NFL players can track and sell their own health data

It's part of a deal struck between the NFLPA and wearable maker Whoop.

Richard Carson / Reuters

Professional athletes know that it's not just the matches and training sessions that matter: it's what you do in your downtime too. Whoop's wearable straps specialise in this area, tracking your movement, heart rate, and ambient temperature to better understand your health and recovery rate. Now, it's being adopted by the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA), which means straps will be handed out to every current and incoming player in the US. Whether they'll wear them is a mystery, but the hope is that they'll be used to track and optimize their training schedules, reducing injuries and improving in-game performance.

The partnership is being handled by the 'OneTeam Collective,' a sports-focused accelerator joint-owned by the NFLPA. The deal means that players will, if they choose, be able to sell their own health and performance data. That could be attractive to technology companies -- who want to better the algorithms and training regimes they offer to customers -- rivals teams and coaching staff. It could also be useful to medical professionals who need a substantial dataset to conduct new research and analysis. In addition, Whoop and the NFLPA will be generating reports to "advance player safety" and "maximize athletic performance."

As Bloomberg reports, it could even be used by TV broadcasters who want to add some extra stats to their half-time match analysis. "Picture this," Scott Soshnick writes, "a television network during an NFL broadcast comparing the heart rates of star players doing the same workout -- or while they sleep. Say Tom Brady versus Cam Newton. Now picture being able to determine which player's body was better prepared to play."

Whoop's straps have already being embraced by Major League Baseball. They're not just for hardcore athletes though: the standard Whoop Strap 2.0 costs $500, which is pricier than the average Fitbit and the Apple Watch Nike+, but cheaper than hiring a personal trainer day in, day out.