For changing the game with the FuelBand and Flyknit footwear.
For its slam-dunk strategy to draw fans to its digital products. The NBA has thrived in the new world of sports leagues-as-content producers—producing compelling digital tools, expanding programming and viewership at its station NBA TV, and racking up 3.6 billion video views at NBA.com last season.
For using data to bridge the gap between fans and teams, with a system that adjusts ticket prices according to many factors. It ensures that unsold tickets no longer go to waste, and that fans don’t get hosed.
For employing social media jujitsu to grow a rabid fan base of half a billion homes in 175 countries. UFC has eclipsed WWE and boxing by dominating the international market—selling out stadiums in Brazil, putting on shows in Macau and Australia, and partnering with Sony India to air fights.
For giving flight to athletes with NASA-caliber antigravity treadmills, which reduces the amount of weight a runner has to bear. Less impact means less injury and less recovery time, explaining why dozens of pro and college sports programs are buying the machines.
For serving up an ace with its data-collecting tennis racquets. The tennis company’s "Play & Connect" racket harvests in-match data from sensors built into the handle, which informs players on their performance.
For its portable ultrasound tech that beats MRIs by capturing injuries on site. GE's technology is cheap, radiation-free, and the size of a laptop. It runs on proprietary software and features GPS-like tracking so patients can move banged-up limbs under a monitor, allowing doctors to make a better diagnosis.
For bulking up with 4,000 gyms, a deal with Reebok to launch 150 affiliated CrossFit gyms across the country, and a 10 year deal with ESPN to broadcast the CrossFit Games, the company’s version of the Olympics.
For turning the NBA and it scouts onto the power of real-time video for Moneyball-style analytics. The gigantic database includes real-time video editing, indexing and accessing service. Fans include sports journalists in need of higher quality analysis.
For doubling down on Nevada sports betting by developing technology that recalculates game odds after every play. Plus, an exclusive deal with the California horse racing industry should poise Cantorand its mobile apps to capitalize if (or when) California legalizes online poker gambling.