Czech startup Sense Arena, virtual training for NHL and ATP tour!

22. 05. 2024 | Natalie Bezděková

The huge success of Sense Arena, a Czech startup that focuses on virtual reality training. This innovative approach has attracted the attention of not only the famous NHL hockey team, but also the ATP Tennis Tour, making Sense Arena an official partner of both of these prestigious competitions.

Sense Arena’s founder, Bohdan “Bob” Tetiva, used to play basketball himself, but always wanted to connect with the NHL. This dream has come true thanks to his unique virtual training, which significantly helps athletes improve their performance. “We also have separate contracts with five NHL teams,” says Tetiva in an interview with Agenda SZ Business. Some of the users of this training include Seattle goalie Joey Daccord and Czech forward David Pastrnak.

The virtual hockey training focuses on strategy and decision-making, not physical training. The athlete puts on a virtual reality helmet and finds himself on the ice of an NHL arena. Here, various game situations take place where players simulate a real game. This training tool was first introduced to the U.S. U18 National Team during the Gretzky Cup in Breclav. Gradually, this innovative training became recognized among professional hockey players and led to official cooperation with the NHL.

Sense Arena has been a great commercial success, especially in North America. “90% of our revenue comes from the US and Canada,” says Tetiva. The Czech team Bílí Tygři Liberec is one of the few European users of the training system. The cost of training, without the virtual helmet, is affordable even for amateurs, leading to its widespread adoption. The startup has celebrated one hundred thousand downloads and sees hundreds of new installs per day. It reached four million dollars in sales in 2023 and has experienced 250% growth thanks to its collaboration with the NHL.

Tetiva has approximately 20% stake in the company, while the rest is owned by investors like J&T Ventures, Miton and Syner. “I wish I still had a majority, but it’s the classic story of a startup that needs funding to grow,” explains Tetiva. For further expansion, the company plans to raise a $1 million investment, which it plans to use to develop a full-fledged virtual reality game for fans.

After its success in hockey, Sense Arena entered the world of tennis and became the official training tool of the ATP Tour. Tetiva points out that they chose tennis because of its huge player base, which numbers 80 million active tennis players worldwide.

Sense Arena is an example of how a Czech startup with innovative technology can break into global sports and become a recognized partner of prestigious sports organizations.

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Author of this article

Natalie Bezděková

I am a student of Master's degree in Political Science. I am interested in marketing, especially copywriting and social media. I also focus on political and social events at home and abroad and technological innovations. My free time is filled with sports, reading and a passion for travel.


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