Is this the future of football manufacturing technology?
Published: Thursday, 28 August 2014 11:59
by Zach Barnett
Navy will wear some sweet alternate uniforms on Saturday, but perhaps the most impactful aspect of the Midshipmen's getup will not be what they're wearing, but what they're touching - the football itself
The balls Navy will use against Ohio State will be equipped with a first-of-its-kind tracking technology built into balls produced by leading manufacturer Big Game USA. From the press release: Big Game embeds a gametagTM near the football's laces, using the app, the ball can be tracked from the moment it leaves the factory. Once tracking begins, the history of the ball is recorded and all activity is sent to a secure database operated by Prova.
"Gametag is cutting-edge technology that immediately changes the way game balls are authenticated, while also improving quality control of official college footballs we produce," said Big Game founder Chris Calandro. "We love the idea that the life of our footballs can now be tracked and preserved alongside the history of the game."
The technology will actually debut in Thursday night's Texas A&M at South Carolina game, and will be used throughout the season by Mississippi State and Nebraska in addition to the Aggies and Midshipmen.
"We're excited about the ability to track our game balls with gametag," said Navy assistant athletics director Greg Morgenthaler. "The technology gametag uses is unlike anything we've ever seen."
This technology clearly is more of a godsend for the collector's market. The ability to sell the football Keenan Reynolds threw the game-winning touchdown with to beat No. 6 Ohio State, with definitive proof, should help drive up value. But now Big Game has proven it can implant a microchip into a game-quality football, what's stopping them from using a GPS microchip to take the guesswork out of spotting the ball?
Now that would be a true game-changer.