Last week, I spoke to Hyperice CEO Jim Huether and NBA’s Senior Vice-President, Head of Global Media and Business Development, Dan Rossomondo, about the groundbreaking deal that was developed between the NBA and Hyperice. On July 30th, 2020, Hyperice and the NBA announced a leading-edge partnership to make them the ‘Official Recovery Technology Partner of the NBA.’
Jim revealed that the partnership is already opening many opportunities with the NBA. Many of the players and trainers are contacting Hyperice, saying how much they have become reliant on the tech. With individual NBA teams reaching out to the company, Jim and the rest of the team are finding creative solutions and ideas to amplify exposure throughout the NBA on a team level. “That has been exciting,” Jim Huether says as he shares with me some of the upcoming opportunities. “Our deal with the NBA is global, so we have territory throughout the world and are already being contacted by NBA Australia, Canada, and Mexico,” Jim said there would even be a massive event in China this month showcasing the Hyperbox for all athletes as they get a chance to interact with the devices.
For those who do not know about Hyperice, they are an innovative performance and recovery brand specializing in percussion, vibration, and thermal technology. As of August 12th, 2020, Hyperice has been recognized for the fifth consecutive year on the prestigious Inc. 500 list as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. Hyperice’s exciting year of revenue, which has doubled since last year, led the company to move up from its ranking of No. 346 in 2019 to No. 220. The California-based percussion creator remains at the top as it releases hit after hit of excellent Hypervolt products, including NormaTec X, Hyperice PULSE 2.0, Venom series, Hypersphere line, and more.
On August 5th, TNT broadcasted a segment with Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, and the rest of the “NBA on TNT” crew featuring the new partnership. This publicity is leading to much excitement around Hyperice. With this kind of exposure, Jim wants to tell the story about their products with current NBA players and show how valuable it is to the former NBA players as well. “Like Shaq,” Jim mentions, “who uses our products to this day to keep in top form…the NBA is going a step further by saying ‘we don’t just care about our current athletes, but we also want to create programs for our former athletes.”
This new experience – the first in recovery to go live as a result of the NBA/Hyperice partnership – provides mass-produced recovery products to ordinary consumers, athletes, pro-athletes, and former athletes. They now have the tools to be successful in staying on top of their game by preventing injury, decreasing recovery time, enhancing their body movements, and improving their performance. The recovery partnership will come to life in a unique experience that has never been seen before in the history of the NBA—allowing for more modifications and alterations to be brought to light. Additionally, it opens avenues for fans to interact with their favorite teams and players. Forming this partnership is a big deal in sports, which makes it a no-brainer for Hyperice to become a partner, as the NBA needs to protect and keep their players in top shape on and off the court. Recovery, once an untouched area for all athletes, has now become essential in all sports.
Hyperice premiered its ‘Keep Moving’ television commercial on TNT during the LA Clippers vs. Los Angeles Lakers game. “Keep Moving” highlights Hyperice’s world-class athlete roster, which includes six-time NBA All-Star Blake Griffin of the Detroit Pistons, Naomi Osaka, Juju Smith-Schuster, and Colleen Quigley. You can watch the ‘Keep Moving’ commercial — here. You can watch a clip of the announcement on TNT — here.
Let’s dive deeper into the multiyear partnership between Hyperice and the NBA.
This multiyear deal will bring the vibration performance technology company to every team’s bench in the NBA, leading the tools of vibration and recovery technology fields into the limelight – likely sparking growth in those industries. Last week I wrote about the latest in Hyperice’s flagship device, the Hypervolt Bluetooth and Bluetooth Plus, which you can read — here. As the league’s designated official recovery technology partner, Hyperice will kick off the partnership during the NBA Restart in Orlando, Florida, and provide NBA players with access to a Hypervolt Plus handheld percussive device, encased in a custom-designed Hyperbox. Normally retailing at $399, this innovative device was constructed to help active users move faster and recover quickly.
More and more people are consuming and connecting with sports, and now, due to a pandemic. They are inclining to digital platforms to do so. The NBA sees this as an opportunity to innovate and enhance its platform. By partnering up with startup and matured companies that will provide a new way to receive analytics, they can give fans content related to their idolized players and teams. As this spreads through the billions of NBA followers on social media, players and fans can connect on a whole new level. What does this partnership mean? It means you are going to see NBA players, personal trainers, and coaches using the Hypervolt Plus during the games.
In turn, it will lead to general consumer awareness of vibration technology devices and all the other products that Hyperice has to offer its players and consumers, which should spark curiosity for anyone who watches the games to learn more about the products. The partnership is an exciting and momentous time for Hyperice and the wellness of all NBA players and former players alike. You may have even seen the Hyperbox’s on the sidelines during the Lakers V. Clippers game on July 30th. I couldn’t spot the Hypervolt’s being used by any of the players as I watched it live. While this was surprising, it probably just takes time for some of the players to get accustomed to utilizing the devices during the game. I am sure, in no time, more players will start using them on and off the court.
