nike the data accumulated from Michigan athletes equipped with ‘wearable tech’ provided by Nike. (Scroll below, or link to ‘Michigan-Nike Contract: the School Seizes and Sells New Player Data.‘) New York Times Marc Tracy picked up on my story, contacted me, and then wrote his article published in the Times Sports section on Sept. 11, entitled, ‘With Wearable Tech Deals, New Player Data is Up for Grabs.‘ [Matt Kish of Portland (Oregon) Biz Journal maintains an excellent searchable data base of most school apparel contracts here.]

Two days ago, I filed a Freedom of Information Request with  the University of Michigan, seeking production of the data which has thus far been accumulated. Both my request, and the body of data sold to Nike by Michigan, are limited to ‘de-identified,’ aggregated data. My FOIA request is copied below:

Sept. 9. 2016
Patricia Sellinger 
University of Michigan FOIA Officer
Ann Arbor Mi 48104

Dear Pat:
Under the Michigan Freedom of Information Act § 15.231 et seq., I am requesting an opportunity to inspect or obtain copies of public records that exist arising out of the 34-page March 16, 2016 contract entered into between the University of Michigan and Nike, specifically, any “Activity Based Information”, including “performance and/or activity information/data digitally collected from the teams or team members during competition, training or other Covered Program Activities. This request is limited to such information related to the varsity intercollegiate football and basketball teams, and seeks only data which is aggregated, anonymous and de-identified.
If there are any fees for searching or copying these records, please inform me if the cost will exceed $1.00.  However, I would also like to request a waiver of all fees in that the disclosure of the requested information is in the public interest and will contribute significantly to the public’s understanding of these issues and is for the purpose of news gathering. This information is not being sought for commercial purposes. 
The Michigan Freedom of Information Act requires a response to this request within five days.  If access to the records I am requesting will take longer than this amount of time, please contact me with information about when I might expect copies or the ability to inspect the requested records. 
If you deny any or all of this request, please cite each specific exemption you feel justifies the refusal to release the information and notify me of the appeal procedures available to me under the law.
Obviously, I would prefer this data in an electronic form. Also, if I can refine this request in any reasonable manner, to make it either easier to respond to, or to make the response more complete or efficient, let me know and I will work on that with you.

Thank you for considering my request.
Sincerely,
Wm Wilson
The first response is required within five days. They will ‘buy more time’ by asserting they need the additional ten days within which to respond which the statute allows. and will, most likely deny the request entirely. (I also filed a second substantially identical request on Sept. 11, which differed only in that it requested identified, non-anonymous data.)
Copyright William Wilson 2016
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NCAA Players Strike for Decent Insurance? No, Don’t Strike – Spat!

[Look for my new book, ‘Shamateurism,’ coming out in October, which shows why the big-time college player is an employee, economically castrated by the school.]

I have a proposal to significantly improve the lot of the football or basketball player at major (Power 5) schools which enter into contracts.with Nike, Adidas, or Under Armour – which means all Power 5 schools, because they all enter into such ‘All-School’ contracts.

A strike, as everyone knows from the threat by football players at Mizzou, would be the strongest, most effective tool. But the absence of a players’ union, or any effective, ongoing ‘player-group,’ combined with the ‘under-the-thumb’ power every head coach exercises over players, makes a strike unlikely and difficult to pull off.

 

spattwo

So I have a simpler proposal. Don’t Strike – Spat.

Let me explain. First, as As Lou Holtz used to tell his player’s, “W.I.N. – What’s Important Now.” And the player’s WIN arises out of some First Principles for the conduct of everyday human affairs:

1) Safety First;

2) Eliminate as much risk of injury or damage as possible; and

3) For the risks which you cannot eliminate – buy insurance to adequately cover them.

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How Louisville BKB, a Stripper, a Doctor and an AG May Change Compliance Practice at NCAA Schools

Look for my new book, ‘Shamateurism,’ coming out in October, which shows why the big-time college player is an employee, economically castrated by the school.

A retired University of Louisville med school physician-blogger named Hasselbacher sent the school a FOIA request for the production of numerous documents associated with the University’s handling of now notorious claims that coach Rick Pitino’s basketball players had engaged strippers to perform in their dorm, and the school’s ‘self-imposed’ sanctions. (The NCAA investigation is still ongoing.)

Pitino

Because the doctor was not pleased when Louisville responded by telling him that school President Ramsay had no such documents in his possession, Hasselbacher took the firsmot appeal step, under the Kentucky law, to state Attorney General Hill, who just issued a September 2 decision which should cause every on-campus NCAA compliance honcho to sit up and take notice.

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Michigan-Nike Contract: the School Seizes and Sells New Player Data

PhilKnight

 

Look for my new book, ‘Shamateurism,’ coming out in October, which shows why the big-time college player is an employee, economically castrated by the school.

Author Michael Lewis’ 2012 Princeton Baccalaureate speech described an experiment by two Cal psychology professors who assembled a series of three students to meet, and arbitrarily designated one as the group leader. The participants were told that their purpose was to solve some complicated moral problem; in fact, the professors wanted to observe how the three would react when, halfway through the gathering of the three students, they were interrupted by a person who placed on the table before them a plate of four cookies.

“With incredible consistency,” Lewis said, “the person arbitrarily appointed leader of the group grabbed the fourth cookie, and ate it. Not only ate it, but ate it with gusto: lips smacking, mouth open, drool at the corners of their mouths. In the end all that was left of the extra cookie were crumbs on the leader’s shirt. This leader had,” Lewis continued, “performed no special task. He had no special virtue. He’d been chosen at random, 30 minutes earlier. His status was nothing but luck. But it still left him with the sense that the cookie should be his.

