NFL Alumni Association Enters Wearables Partnership to Improve Sleep

Apollo NeuroscienceTM, makers of the first scientifically-validated wearable that improves the body’s resilience to stress, announced a multi-year partnership with the National Football League Alumni Association (NFLAA), the oldest, most well-known and well-respected retired player organization in professional sports. The partnership is a result of ongoing conversations the NFLAA has had with its community looking for better tools for safely improving sleep, pain and mental health of retired athletes.

The NFLAA and Apollo Neuroscience have teamed up to provide former NFL players and their families with steeply discounted products and educational content to ensure their physical and mental well-being are cared for long after their playing careers are over. In addition, Apollo Neuroscience and the NFLAA are teaming up with The Board of Medicine to present “Where the Athletic Heart and Mind Meet,” a special webinar of the NFL Alumni’s Enlightenment Webisode series that dives deep on heart and cardiovascular wellbeing in athletes. The special episode will air live through Apollo Neuro and NFLAA channels on August 10.

Founded in 1967 by a group of successful retired NFL players, the NFL Alumni membership includes thousands of retired players, coaches, front office executives, spouses, cheerleaders, and avid fans. A primary mission of the NFL Alumni is “Caring for Our Own” as the organization informs, assists, and serves players in their post-NFL lives. Alumni are offered a diverse package of medical, business, and legal services to help keep them and their families healthy, productive, and connected to the league and their former teammates.

“We are thrilled to support the NFL Alumni Association’s mission to improve the health and wellbeing of retired NFL players and their families,” said Kathryn Fantauzzi, Co-Founder and CEO, Apollo Neuroscience. “Born in the lab at the University of Pittsburgh, the Apollo wearable is a non-invasive and safe tool to improve sleep quality, mood and focus. We’re excited to be able to deliver the Apollo technology to former NFL players as part of our partnership with the NFL Alumni Association so they can experience the benefits of this novel, scientifically-validated technology first-hand.”


As part of the three-year deal, Apollo Neuro will extend significant discounts to any retired NFL player, cheerleader, or executive who is part of the NFL Alumni Association and interested in experiencing the health benefits of the Apollo wearable. The Apollo wearable works by engaging with your sense of touch, delivering silent, soothing vibrations to rebalance and strengthen your nervous system, helping you go from “fight or flight” to “rest and digest.” The Apollo technology is proven to enhance physical and mental recovery, performance, sleep, and heart rate variability (HRV) – a key indicator of resilience to stress.

The most common health goals among NFL Alumni include improved quality of sleep, pain, and cardiovascular health – further solidifying the importance of this partnership. In an ongoing sleep study to understand the Apollo wearable’s impact on sleep and cardiovascular health, those who used Apollo consistently (3+ hours a day, 5+ days a week, during the day and night) saw significant improvements in sleep and cardiovascular health metrics. Preliminary findings showed the following improvements (on average) within just three months:

  • 19% increase in deep sleep
  • 14% increase in REM sleep
  • 30 minutes more sleep each night
  • 11% increase in HRV
  • 4% decrease in resting heart rate

“We are extremely excited about teaming up with Apollo Neuro to bring another valuable resource to the thousands of former professional football players, executives, cheerleaders, coaches and their families who make up the NFL Alumni Association,” said Beasley Reece, CEO, NFL Alumni Association. “Working closely with such a cutting edge and inventive company like Apollo Neuro aligns perfectly with our goal to provide continued care and the latest in medical, mental health and wellness-enriching tools and resources to our community.”

“I have been a huge proponent of Apollo Neuro since I was first introduced to the Apollo wearable a couple of years ago,” said Dr. Joseph Maroon, MD, FACS, Clinical Professor and Vice Chairman, Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center & consultant Neurosurgeon for the Pittsburgh Steelers. “Dr. Dave Rabin and his team have developed a device that can increase your heart rate variability. In fact, Apollo is the only wearable device available that will modulate your heart rate variability to a higher level and put you in a meditative state without actually meditating. I recommend Apollo to my patients who may be struggling with sleep issues or feelings of anxiety, stress and/or depression – all things that we, unfortunately, see many former professional athletes struggle with once their playing days are behind them.”

The partnership with Apollo Neuro furthers the NFL Alumni’s commitment to developing additional resources and programs that champion tools to help former players improve their overall health, mental health and wellbeing.


Apollo is a wellness wearable, developed by neuroscientists and physicians, that improves the body’s resilience to stress, allowing users to relax, sleep, focus, recover, and feel better. Worn on the wrist or ankle, the Apollo wearable works by engaging with the sense of touch, delivering silent, soothing vibrations that help remind users that they are safe and in control.

Apollo Neuro’s technology trains the nervous system to bounce back from stress more quickly, going from “fight or flight” to “rest and digest.” Over time, the body learns to recover from stress more quickly, to help deliver feelings of relaxation and promote deeper sleep and more consistent clear focus.

Across the research, Apollo users (on average) experienced:

Source: Apollo Neuro

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