With 2017 coming to a close, we’re taking a look back at the top stories of the year through the lens of WHOOP. In today’s Part 1, we focus on the big moments in big sports.
Last spring, Time Magazine published a feature on WHOOP entitled “Why Professional Athletes Love This Fitness Band.” Right off the bat, that story set the tone for 2017.
In March, on the heels of a 2016 performance study conducted by WHOOP and Major League Baseball (the largest of its kind in American pro sports history), the WHOOP Strap 2.0 was approved by MLB for in-game use during the 2017 season.
— WHOOP (@whoop) March 20, 2017
In a sport that plays games nearly every day for six months out of the year, this was a major breakthrough for players looking to get a full 24/7 understanding of their biometric data. Our founder and CEO Will Ahmed made an appearance on ESPN’s Sportscenter to discuss the benefits of WHOOP on the field:
The following month, WHOOP and the NFL Players Association announced a deal to make the WHOOP Strap the officially licensed recovery wearable of the NFLPA. A key piece of the story was that the players own the rights to their data, not the league. This enables the players to market the data however they choose.
The NFL uses data and distributes the information to their broadcast partners. Players can now, similarly, do the same. This is big. @NFLPA
— Russell Okung (@RussellOkung) April 24, 2017
The possibilities are endless–from daily WHOOP Recoveries listed in fantasy football apps, to a kicker’s live heart rate being broadcast on television as he lines up for a game-winning field goal. Chargers’ Pro-Bowler Darrell Stuckey joined Ahmed at Fortune Magazine’s Brainstorm HEALTH conference to explore what the future might hold:
The spring of 2017 also saw WHOOP make a major splash in the NBA. Players getting enough rest became one of the most prominent storylines of the season, and some of the league’s biggest names were spotted wearing WHOOP to help manage it properly:
— NBA (@NBA) March 18, 2017
Over the summer, WHOOP emerged as a popular offseason training tool for NBA players looking to get to the next level:
It wasn’t just the men, either. At the GeekWire Sports Tech Summit in June, WNBA superstar Sue Bird proudly displayed her WHOOP Strap while saying the following about wearable technology: “If it’s going to help you, if it’s going to elongate your career, you are an idiot if you don’t use it, why wouldn’t you use it?”
WNBA legend Sue Bird: Athletes who don’t embrace sports tech are idiots https://t.co/uFtXX4YUJw
— GeekWire (@geekwire) June 22, 2017
Beyond the major pro sports, 2017 also marked the year that WHOOP became the go-to wearable for the most elite functional fitness athletes on the planet.
The Strain metric gives them the ability to quantify their training in a way no other technology can, and also enables them to compare the effects that similar workouts have on their bodies.
When the 2017 games rolled around in August, more than 25% of the athletes participating were wearing WHOOP.
— The Barbell Spin (@TheBarbellSpin) July 26, 2017
Among the champions at the games, Dave Hippensteel successfully defended his title as the “fittest 60-year-old on Earth.” Hippensteel discussed how WHOOP helped him prioritize Sleep and optimize Recovery when it mattered most.
Outside of the United States, WHOOP took center stage at the badminton world championships in late August, where 23-year-old Viktor Axelsen captured the title. Axelsen spoke with us about his Recovery techniques shortly before his historic victory.
— SportTechie (@SportTechie) November 26, 2017
The Blue Devils entered the season ranked No. 1 in the country and cruised to an 11-0 start. After winning its first 11 games by an average of 20.3 points, Duke suffered its first loss at Boston College earlier this month. It’s likely not a coincidence that the Eagles also wear WHOOP.
Stay tuned for our “Best of 2017: Part 2” later this week. We’ll take a look at the more notable accomplishments from WHOOP users, as well as the year’s most popular stories on The Locker.