Richard Sherman, Like More NFL Stars, Is Playing the Tech Game

Richard Sherman plays football for a living, but he’s also tackling the technology game.

The four-time Pro Bowl cornerback, who recently signed a three-year, $39.15 million free-agent contract with the San Francisco 49ers, is one of a growing number of NFL stars helping promote tech start-ups.

He’s an ambassador for FleetWit, a trivia gaming platform that awards cash to its top players.

“The app sells itself,” says Sherman, who contacted FleetWit founder David Metz a few months ago to profess his love for the platform, from which he’s won $7,000 competing in categories for movies, sports, music, and Harry Potter. “It allows your wit and mind to be developed, and literally put your money where your mouth is.”

For Sherman, who also dabbles in cryptocurrency and tech stocks, his affiliation with FleetWit is a natural way to diversify his portfolio beyond football.

Indeed, Smart Play: Connecting Startups and Sports, a joint event run by the NFL Players Association and Amazon Launchpad, mixed tech start-ups, venture capitalists, and football players at’s headquarters last year in hopes of some corporate matchmaking. (The NFLPA operates a tech accelerator, called One Team Collective, that trades player licensing rights for equity. It has identified artificial intelligence, blockchain, customer experience, Cybersecurity, and consumer product innovation as five key themes in 2018.)

Sherman, who played football at nearby Stanford University, got early exposure to Silicon Valley, sparking his interest.

 The same is true for Coby Fleener. The former Stanford standout is an adviser to SyncThink’s eye-tracking system—virtual-reality goggles that check for symptoms of a hard hit within a minute. The headset wirelessly connects to a tablet that records and displays results of the eye-tracking test.

“I’ve always been interested in tech,” says Fleener, who plays tight end for the New Orleans Saints. He has investments in a few tech start-ups he declined to name.

“I was impressed with the technology” of SyncThink, Fleener says. “They’re doing important work.”

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