Global Sports Venture Studio, a new platform backed by the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team and investment and innovation firm R/GA Ventures, has named Major League Baseball (MLB), Uefa, Major League Soccer (MLS) and the National Hockey League (NHL) among its founding partners.
The Studio aims to help leaders from the sports and entertainment industries get ahead of disruption by connecting them with emerging startups, data and meaningful collaboration.
The overall objective of the Studio is to then establish relationships that can help its founding partners create a 360-degree view of the sports, technology and entertainment landscape in order to drive innovation within the sports industry.
Throughout the program, the Studio will also support its partners in their pilots or integrations with startups, and will also play an advisory role as they look to acquire or invest.
Also among the Studio’s founding partners are Adidas, Dick’s Sporting Goods, E15, Fox Sports, Levy and Octagon Sports and Entertainment Network, while Uefa is also listed as the platform’s European anchor partner.
"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."
The Studio will highlight a variety of topics including data optimisation, media rights, the future of retail, sports betting, youth sports, player performance, next-gen content platforms, venue innovation and fan experience. The program’s partners will have regular access to experts and founders across these areas of focus.
"Studio programming will address the technologies, behaviours, 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-customised opportunities for engagement between the founding partners and the best early-stage startups and growth-stage companies."
"The Global Sports Venture Studio provides us with a compelling opportunity to tap into emerging technologies and behaviours that promise to resonate with our young and diverse fanbase," added 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."