The National Football League Players Association announced on Monday that it has reached an agreement with WHOOP to deliver continuous biometric monitors to its members. Each NFL player will be delivered a wrist-worn device called the WHOOP Strap 2.0, which will transmit physiological data on sleep and recovery, among other data sets.
This is the first time a players association in professional sports has partnered with a wearable technology company, per the press release announcing the deal.
Per the agreement:
- NFL players will own and control their individual data collected with the WHOOP Strap 2.0.
- NFL players will design custom licensed bands for the WHOOP Strap for personal use and commercial sale.
- The NFLPA and WHOOP will study the effects of travel, sleep, scheduling, injuries, etc. on recovery and generate reports to advance player safety and maximize athletic performance.
- NFL players will have the ability to commercialize their WHOOP data through the NFLPA's group licensing program.
"Every day, NFL players produce data that can translate into physiological and financial opportunities. We see partnering with WHOOP as the first step in harnessing this exciting technology," President of NFL Players Inc. Ahmad Nassar said, per the release. "We are excited to have WHOOP and its innovative, holistic monitoring technology serve as our first OneTeam Collective deal. Together, we're paving the way towards a new frontier where athletes are empowered by data."
The WHOOP device will provide different data than the wearable technology used to provide things like the NextGen stats sometimes seen on TV broadcasts. Those devices largely provide information on location and exertion, while the WHOOP Strap 2.0 provides personalized information on human characteristics.
This is a big step in measuring human performance data in professional sports. Other sports leagues use wearable devices in practices and some use them during games, but this is the first time in American professional sports that players will be able to profit from their data.
Will Ahmed, the CEO of WHOOP noted, "The NFL's current products are very focused on exercise or games," Ahmed said, "whereas we believe there is a whole story around the other 20 hours of the day and how an athlete optimizes for recovery and performance. That's a story that the public would also take great interest. How do the best athletes treat their bodies to recover optimally from a grueling sport? That's a story that has never been told before about professional athletes."