• Andy Marston

PGA TOUR partner with WHOOP to keep fingers on the pulse.

Biometric data, a term often used broadly to refer to metrics related to human characteristics, is being collected at a faster pace than ever before. This is because smartphones and wearables continue to become increasingly advanced. For instance, WHOOP, whose wearable strap captures such data, saw their global profile raised during the pandemic as many of their users noticed changes in their health scores as early indicators of coronavirus symptoms. This has only increased the interest in biometric data for both sports teams and athletes. In fact, Kevin Durant, Patrick Mahomes, Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas were all investors in WHOOP’s $100-million round of Series E fundingback in October. While (many of) the performance benefits of collecting this data are clear. There are also commercial benefits; Namely, by introducing these metrics, athletes, teams and events can strengthen their connections to fans, primarily by adding context to elite performances, making them even more compelling. That, at least, is the hope of the PGA TOUR. Last week, the world’s leading professional golf tour announced a five-year agreement with WHOOP to become its official wearable. *Note other devices that track biometric data are available. As part of the deal, biometric data for specific players wearing the straps will be integrated into video highlights – meaning fans can see the heart rate as a player tries to sink a long putt. This (largely) follows in the footsteps of the data implementation in the broadcasting of cycling events such as the Giro d'Italia. It’s an exciting move, and reflects an increasing consumer understanding of the data – which means more sports are likely to follow suit soon. The question is, who?