Twickenham Presale Details Announced
In an apparent leak, Detroit Lions executives revealed that the NFL fixture dates for the 2017 season will be announced on the evening of 20 April (Edit: now confirmed as 8pm Thursday). Just one week before the NFL draft commences and one week before the presale for individual Twickenham tickets starts.
The presale is open ONLY to those who have already registered an interest in buying tickets for the Twickenham games. Registration of interest closed at midnight on Easter Monday.
Whilst fans in the UK have known the teams playing at Twickenham, the exact dates of the games have not been known and are dependent on the other fixture announcements on Thursday.
The presale opens at 10am on 27 April at the NFL Ticketmaster microsite.
It was announced Monday that the game between Miami and New Orleans at Wembley will kick off in the early morning for US fans. An 8:30am start for Saints fans watching at home, which will be a 2:30pm start for us at Wembley Stadium. The times for the other three London games have not yet been announced.
NFL Announces Safety Prize Winner
The NFL and Football Research Inc (FRI). have announced the winners of the first HeadHealthTECH Challenge and launched HeadHealthTECH Challenge II, which invites proposals for improvements in football protective equipment including helmets and related technologies, turf systems, shoulder and other pads and additional innovative concepts.
The HeadHealthTECH Challenge series is one component of the Play Smart. Play Safe. Engineering Roadmap—a $60-million comprehensive plan funded by the NFL and managed by FRI to create incentives for sporting goods companies, as well as other manufacturers, small businesses, entrepreneurs and universities from around the world to develop improved helmets and protective equipment in the next three to five years. Launched in November 2016, the TECH Challenge series is operated and managed on behalf of FRI by Duke University’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (Duke CTSI).
“Our collective goal is to spur next-generation solutions in protective equipment,”
said JEFF MILLER, NFL Executive Vice President of Health and Safety Initiatives. “Not only do these grants advance promising technologies, but FRI’s expert partners at Duke CTSI provide valuable feedback and mentorship to all companies that submit proposals. We want to encourage and support new and innovative ideas that will improve sports safety.”
“The TECH Challenge series is designed to bridge the gap between the engineering and medical experts and the marketplace and to direct funding where we can create value,”
said BARRY MYERS, MD, PhD, MBA, Director of Innovation Duke CTSI, Coulter Program Director and Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Duke University and a consultant to the NFLPA. “If you’re an innovator, we want you to apply. We want to hear what your product is, what your vision is and how we can help you succeed.”
FRI awards the most promising TECH Challenge proposals with a cumulative value of up to $1 million a year, including in-kind support. For TECH Challenge I, a panel of expert judges selected by Duke CTSI, in collaboration with FRI, reviewed and provided feedback on 50 proposals all focused on improved protective equipment. Every TECH Challenge applicant receives constructive feedback to help refine innovations and increase chances for success on future submissions and is invited to reapply.
For information about why this is so important to the NFL and to football in general take a look at our article on concussion.
TECH Challenge I Winners:
VyaTek Sports received a grant of $190,000 to support development and testing of its Zorbz technology, a series of highly efficient energy-absorbing modules added to a helmet system that can be removed and replaced after a significant impact.
Guardian Innovations received a grant of $20,000 to support biomechanical testing of its Guardian Cap technology. The Guardian Cap is a decoupled, soft helmet cover designed to augment football helmets and reduce the severity of impacts.
Information about TECH Challenges and the process for making a submission can be found here.
Amazon Prime to Stream Thursday Night Games
The NFL announced last week that it has reached an agreement with Amazon Prime as its exclusive partner to deliver a live OTT (over-the-top) digital stream of Thursday Night Football during the 2017 NFL Season.
Amazon Prime Video will stream the ten Thursday Night Football games broadcast by NBC and CBS, which will also be simulcast on NFL Network.