Jewish Business News

Mark Cuban, the Dallas, Texas based super entrepreneur, owner of the National Basketball Association‘s Dallas Mavericks knows a thing or two about sports and technology. That’s the reason why Cuban has decided to make a serious investment in Melbourne, Australia-based, Catapult Sports, one of the world’s leading pioneers of GPS tracking devices designed for use by professional sportsmen and women.

Cuban first became aware of Capital Sports when they succeeded in convincing the coaching staff at Dallas Mavericks to try their GPS tracking devices while the players were performing on the parquet.

In recent years GPS tracking devices have become an increasingly important 8 to sports coaches, allowing them to measure player movement and levels of fatigue not only during matches but also whilst training. Information feedback from the GPS tracking devices is capable of measuring the most important of statistics, including–how rapidly an athlete can accelerate, how their hearts will be affected by different levels of physical exertion among a number of other vital physical characteristics. With this information at their disposal, team coaches will become more rapidly capable of improving game strategy as well as training programs.

Dallas Mavericks were Capital Sports first major customer in the United States, but since then they have gone on to sell the product to clubs in the AFL and NHL , as well as across the world, even reaching the bullrings of Spain and the soccer stadiums of Italy.

Catapult’s GPS devices are under a player’s clothes and a specially designed harness. When in operation the GPS monitors over 100 parameters including distance, velocity, changes in direction, heart rate, acceleration and deceleration. The data collected is wirelessly transferred to a receiving device on the sidelines.

Announcing Cuban’s investment, Catapult’s chairman Dr. Adir Shiffman, explained that Wearable analytics is liable to become a critical advantage in pro sports and eventually as the device shrinks in size, it will help to make teams smarter and allow them to keep players on the court more.

“Through its ability to detect abnormal heart patterns Catapult’s GPS tracking device may save a career or even a life on the way.” summed up Dr. Shiffman.

Mark Cuban’s investment in Catapult is the first that he has made in an Australian firm, and while terms of his investment have not yet been released, it is believed to be in the region of 5% of the company, and around a few million dollars. What is especially appealing for Dr Shiffman and Shaun Holthouse, who co-founded the company in 2006, is that it will add considerable credibility to Catapult’s plans to undertake an IPO sometime later in the year.

As well as his investment, Mark Cuban has made an undertaking to help in promoting Catapult’s export business in an advisory role.

According to Dr Shiffman, just there are more than 4000 professional sports teams around the world with, as well as hundreds of college teams in the US, all of which could be capable of using Catapult’s GPS technology.   Catapult has recently opened US office in Dallas.

Mark Cuban graduated from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business with a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1981. .During his college years, Cuban continued to display his strong entrepreneurial spirit involving himself various business ventures, including a pub, disco lessons, as well as a highly lucrative chain letter scheme.

After leaving university, Cuban moved to Dallas, Texas, where he found a job as a salesperson for one of the first PC software retailers to open in the city.

Driven on by his success in the computer sales Cuban started his own company, MicroSolutions, a system Integrator and software reseller. The company rapidly made its new name for itself due to a combination of Cuban’s larger-than-life personality as well as their expertise in the early software technologies.   Cuban expanded   MicroSolutions to a level where he sold them for the considerable sum of $6 million, walking away with approximately $2 million after taxes.

Much of that money was plowed into Cuban’s next venture, a sports reporting internet site which he sold to Yahoo! in 1998 for $5.9 billion, which was paid for in Yahoo Stock.

With the Yahoo stock becoming a regular dripping roast Cuban began to diversify his own business activities, acquiring the NBA franchise for the Dallas Mavericks, as well as establishing the Landmark Theaters chain, the Magnolia Pictures production company, and becoming chairman of AXS TV, an HDTV cable network.

Dr. Adir Shiffman is an Australian founder and investor specializing in technology and healthcare companies.

A registered medical practitioner, Dr. Shiffman is regarded as being one of the foremost experts in the online marketing in Australia, having founded, built and sold a number of rapidly growing Internet-based enterprises in addition to Catapult Sports.


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