Like their multiyear partnership with Microsoft, the NBA is unlocking new ways to innovate during these challenging times. As a company that is continuously changing and improving, they are on the lookout for like-minded companies to partner alongside. They kept hearing how individual players were big fans of Hyperice, and many teams had started using their products frequently — in the locker room, on the bench, and at practice. So, Dan Rossomondo and the NBA reached out to Jim and his company to open the conversation about a possible partnership. In just a little under a year, the multiyear partnership was developed. “CEO Jim Heuther, he is a force of nature,” Dan said as he broke down the origin story to this beautiful relationship. “…just the sheer enthusiasm that he has for both his product and our game, it was infectious and was a key part of how he drove the partnership. So, it is a good position to be in when we can partner with such a great product which has great leadership [and] is enthusiastic about what he does and what we do.”
Other than strong leadership and enthusiasm, Dan said a pivotal point to finding partnerships is player health. “Player health in both terms of the body, physical and mental, is important to us,” He goes on to tell me. “This is all sort of a trend, like keeping the guys on the court, keeping them healthy when traveling away from their families… then recovery. Getting them to recover [is] what Hyperice does. Hyperice is there to help you recover and monitor your health. It’s an interesting space, not sure how much room we have, because we do not like to make it too cluttered, but Hyperice is one of those companies where we think they are going to continue to innovate and continue to find ways to work with us in a variety of spaces. We are excited to get it underway. We hope to learn a lot from them. This platform for Hyperice has been a much-needed, untouched area for all athletes and fans alike.”
“Hyperice will be a key part of my daily recovery process throughout the NBA season” – Blake Griffin.
In my article last week, I mentioned that the first face of the company is former number-one pick, and now forward-center, Blake Griffin of the Detroit Pistons, who is an equity investor. Los Angeles Lakers’ Lebron James and Kobe Bryant were also among the earliest adopters. Additionally, other well-known athletes who have invested are U.S. Soccer goalie Hope Solo, Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn, Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud, Pittsburg Steelers wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster, Sacramento Kings forward Rudy Gay, Australian weightlifter Clair Toomey, and Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu. Being that proper recovery and injury prevention have been a primary focus for these professional athletes through their career, the relationship with Hyperice was a no-brainer. Blake Griffin, when speaking on his original investment in Hyperice when it was just a year old in 2011, said, “The brand has made huge strides since then and has continued to evolve and innovate new technologies that we as players have all benefited from.” Back in 2017, Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kyrie Irving was seen using the Theragun during one of the timeouts. After that, the company took off and gained massive exposure to their vibration technology products. Hyperice has continued to lead the way in the vibration technology field and is now the NBA’s first partner in the recovery technology field.
” We are already seeing this creating a trend,” Heuther Says,” We are getting contacted by other leagues and organizations. It’s like, ‘Hey, you guys have kind of unlocked the shift in culture that is happening because it uses athletes to use products when they were hurt or had an injury, but now it has become part of the daily regimen that people need to take care of their bodies.’ Like in an article on Lebron, who said he spends a million dollars a year on his body. So, for the NBA to take it to the next level with us saying that it is important for health and wellness, not only for performance but for long term health for all of our players, we want to create the accessibility in real-time in technology to be the first in the league to do that. It speaks volumes of where their mindset is. Their team has been first class, you would think that since they are such a big organization, they wouldn’t pay much attention to clientele, but their team is so on point.”
With this new partnership, I am sure we will see users of Theragun and other competitor vibration technology players, switch over to Hyperice as they know the fan they know and love do the same. Players, once sponsored by Theragun, who helped support the company, will probably move with this changing tide towards Hyperice. But like most contractional deals, this means that no other recovery devices other than Hyperice products can be used on the bench during games, although team medical and training staff are free to use products made by competitors elsewhere. The Hypervolt Bluetooth, the third generation of the powerful percussion massagers from Hyperice, rivals the Theragun in performance, effectiveness, and design. Compared to Theragun’s ‘QuietForce’ technology, Hypervolt’s ‘QuietGlide’ comes out on top. The choice between the two for Bluetooth capabilities are not comparable as Hypervolt is taking the lead in that category. The award-winning handheld vibration technology device being placed under each player’s seat offers them the ability to enhance their body, prevent injury, support warmups, and improve their physiology before, during, and after a game. Now that Hyperice has the deal under wraps, this means they could innovate more than ever on a platform of fans and players that is bringing in new ideas and technology to their new and current users. Most importantly, it means continuous exposure in America and around the world.
I dug deeper in my interview with Jim Heuther on this exposure and where the company is headed next:
Zane: “You are taking over the vibration technology field, it seems remarkable how quickly things are going, especially with the news about the Chinese NBA. I knew that after the exposure was out there, you would be receiving countless emails, and phone calls left and right for potential partnerships, may it be the PGA, MLB, LPGA, etc. Could you tell me more about the partnership with the Chinese NBA?”
