Comcast NBCUniversal has announced the launch of a new accelerator programme for sports technology startups, SportsTech.
For the new programme the media giant will tap three of its sports brands spanning across the US and the UK, with NBC Sports, Sky Sports, and the Golf Channel set to collaborate with Nascar, the US stock car racing series, and two Olympic bodies - the US Ski and Snowboard Association (USS) and USA Swimming. Comcast Ventures, the company’s San Francisco-based venture capital arm, will round out the partnership.
Following the application process, ten startups will enter the three-month programme from August, receiving custom-tailored direct access to strategic industry relationships, mentorship, and partnership opportunities.
Applicants working in media; fan engagement; athlete performance; coaching success; venue innovation; wagering; esports and sports business have until 15th May to enter for the inaugural class. Successful startups will reside in Atlanta for the duration of the programme, operating out of SportsTech’s flagship location at The Battery at SunTrust Park, where Comcast’s The Farm accelerator is also based. SportsTech will be directed by Boomtown Accelerators, a leading accelerator programme headquartered in Boulder, Colorado.
Jenna Kurath, Comcast Cable’s vice president of startup partner development, added: “The demand for sports technology across the globe has never been greater, yet most sports startups don’t have access to the resources they need to succeed nor an ability to develop relationships with the right people inside the industry.
“SportsTech will provide the curriculum and platform for founders to develop their ideas while obtaining mentorship from leaders in multiple sports, enabling them to further deploy their technologies to dramatically improve sports experiences for athletes and audiences alike.”
Rob Webster, managing director of UK pay-TV network Sky Sports, added: “Sports have become the dominant driver of audience engagement both domestically and globally and it is paramount that we continue to make fundamental investments in delivering not only the best programming, but also in devising new ways to bring fans closer to the content that they love.
“Sky Sports has prioritised continued technological innovation through developments in Ultra HD, augmented reality and at home production as well as our expansive digital and social presence and we’re thrilled to join SportsTech and continue our commitment to emphasising growth and innovation that elevates the overall enjoyment of sports content.”