R/GA Rethinks Sports and the Future of Fandom

Little Black Book

R/GA’s Dockery Walker outlines the implications of several recent trends that may serve as indicators of the future of fandom and suggests how organisations can better connect with customers

In 2015, the Los Angeles Dodgers launched the first-ever sports tech startup accelerator in partnership with R/GA Ventures. At the time, the Dodgers were embarking on uncharted territory given that before the launch, such a commitment to investment in early-stage technology and innovation from a professional sports organisation was rare.
At the conclusion of this effort, the sports innovation landscape looked a lot different. Investment in the space was up from $1.4 billion in 2015 to $2.4 billion in 2018 in North America. Investment firms and VCs had begun raising sport-focused funds and would continue to inject billions in new capital into the sports sector annually. Corporate stakeholders began to take notice of this increased activity and looked for ways to leverage emerging technology in their respective business models through capital investment and strategic partnerships.
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