WASHINGTON, D.C. – Monumental Sports & Entertainment and STRIVR Labs Inc. announce a multi-year partnership making the Washington Wizards, Washington Capitals and Washington Mystics the first NBA, NHL and WNBA teams to utilize STRIVR’s virtual reality technology. The cutting-edge technology will be used for player development and as a unique in-arena and VIP game-day experience.
“I am thrilled to announce a partnership with STRIVR Labs and all three professional sports teams as we become the first to utilize their innovative technology in each respective league,” said Ted Leonsis, founder, chairman and majority owner of Monumental Sports & Entertainment. “STRIVR’s virtual reality technology will provide our teams and players with increased visualization techniques and training skills as well as an unmatched in-arena and VIP game-day experience.”
STRIVR’s technology will aid in player development as Wizards, Capitals and Mystics players will be able to train and visualize real-game experiences while being away from the court and ice. Using a headset and a pair of headphones, players are able to see 3D video replays from an on-court and on-ice perspective, reviewing that play from a first-person vantage point looking in any direction. The technology also allows for more practical opportunities in teaching athletes decision-making skills in the context of real play.
“We are extremely excited to be working with Monumental Sports & Entertainment – our first NBA, NHL and WNBA teams,” said Derek Belch, STRIVR’s cofounder. “We are hitting the trifecta with the Wizards, Capitals and Mystics. We are looking forward to the challenge and value the partnership with Ted Leonsis and his teams. Our product will be in great hands, and they will push us to continue to grow and improve.”
The technology also will be incorporated into the Verizon Center’s new VIP club game-day experience as well as in-arena by offering a rare perspective and level of insight to the game for Wizards, Capitals and Mystics fans.
“This new technology is a unique teaching tool that will enhance our existing player development programs,” said Wizards coach Randy Wittman. “We are excited to be the first NBA team using this technology and look forward to sharing it with our players.”
Mystics coach Mike Thibault is intrigued by the potential of the technology. “It is exciting for the Mystics to be a part of the partnership with STRIVR Labs,” said Thibault. “We see a ton of possibilities for the training of our players. They will be amazed at the different uses we will have for their development.”
Capitals defenseman John Carlson already sees advantages to the technology. “The potential competitive advantage that virtual reality training can give us is huge,” said Carlson. “STRIVR’s experience with football and quarterbacks is exciting for me, because I feel hockey defensemen and quarterbacks go through a similar decision-making process. The virtual reality technology is going to help me fine tune my decision making in games and allow me to train as if I’m at practice without having to be on the ice.”
“Our players grew up in a video games era, and we believe this method of teaching and sharing of data points will better illustrate what occurs on the court and the ice,” Leonsis said. “We also have a strong core of young fans who gravitate to video and gaming, and we believe this technology will resonate with them and increase their engagement with our teams.”
Leonsis’s teams have been early adopters with a tradition of outreach and innovation, from publishing his personal email address to giving players laptops and email accounts to using video on the bench during games to the installation of SportsVU cameras and software to an “analytics” basketball scrimmage.
Additional STRIVR clients in the professional space include the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco 49ers, Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals.
About STRIVR Labs
STRIVR Labs Inc. is a virtual reality technology company that provides cutting-edge training solutions to sports teams. STRIVR’s virtual reality platform is highly customized, technologically innovative, and superior in quality to any other offering available. STRIVR’s patent-pending technology was developed and proven during the 2014 football season at Stanford University and is currently being used by the Dallas Cowboys. The company, founded by Derek Belch, professor Jeremy Bailenson and Trent Edwards, operates in the heart of Silicon Valley in conjunction with professor Bailenson’s world-renowned Virtual Human Interaction Lab at Stanford University.
About Monumental Sports & Entertainment
Monumental Sports & Entertainment is one of the largest integrated sports and entertainment companies in the country with one of the most diverse partnership groups in all of sports. MSE owns and operates three professional sports teams: the NBA's Washington Wizards, NHL's Washington Capitals and WNBA's Washington Mystics. The group also owns and operates Verizon Center, the premier sports and entertainment venue in Washington, D.C. Monumental Sports & Entertainment also oversees the management of Kettler Capitals Iceplex, the state-of-the-art training facility for the Capitals and George Mason University's EagleBank Arena. In January 2013 Monumental Sports & Entertainment launched Monumental Network, a digital platform that serves as the hub for the region’s sports and entertainment news. Visit MonumentalNetwork.com for more information.