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One of the very first names to hop on smart basketball scene—94Fifty—may be getting a serious overhaul soon, according to The Wall Street Journal. After filing for bankruptcy on March 1, Info Motion Sports Technologies, the maker of the 94Fifty Smart Basketball Sensor, has been the subject of a bid from Russell Brands LLC.
Russell made a $1.5 million offer to acquire the company, which will add an interesting new spin on another subsidiary of Russell—Spalding, which formed a partnership with basketball wearable ShotTracker earlier this year. Possessing the official basketball of the NBA and a long-standing reputation for making quality basketballs, Spalding could provide a good partner for 94Fifty.
Reducing the price of the $200 smart basketball, and improving the overall product will be a top priority for Russell upon possibly acquiring the 94Fifty smart basketball.
As it was the first smart basketball on the market, followed later on by others like the Wilson X Connected Basketball, 94Fifty does have a number of committed customers without the backing of a big name brand. Now that Wilson has been in the mix, a big sports brand like Russell will only improve the viability of 94Fifty in the marketplace.
The 94Fifty smart basketball sensor measures quite a bit of data over the course of any shooting session. The ball wirelessly connects to a mobile app that graphically displays and helps the user analyze quite a range of metrics.
The smart basketball can analyze shooting arc over the period of a session—whether the player has too low of an arc degree. The ball looks at dribbling intensity, and how a player can improve in that aspect.
Then, for those wishing to make their shot as quick and accurate as Stephen Curry, the ball can measure shot release speed in addition to shot backspin. Of course, the 94Fifty smart basketball also tracks how many shots a player has made, and from which area of the court.