———————–

The 2016 contract Michigan just signed with Nike contains a few nuggets. First, notice that Nike no longer describes itself as a ‘manufacturer.’ It’s now just a “sports and fitness company engaged in the design, marketing, distribution and sale of athletic and athleisure footwear, apparel, and related accessories.” A middleman.

More important though, are the brand-new provisions which pertain to the right to player-generated data. An entirely new definitional category is described on page one, labelled, “Activity-Based-Information,” which is defined as “performance and/or activity information/data digitally collected from the Teams or Team members during competition, training or other cover Program Activities, including but not limited to speed, distance, vertical leap height, maximum time aloft, shot attempts, ball possession, heart rate, running route, etc.”

The operative lawyer’s term here is ‘including, but not limited to,’ which means that this is a nice, innocuous-appearing list, but it’s tiny compared to the tractor-trailer load of data which Nike can haul off with, as a result of this provision.

And Michigan grants to Nike the “right to utilize . . . Activity Based Information . . . in all media including, but not limited to, the worldwide web and other interactive and multimedia technologies, in connection with the manufacture, advertisng, marketing, promotion and sale of Nike products and Digital Features and programming [which use shall be] on an aggregated, anonymous and de-identified basis and otherwise in compliance with [Big Ten, NCAA, and Michigan] regulations.”

[Michigan’s contract also identifies a category of “Smart Products” defined as: “(e.g., fuel bands, etc.), body-worn (or handheld) activity tracking/monitoring devices (e.g. heart-rate monitors, pedometers, etc.) and/or performance of fitness improvement and/or activity enhancing electronic or digital devices including, but not limited watches (GPS and non-GPS-enabled) and performance tracking monitors (collectively ‘Fitness Devices’)…”]

[By way of contrast,  Illinois’ December 2015 contract with Nike contains no reference to any ‘Activity-Based-Information,’ or any school grant of rights to the data. See also Alabama’s 2010 Nike contract, which also contains no such ABI provision.]

Michigan here is seizing a new Fourth Cookie. This is not a cookie which was ever known back when amateurism was founded in mid-19th century London. Data, publicity rights, NIL rights — they were all unknown then. And this is very personal data. So there are no strict ‘amateurism’ precedents which dictate that this player data must belong to Michigan, rather than the player, sufficient to allow Michigan to sell or lease that data to Nike.

But this is just one more such Fourth Cookie which has been arbitrarily seized by the NCAA or school. When Nike and others wanted to put logos on the player’s shoes back in 1978, the ‘revered tradition of amateurism’ had no precedents which made clear that the coach had the sole right to sell those promotional services, or even that the school did. The coach [and later, the school] just seized that Fourth Cookie.

In this era of the explosion of publicity and promotional rights, and of the personal brand, Michigan has just signed a ten-year contract ceding to Nike personal player performance data. Even though the data is “de-identified’ it has, in the aggregate, tremendous, if not fabulous potential value: obviously, Nike intends to aggregate that data, on an ongoing basis, by inserting these  ‘right to Activity-Based-Information’ provisions in contracts with every school — and Nike intends to then sell aggregated performance data, as a product, for increasingly large amounts.

The result? No wonder Michigan got $173 million for a ten year contract: millions, or even tens of millions of dollars of that price recognized the mammoth value of this brand-new player-performance kind of value which Nike is purchasing from Michigan. Michigan sold its player’s data, without even telling the players, or getting authorization. (The SAS signed by the player by no means makes it clear that such data is surrendered by the playeer; nor do pertinent NCAA bylaws.)  In the professional leagues that sale of data is a subject which an be addressed through the collective bargaining process, but the college player nowhere has any sector-based group to push their collective interests.

But Michigan just seized that Fourth Cookie of player data, for its own use and advantage. This is the kind of arbitary appropriation of player economic opportunity (under the guise of looking out for ‘player welfare’) which has been the core identifying — and corrupting — characteristic of amateurism — since the ‘student-athlete’ stage name was dreamed-up in 1956, as a cover for the pay-to-play scheme which was set up that year.

Amateurism’s cardinal rule is not ‘no-pay’; it is that the school gets to seize all economic opportunity which might come the player’s way.

Rather than spending its time discussing how it will execute the annual charity event conducted by ‘student-athletes’, the ‘Student-Athlete Advisory Committee’ needs to discuss this forced ‘charity’ donation of its valuable player data which has been visited upon them by Michigan.

NOTE: If you have copies of, or links to, any recent other Nike, Adidas or UnderArmour contracts with other schools — send them my way  – brewonsouthu@yahoo.com.  Thx —  Bill Wilson

Copyright William Wilson 2016

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Riley Curry – So Fly

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Hop Skip and Jump to Home

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Incredible Video – Steph Curry’s Twelve Threes in One Game

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The Tortoise of Student-Athlete Power Advances: Queens College SAs force Removal of BKB Coach for Abuse

Queens College head basketball coach Daryl Jacobs was removed from his position this week, after every Queens College varsity basketball player told the college president that they refused to continue playing on the team if he continued as coach. Jacobs’ abuse was, according to the report, only verbal, but extremely and repeatedly demeaning and caustic.Perhaps just as important was the players’ apparently unanimous assessment of Queens AD China Jude: “We don’t trust her.”

Queens

On the heels of the recent refusal of Mizzou football players to play unless the the Missouri president resigned – and his subsequent almost immediate resignation, these events at Queens College suggest that the slow-moving tortoise of student-athlete power is inching forward.

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Utah Jazz Portray the Trump Question: was that left … or right?

Jazz

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