Fearless secures contract with NFL to track football stats, hiring initiatives

The NFL loves statistics. On any given Sunday in the fall, you can find out who rushed the most, was sacked the most or who broke the latest record.

Now, a fast-growing Baltimore tech company is getting a piece of the multibillion dollar statistic machine the NFL thrives on as well as efforts to bolster the league's march to diversify.

Fearless, a Black-owned software developer, recently won a contract to provide the league with game day data on yards, completions and other stats on individual players. The company is also keeping tabs on the NFL's hiring practices as the league strives for a more diverse workforce.

Fearless' deal is part of the NFL's $125 million commitment to hire Black-owned businesses. It's a game-changer for the fast-growing tech company that until now has mostly worked for government agencies. The company client list includes the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the U.S. Air Force.

“This is an opportunity to change culture and create equity with an organization that has shown that they are working to diversify the NFL’s business partnerships," said John Foster, chief operating officer of Fearless.

Foster said Fearless became connected to the NFL through the Contract with Black America Institute, a diversity-focused initiative led by O'Shea Jackson, who is also known as rapper and actor Ice Cube. The institute is helping the NFL identify companies so it can increase spending to Black businesses to help close the nation's racial and economic wealth gap.

"Black businesses play a major role in our country's economic prosperity," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in announcing the deal with Ice Cube in June.

Fearless' Foster said he has already seen the NFL participate in discussions between Fearless and other minority-owned companies on potential contract opportunities.

"We want to be bridge-builders," Foster said, adding that he contract is a growth opportunity for Fearless because it is the first large-scale commercial contract for the developer.

Fearless will also help the league standardize hiring data by doing things like hiding applicant names and locations to help foster inclusive hiring practices.

The contract between the league and the developer will continue for about two years. But Foster predicts the contract continuing for decades. He declined to disclose the dollar amount of the deal, saying the NFL barred him from disclosing it.

Fearless' NFL deal continues the company's growth.

The 13-year-old Fearless, which posted $48 million in revenue last year and is based at Spark Baltimore in Power Plant Live, was one of 10 companies selected this year for a five-year, $500 million federal contract to provide IT and business process services to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. That award came after Fearless won a federal contract last summer worth up to $120 million that it said would create dozens of new jobs.

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