Startup Behind Gameball Signs Deals with Apple, NFL Players Association
By Colin McEvoy on July 6, 2018
The startup company behind Gameball, a sensor-infused smart inflatable ball that links to a smartphone app and lets people play different physical games, has announced new partnerships with Apple and the NFL Players Association (NFLPA).
Play Impossible, a client of the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP/NEP), has signed agreements to sell its product exclusively on Apple.com and Apple stores, and that Gameball now supports play on Apple TV 4K and Apple TV.
Additionally, Play Impossible has signed an agreement with NFLPA to integrate NFL players into new games, to help with development and marketing efforts, including integrating NFL players into new games and collaborate on future products.
“We have seen our Play Impossible Gameball pick families up off their couches and re-discover the joy of ball play in the digital age,” said Brian Monnin, CEO and co-founder of Play Impossible.
“Now we’re partnering with the NFLPA which shares our vision for active gaming. Each of the Play Impossible games is physically and mentally challenging, fusing mobile games with active play,” Monnin said. “Future Play Impossible products and games will include fun competition and S.T.E.M. challenges with your favorite NFL players integrated into the app.”
The inflatable, durable Gameball connects via Bluetooth to the Play Impossible smartphone app, bringing connected ball games with an innovative twist to an all-time favorite play object for kids and adults alike, Monnin said.
Play Impossible was the winner of the 2016 Venture Idol competition, a cross between American Idol and Shark Tank hosted by BFTP/NEP at Ben Franklin TechVentures, a business incubator located at the Lehigh University Mountaintop Campus in Bethlehem.
The NFLPA agreement means Gameball games will include player avatars and player-themed leaderboards based on NFL players, and the NFLPA will identify select NFL players as brand ambassadors for Play Impossible.
“I partnered with Play Impossible because I want my son and I to benefit from all of their fun, innovative and mentally challenging games,” said Braxton Miller, Houston Texans wide receiver. “Bringing in pro football players is just going to raise the experience to another level and encourage more kids and adults to stay active and take advantage of the powerful combination of sports and tech.
The partnership with NFLPA comes through the association’s OneTeam Collective, an athlete-driven business accelerator for innovative companies seeking to incorporate sports strategies to drive growth.
“As a professional athlete and a father, Play Impossible and Gameball is an exciting game option that connects kids’ passion for tech with the amazing benefits of physical activity – the one of a kind game system combines learning, having fun and staying healthy,” said Kelvin Beachum, New York Jets offensive tackle and OneTeam Collective athlete advisory board member.
Embedded with patented sensor technology to bring the digital action both indoors and outdoors, the Play Impossible Gameball has the durability of a beach volleyball and the ability to refuel in 20 seconds with the Rapid Charger.
The Gameball connects to an iPhone or iPad and the Play Impossible Gameball app, which prompts gameplay, tracks scores, reports progress, and updates with new games throughout the year, Monnin said.
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