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Opinion: Smirnoff Cocktails Hour, Digital Health Funding, Wearables Accuracy, Small Business Closes, Post-Pandemic Gym Visit

Opinion: Smirnoff Cocktails Hour, Digital Health Funding, Wearables Accuracy, Small Business Closes, Post-Pandemic Gym Visit


Smirnoff Cocktails Hour: Largest Vodka brand pairs virtual barre workouts with influencer-hosted happy hours
Fitness | Marketing Drive | Mar. 1 2021

Athletech’s Take: 
What does alcohol and fitness have to do with each other? Smirnoff is among one of the alcohol brands that have utilized online events to engage homebound consumers during the pandemic by combining exercise and cocktails. Following a guided workout by SideBarre founders, the cocktail portion of the Smirnoff event will showcase actors Laverne Cox and Diane Guerrero and professional soccer player Megan Rapinoe discussing tips on making sugar-free cocktails. This will help promote Smirnoff’s Zero Sugar Infusions line. What is also super sweet about this collaboration is Smirnoff’s pledge of $50,000 to Black Girl Ventures, a charity group that provides Black and Brown women-identifying business founders with access to capital.

As Mental Health Goes Digital, Providers Will Go Public
Finance | Forbes | Mar. 1, 2021

Athletech’s Take: 
“Digital health is on fire right now. It’s gone from a really-interesting-to-have to a C-suite must-have.” According to Mergermarket data, about $1.31B in private capital was invested in virtual behavioral health in 2020. In the first few months of 2021, $554 million has already been pumped into the space demonstrating the incredible financial opportunities.

Wearables don’t work the same on dark skin. It’s time to change that
Tech | Digital Trends | Feb. 28, 2021

Athletech’s Take: 
Wearables equipped with heart rate tech are now mainstream. Fitbits, Apple Watches, Garmins Whoop Straps are adorned by people everywhere. Beyond academic studies, limited attention has been given to how skin tone impacts the accuracy of these devices. Studies show that the darker the skin, the less accurate a heart rate sensor could be. The reason: the sensor can be blocked by melanin in the skin’s base cell layer. While some companies note the effect of body hair and tattoos on reading heart rate, few have raised the issue of skin tone. This begs the question of what these companies can do to ensure that their devices are optimal for all their users.

Surviving the pandemic remains a struggle for local small businesses
Business | WRDW/WAGT | Mar. 1, 2021

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Athletech’s Take: 
We tend to cover big stories at Athletech but we would not be doing our jobs well if we didn’t try to highlight the full scale of the industry. This story hit us particularly hard as it exemplifies the reality of small fitness businesses today. In Georgia a fitness founder’s dream comes to fruition.  A business started in a basement grows steadily but is then halted by the pandemic. The founder lays off her team, starts to stream virtual classes, cuts overhead, secures a loan from the Small Business Administration…but in the end it wasn’t enough. One more small business having to throw in the towel due to COVID-19.

Here’s What Your Post-Pandemic Gym Visit Looks Like
Fitness | ISPO | Mar. 1, 2021

Athletech’s Take: 
At ISPO Munich Online 2021, CEOs and leaders across the fitness industry discussed what is next for fitness in a post-COVID world. Key themes should come at no surprise and include hybrid fitness models combining online and in person training options, the rise of outdoor fitness, and of course the inclusion of mental health as part of what it means to be fit.

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