In the perhaps not-so-distant future, NFL players will be able to monetize intimate data about their body.
The NFL Players Association recently closed a deal with Whoop, a wearable tech company that makes wristbands that track heart rate, sleep quality, and more.
Whoop will now hand out wristbands to NFL players who will own the data produced by their wearables and can sell that information to, as Bloomberg wrote, a network that could then broadcast the heart rate of that player throughout a particular game.
Players don’t have to sell their data, and they don’t even have to wear the wristbands. But if they do both, it could provide some pretty fascinating insights.
Does that one quarterback look out of shape? Well, now you can look up his data. Is that injured player ready to return to the field? Check his profile to find out.
Bloomberg reports that the NFLPA and Whoop will examine the data to learn more about how NFL players recover during the season, in hopes of better protecting players from injury. In exchange, Whoop gets to sell wristbands designed by NFL players, and of course now has the endorsement of a player organization in the most popular sports league in the United States.
The effects of this type of data availability, while unknown, are somewhat creepy to contemplate. Whoop has worked with college athletes and not given those athletes control of the data on them, allowing coaches to know whether the student-athletes are, for example, getting “enough” rest on Friday and Saturday nights.
NFL athletes seem to have significantly more control—but, if wearing these wristbands becomes widespread, we’ll see how much pressure is put on athletes to conform.