Are you currently running or thinking about launching a startup that will impact or change the course of the sports industry as we know it? Would you like to have the opportunity to work alongside leaders from organizations like Fox Sports, Levy, and Major League Baseball? Thanks to the work of the Los Angeles Dodgers and R/GA, would be entrepreneurs will now have that opportunity.
Six months after launching in January 2018, the Global Sports Venture Studio has announced its Founding Partners: adidas, DICK’S Sporting Goods, E15, Fox Sports, Levy, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, National Hockey League, Octagon Sports and Entertainment Network, and UEFA, which joins as the program’s European anchor Partner.
The goal of the partners is to create a 360º view of the sports, technology, and entertainment landscape—and represent the Studio’s thesis that the greatest innovations in sport will be the result of strategic collaborations.
“Our Founding Partners are leaders within the sports and entertainment ecosystem, and we’re looking forward to experimenting and innovating together,” said Tucker Kain, Chief Financial Officer of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Managing Partner of Elysian Park Ventures, their investment arm. “We’re excited to build on the success of the Dodgers Accelerator with R/GA to establish a new model that truly brings together some of our industry’s brightest minds.”
Leagues like MLS and MLB will be able to leverage the studio to help deliver solutions that will provide them with opportunities to continue to grow their respective sports.
“The Global Sports Venture Studio provides us with a compelling opportunity to tap into emerging technologies and behaviors that promise to resonate with our young and diverse fan base,” said Gary Stevenson, President and Managing Director of MLS Business Ventures. “The Studio will support our ongoing efforts to grow the sports industry and build a league for the future.”
The Studio will address a variety of topics including data optimization, media rights, future of retail, sports betting, youth sports, player performance, next-gen content platforms, venue innovation, and fan experience, among others. Throughout the year, Partners will have access to subject matter experts as well as founders who are breaking new ground across these areas of focus.
Throughout the program, private Studio activities will also focus on helping Partners tackle the “last mile of innovation,” designing and supporting the execution of pilots and integrations with groundbreaking startups, advising them as they look to acquire or invest, and providing ongoing venture consulting.
“Studio programming will address the technologies, behaviors, and innovations that Partners should be considering,” said Stephen Plumlee, Global Chief Operating Officer of R/GA and Managing Partner of R/GA Ventures. “Then the Studio will leverage that foundation to provide highly-customized opportunities for engagement between the Founding Partners and the best early-stage startups and growth-stage companies.”
In the end, this type of resource gives startups the access to the people they need to get their product to market and allows properties the opportunity to leverage new tech to deliver better experiences for their fans, a win-win for all parties involved.