EON Sports VR is bringing virtual reality to sports training, and it recently scored a key partnership and endorsement from Jason Giambi, a retired Major League Baseball player and five-time All-Star selection.

The Kansas City company was founded in 2013 to solve a pain point.

“I kept seeing a lot of wasted energy and wasted time,” EON Sports co-founder and CEO Brendan Reilly said.

While earning a bachelor’s degree in sports management at the University of Kansas, he was a student assistant to KU basketball coach Bill Self. The athletes would be handed stacks of paper with game strategies and DVDs of game film, but he’d often watch those tools immediately be thrown in the trash.

EON Sports offers football and baseball virtual reality training packages and is working on rolling out one for soccer. It also plans to eventually launch a basketball training package. The training packages feature lifelike game scenarios and include two types: those geared toward professional sports teams and those for amateur athletes ages 10 to 18. Thousands of consumers are using EON Sports’ training packages, and the startup also is working with three MLB teams, pro football’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers and seven colleges.
For the Project OPS package, Giambi provided invaluable insight that helped EON Sports improve its software, Reilly said.

“He said, ‘I really want to be involved in figuring out a way we can take this technology and apply it to the most boring aspects of the game that every kid needs to know.’ He said that comes down to strike zone awareness,'” Reilly said. “What separates the guys who make it and the guys who don’t is the ability to see the ball and make a decision. Is that a strike? Is that a ball? Do I lay off it? Do I swing? It’s a timing thing, and it’s an eyes thing. It only comes from being in the batter’s box, getting to see and experience that over and over again.”

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