Jim: “Definitely. It will be in Shanghai. They will have a product under every courtside seat for the event they are having and a whole concept recovery room. So, [with] our partner AKQA — they’re a brand agency that also works with Nike and Beats, who just won the ‘most-innovated’ award in China and Japan — we are building a recovery concept for this event in China so that people can come in, take pictures, interact with the products in real-time in the suite, connect with Hypersmart; and we have to build that in 12 days. They are going to develop this whole forward-thinking concept room for the NBA.”
Zane: “That’s awesome. Which reminds me, when fans or someone interacts with the Hyperice App, will they be receiving notifications throughout the game from certain players during that time of the live game? I am not sure how that would work exactly, and it might be too much work to do because of so many live games happening every week. Like, will the application notify the fan by sending an update saying, ‘Hey, you’re near Blake Griffin right now, check out his newest ‘How-To’ on massaging your biceps.’ Will this be something you are thinking about doing?”
Jim: “It’s awesome that you mention that because AKQA, our brand agency, has mentioned an ‘air-drop’ concept in the stadium. You nailed it. “[We’re] looking at creative things we can do from a kind of grassroots exposure piece. So, we are playing around with that technology now on how we can implement something like that.”
Zane: “I would love that. I try to keep up with sports and everything, but one thing I find so fascinating is when I do watch the preseason games is how Microsoft Teams chooses a select few to become virtual fans at home to be featured live on screen. I wonder how Hyperice could go about integrating themselves into ‘Microsoft Teams’ to send air-drops to those selected few.”
Jim: “I loved how in your last article, you covered the software and hardware because I mention to our team all the time that we are now a hardware and software company and rapidly accelerating our capabilities there. But our HyperSmart [technology] can already segment to market so it can look at geolocation and targeting and proximity base. So, you could essentially push something to people in Memphis if they were a Grizzlies fan and if they are onboarded onto the app, then we will know, ‘okay, this person specifically likes basketball, they are in this target market’ so, in connection to Airdrop, we can do that based on geolocation and arenas; and that would be next level.”
Honestly – I would love to see an air-drop capability within range of my favorite player. It would not only show that Hyperice is catering to their consumers and fans but that they are also updating their media in their HyperSmart ecosystem.
We have all been exponentially exposed to the growth of technology within the last ten years. It seems as if coming up with an innovative breakthrough that is not a knockoff of another company or idea seems more difficult than ever before. Every generation has a piece of technology that transforms all of us for the better — Hyperice is that technology, changing the way we recover and the way we move. For years, players and athletic trainers alike have relied on the Hypervolt, which features ‘Quiet Glide’ technology. Having the award-winning handheld percussion massage device beneath each player’s seat offers them the most robust technology to prevent injury, stay warm, and improve their physiology before, during, and after a game. In March 2020, Hyperice acquired NormaTec — innovators of cutting-edge pneumatic compression systems — allowing Hyperice to deliver fully comprehensive recovery technology and wellness solutions to all athletes, including NBA players. I believe this is only the start of Hyperice’s recovery reign news, as it is anticipated that they should be releasing new products in their lines. The newly developed partnership should help uncover insights for fans, coaches, and players. Over the course of a few years, the goal is to explore and expand the ways technology can enhance the NBA’s operations and add new dimensions to the sport for eager fans to reconnect with their favorite teams and idolized players. Alongside the Microsoft Teams’ partnership experience, fans will also be able to cheer virtually using the NBA app and perhaps be used in collaboration with Hyperice for those that are not onboarded in the application already.
The news is undoubtedly exciting for NBA fans, and it will be intriguing to see the kind of platform that ultimately emerges. The announcement also reflects how technology is continuing to transform so many aspects of the sports world. With the emergence of exciting innovations alongside the NBA’s partnership, it will be fascinating to see how the technology around recovery continues to develop. As companies like Hyperice continue to tailor to the preferences of fans and players alike, vibration technology will become a more integral part of people’s lives. One thing that seems inevitable is that percussion technology and recovery may never be the same again.
Additionally, I would love to see the HyperBox available for purchase as a customizable carrying case designed by a player for the fans. It would be similar to what Nike did with their shoes, but for Hypervolt, it would be with their carrying case. The array of NBA’s data sources and the excellent video and media archives give advanced data analytics to Hyperice. It will provide a much more suitable experience to the fans in a more personalized content, based on their preferences. Furthermore, the platform will allow the NBA and Hyperice to discover insights and add dimensions to the sport for fans, players, coaches, and healthcare workers. Through this partnership, both companies are trying to uncover additional ways in which technology can be used to magnify the NBA’s business and game operations.
The Hypervolt Plus will be located underneath each NBA player’s seat for easy access during the season and at marquee league events, including NBA All-Star and MGM Resorts NBA Summer League, and I am sure future partnerships in other leagues shortly. The newest flagship devices, the Hypervolt Bluetooth ($349) and Hypervolt Bluetooth Plus ($399), are now available.
Follow me on Twitter: @Zanepickett37
Note: Moor Insights & Strategy writers and editors may have contributed to this article.