R/GA and LA Dodgers’ accelerator enters third iteration, renamed Global Sports Venture Studio

The Drum

The Los Angeles Dodgers and R/GA Ventures announced the expansion of their tech growth accelerator – which had marked success in its first two iterations – and their ambitions to take their studio and its offerings global. The new entity is now known as the Global Sports Venture Studio.

The first-of-its-kind partnership between the Major League Baseball team and the agency started in 2015, where the two entities picked 10 startups at different phases of development. The success of these companies led the Dodgers to relaunch the program in 2016, this time focusing on five startups already in their growth phase.

For the Global Sports Venture Studio, the Dodgers and R/GA insisted on having a rolling model that scales globally and interacts with partners from all over the sports industry. The partners of the startups selected, R/GA said in a statement, will be varied enough in expertise to allow collaborations amongst themselves.

One of the success stories that’s grown out of this incubator in the past was the Automated Broadcast Network, a combination of startups Keemotion, ShotTracker, and WSC. The three forces partnered with Intel and Fox Sports to provide an enhanced watching experience for NCAA basketball games last season, and doing the work of a whole 20-person broadcast team with just two cameras and a few sensors.

Dodgers’ chief financial officer Tucker Kain said: “The Dodgers organization has seen great success with our previous accelerator programs by embracing disruption and taking a close look at new technologies and shifts in consumer behavior. We now want to open up this platform for others in the global sports and startup ecosystem to experiment with innovation, share success and grow as an industry.”

This “risk-controlled” environment, they hoped, will provide collaborations between brands and start-ups on a year-round basis.

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