2014/07/23

Novak Djokovic, Billie Jean King Among World-Class Investors In PlaySight

 

Tennis Legends Novak Djokovic and Billie Jean King join World-Class Investors 
including Bill Ackman, Mark Ein and Others to Support the Growth of Fast-Growing 
and Affordable Tracking Technology

NEW YORK (May 19, 2014) –  PlaySight Interactive, an innovative sports 
technology Company and creators of an affordable, tennis analytic system (the 
‘SmartCourt’), today announced the completion of a $3.5 million investment round 
from high-profile private investors including Novak Djokovic, Billie Jean King, 
Bill Ackman, Mark Ein, Dr. Jim Loehr and others. The new capital will fund a 
global roll-out of PlaySight’s SmartCourt technology for recreational and elite 
tennis, as well as research and development on applications in other popular 
sports beyond tennis. A video explaining the technology can be seen here 
http://m1e.net/c?117624096-tsVCmgH4ztMmg%40110234759-tTsyI6p3RaySQ

“We are very proud to have such a powerful group of investors who share our 
vision of bringing elite player technology to the grassroots and club level,” 
said Chen Shachar, PlaySight CEO. “When we developed this technology we saw an 
opportunity to create an affordable, easy-to-install, cloud-based system for 
athletes of all levels to improve their game. In the same way that wearable tech 
devices and micro-cameras are transforming running and extreme sports, we are 
certain that SmartCourts will make tennis more engaging and fun. PlaySight 
combines advanced player analytics technology (PAT) with video-replay and social 
media to deliver an exceptional experience to the world’s 100 million tennis 
players. It will change the way we play ball-sports forever.”  

“PlaySight has the potential to revolutionize the game of tennis as well as 
other sports through bringing the same sophisticated analytics available at the 
highest levels sports at a price point that makes it accessible to clubs and 
players of all levels around the globe,” said Mark Ein, CEO of growth investment 
holding company Venturehouse Group. “Through this ‘video-gamification’ of 
sports, PlaySight will make the game more fun and appealing to new and casual 
players while providing an incredibly valuable training tool for the more 
frequent player.”

The investor group announced today includes:

Bill Ackman: Founder of Pershing Capital Management LLC

Novak Djokovic: Six-time Grand Slam champion including US Open, Wimbledon, and 
Australian Open four times. Held world #1 ranking for 101 weeks and is currently 
#2

Billie Jean King: Presidential Medal of Freedom Winner, International Tennis 
Hall of Fame Inductee and winner of 39 Grand Slam titles

Mark Ein: Founder/early investor in five companies that have reached billion 
dollar valuations; founder/owner of the four-time WTT defending champion 
Washington Kastles and Board member the International Tennis Hall of Fame

Dr. James Loehr: Co-founder of the Human Performance Institute and performance 
coach to Jim Courier and Monica Seles

Ray Benton: Former PROSERV president and current CEO of the Tennis Center at 
College Park (Md.)

Gordon A. Uehling III: Former ATP ranked tennis player, coach and founder of 
CourtSense - the first “SmartClub” in the world which all his courts are 
equipped with “SmartCourts”

James Kern: Veteran Wall Street Executive with over two decades of Capital 
Markets expertise. James will be joining PlaySight’s Board of Directors

Based on concepts originally designed to train fighter pilots, PlaySight‘s 
SmartCourt is an affordable, proprietary technology that is easily installed at 
tennis facilities and private courts. The SmartCourt provides players with 
professional real time (and post session) match statistics, analytics, 
line-calling and video. SmartCourt’s combined capabilities dramatically enhance 
the tennis-playing experience and greatly improve training and coaching 
efficiency.

Using five HD cameras, PlaySight’s SmartCourt automatically classifies and tags 
all the events that take place during a session without the need for court-side 
operators or wearable sensors. Players can watch selected events (e.g. every 
backhand down the line that went long), with no need to watch the whole video or 
manually tag it. PlaySight is also able to record 3D tactical game management 
information including the height of balls over the net, speed of every shot and 
the depth of balls hit within the court. The SmartCourt is easily operated by 
the players through a courtside kiosk and all video and data can be shared 
within seconds with coaches, friends and family at remote locations. Players can 
also track distance covered and calories burned during a match or practice 
session. 

The company plans to apply their affordable technology to basketball, soccer, 
hockey, baseball and other fields of sports with the same SmartCourt concept.

Already approved by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) for use in amateur 
tournaments, PlaySight’s SmartCourt technology is already installed at a number 
of prestige venues including Roland Garros in Paris (home of the French Tennis 
Federation), CourtSense Tennis Training Center in New Jersey, Queens Club in 
London, Stefan Edberg’s academy in Sweden, Holland’s Laurense Tennis Academy 
(the training center for legendary coach Sven Groeneveld) and Ramat Hasharon 
tennis center in Israel.  PlaySight has already installed a total of 35 
SmartCourts globally, including 19 in the United States. The Company has 
recently installed its first collegiate court at The University of Georgia, and 
is scheduled to install a more than 100 facilities in Florida, California, New 
York and at other locations around the world later this year.
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