Winners awarded a total of $150,000 and Super Bowl LIII tickets in live pitch competition

Atlanta, Georgia – February 2, 2019 – The National Football League (NFL) and Arrow Electronics (NYSE:ARW) today announced the winners of 1st and Future, the NFL’s annual Super Bowl competition designed to spur innovation in player health, safety and performance.

Ahead of the event, all four finalists in the NFL Punt Analytics Competition received $20,000. The two winners received two tickets to Super Bowl LIII each. Winner Alex Wainger (New York, New York) proposed removing the 45-year-old rule that holds the kicking team on the line of scrimmage until the punt. Winner Halla Yang (Wilmette, Illinois) proposed awarding a five-yard bonus on a fair catch, changing the allowed coverage on receptions, and requiring helmet sensors that can directly monitor physical deceleration.

TopSpin of Detroit, Michigan and London, Ontario, Canada took the top prize among five finalists in the Innovations to Advance Athlete Health and Safety Competition and was awarded two Super Bowl LIII tickets and $50,000 to further develop their TopSpin360, the first patented training device proven to dynamically strengthen the neck to help reduce concussion risk. Second-place winner SOLIUS was awarded two Super Bowl LIII tickets and $20,000 to further develop their advanced science that uses nano-spectrums of light to stimulate the production of critical hormones and peptides as a better way to reduce injuries, speed recovery, and improve the performance of athletes.

The live pitch competition took place at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) at the Ferst Center for the Arts in Atlanta, Georgia. Scott Hanson of the NFL Network and host of NFL RedZone emceed as the nine finalists pitched their game-changing technologies and rule change proposals to an exclusive audience comprised of NFL team owners and executives, medical experts and representatives, and guests of the Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee and Arrow Electronics.

During the program, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Atlanta Falcons President and CEO and NFL Competition Committee Chairman Rich McKay, and Arizona Cardinals Wide Receiver Larry Fitzgerald participated in a panel discussion on leveraging the latest technology to modernize football.

Participants faced off in front of two panels of judges that included:

  • Geoff Collins, Head Coach, Georgia Tech Football
  • Leigh Ann Curl, MD Head Team Orthopedic Surgeon, Baltimore Ravens, and President, NFL Physicians Society
  • Sarath Degala, Vice President, BIP Capital
  • Victor Gao, Chief Marketing Officer, Arrow Electronics, Inc.
  • Dan Quinn, Head Coach, Atlanta Falcons
  • Allison Sabia, Vice President and General Manager, Digital, Arrow Electronics, Inc.
  • Shawn Springs, CEO, Windpact
  • Keith Werle, Managing Director, Business Analytics Center at Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business

Finalists included the following individuals and companies. Descriptions are furnished by the finalists.

NFL Punt Analytics Competition

Winners:

Alex Wainger, New York, New York

Wainger proposed removing the 45-year-old rule that holds the kicking team on the line of scrimmage until the punt.

Halla Yang, Wilmette, Illinois

Yang proposed awarding a five-yard bonus on a fair catch, changing the allowed coverage on receptions, and requiring helmet sensors that can directly monitor physical deceleration.

Finalists:

John Miller, Fort Worth, Texas

Miller proposed providing a yardage incentive to the receiving team for fair catches and expanding the definition of illegal blindside blocks during returns.

Jeff Rayvid, New York, New York

Rayvid proposed a new rule to mandate a certain formation and an adjustment to blocking techniques.

Innovations to Advance Athlete Health and Safety Competition

Winner:

TopSpin, Detroit, Michigan/London, Ontario, Canada

TopSpin Technologies Ltd, inventors of the TopSpin360, the first patented training device proven to dynamically strengthen the neck to help reduce concussion risk. 

Runner-Up:

SOLIUS, Seattle, Washington

SOLIUS has developed an advanced science that uses nano-spectrums of light to stimulate the production of critical hormones and peptides as a better way to reduce injuries, speed recovery, and improve the performance of athletes.

Finalists:

Nobo, Milwaukee, Wisconsin  

Nobo is developing B60, a connected wearable device that monitors hydration levels of elite athletes. B60 uses patent pending, non-invasive optical technology to report hydration levels to athletes and their trainers in real time.

TackleBar, St. Paul, Minnesota

TackleBar Football is a product that aims to provide a safer approach to the game and decrease injuries while preserving the tradition and spirit of the sport, serving as a transition between flag football and tackle football for our youngest players, and an effective practice tool for our older football players.

TendoNova, Atlanta, Georgia

TendoNova’s Ocelot™ system aims to increase access to effective chronic tendon pain treatment with reduced rehabilitation times for all levels of athletes by deploying a hand-held, minimally-invasive device that provides real-time feedback during procedures on the effect the intervention has on tissue.

For more information on 1st and Future, visit http://www.nfl.com/1standfuture.

About the NFL’s Health and Safety Initiatives

The NFL is committed to advancing progress in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of sports-related injuries. As part of the NFL’s ongoing health and safety efforts, in September 2016, Commissioner Goodell launched Play Smart. Play Safe. — a league-wide health and safety initiative. At the heart of the initiative is a pledge of $100 million in support for independent medical research and engineering advancements and a commitment to look at anything and everything to protect our players and make our game safer, including enhancements to medical protocols and improvements to how our game is taught and played. For more information about the NFL’s health and safety efforts, please visit www.PlaySmartPlaySafe.com.

About Arrow Electronics

Arrow Electronics guides innovation forward for over 150,000 of the world’s leading manufacturers of technology used in homes, business and daily life. With 2017 sales of $26.6 billion, Arrow develops electronics and enterprise computing solutions for customers and suppliers in industrial and commercial markets. The company maintains a network of more than 345 locations serving over 80 countries. Learn more at FiveYearsOut.com. 

About the Georgia Institute of Technology

The Georgia Institute of Technology, also known as Georgia Tech, is one of the nation’s leading research universities. Georgia Tech provides a focused, technologically based education to more than 32,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Georgia Tech has many nationally recognized programs, all top-ranked by peers and publications alike, and is ranked in the nation’s top 10 public universities by U.S. News and World Report. As a leading technological university, Georgia Tech has more than 100 centers focused on interdisciplinary research that consistently contribute vital research and innovation to American government, industry, and business.

About the Advanced Technology Development Center

The Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), a program of the Georgia Institute of Technology, is the state of Georgia’s technology start-up incubator. Founded in 1980 by the Georgia General Assembly which funds it each year, ATDC’s mission is to work with entrepreneurs in Georgia to help them learn, launch, scale, and succeed in the creation of viable, disruptive technology companies. Since its founding, ATDC has grown to become one of the longest running and most successful university-affiliated incubators in the United States, with its graduate start-up companies raising $3 billion in investment financing and generating more than $12 billion in revenue in the state of Georgia. To learn more, visit atdc.org.