• Mayo Clinic teams with NFL, Comcast NBCUniversal for third annual ‘1st and Future’ Super Bowl start-up competition

Wireless connection futuristic concept

ROCHESTER, Minn. —The NFL, Comcast NBCUniversal and Mayo Clinic today opened the submission process for "1st and Future" — the NFL’s annual Super Bowl startup competition designed to spur advancements in athlete safety and performance. "1st and Future" will be held at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis on Feb. 3, 2018, the day before Super Bowl LII.

Beginning today, entrepreneurs and innovators may submit entries in three categories:

• Advancements in Protective Equipment
This category includes developments in football helmet technology to protect athletes better.

• Technology to Improve Athletic Performance
This category includes new innovations that leverage the use of data or immersive technology to advance athlete health and performance.

• New Therapies to Speed Recovery
This category includes new technologies to improve care and accelerate recovery.

Up to nine startups will pitch game-changing technologies as they compete for $50,000 and two tickets to Super Bowl LII. They will have a chance to pitch their idea to a panel of judges and an exclusive audience, including NFL team owners and executives and representatives from the Minneapolis Super Bowl Host Committee, Comcast NBCUniversal and Mayo Clinic.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with Comcast NBCUniversal as well as Mayo Clinic to support innovators who are committed to advancing sports technology and athlete health and safety,” says Jeff Miller, Executive Vice President of Health and safety Initiatives, NFL.

Up to nine companies will be selected to compete in Minneapolis. One winner from each category will be selected by a panel of judges that includes former NFL players, entrepreneurs and medical experts. In addition to the opportunity to present their innovations, the winning team from each category will receive a $50,000 check from the NFL and two tickets to Super Bowl LII.

NFL 1st and Future logo

Minneapolis-based SportsEngine Inc., a division of Comcast NBCUniversal’s NBC Sports Group and the leading youth sports technology provider, will serve as a home base for the competing companies during the week prior to the "1st and Future" competition.

“As the U.S. television home of Super Bowl LII, we’re excited to partner with NFL and Mayo Clinic to support entrepreneurial efforts toward breakthroughs in athlete safety and performance,” says Rob Simmelkjaer, senior vice president, NBC Sports Ventures.

“As an organization that has been at the leading edge of medical innovation, we are excited to team with NFL and Comcast NBCUniversal to celebrate creativity and support new ideas that will transform athlete health and safety,” says Clark Otley, M.D., medical director of the Department of Business Development at Mayo Clinic.

For more information on the submission process, selection criteria and official rules, visit sportsengine.com/1st-and-future. Submission deadline is Jan. 5, 2018.


About the NFL’s Play Smart. Play Safe. Initiative
In September 2016, Commissioner Roger Goodell launched "Play Smart. Play Safe." —an initiative to drive progress in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of head injuries, enhance medical protocols; and further improve the way the game is taught and played. As part of the initiative, the NFL and its 32 club owners pledged $100 million to help spur independent medical research and engineering advancements. For more information about the initiative, please visit www.PlaySmartPlaySafe.com.

About Comcast Corporation
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company with two primary businesses, Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal. Comcast Cable is one of the nation’s largest video, high-speed Internet and phone providers to residential customers under the XFINITY brand and also provides these services to businesses. NBCUniversal operates news, entertainment and sports cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, television production operations, television station groups, Universal Pictures; and Universal Parks and Resorts. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information.

About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to clinical practice, education and research, providing expert, comprehensive care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit mayoclinic.org/about-mayo-clinic or newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org.

Jill Pike, NFL, jill.pike@nfl.com
Alex Riethmiller, NFL, alex.riethmiller@nfl.com
Jamie Palatini, NBC Sports Group, jamie.palatini@nbcuni.com
Duska Anastasijevic, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, newsbureau@mayo.edu

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