The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Intel Capital have announced a multi-year investment partnership.
The NBA + Intel Capital Emerging Technology Initiative will seek to identify technologies from global companies that have the potential to impact the future of sports and entertainment from both an athlete and fan perspective.
The collaboration will be particularly focused on US-based startups that the NBA and Intel Capital will evaluate for potential partnership and investment opportunities. The NBA and Intel Capital will then provide mentorship, strategic planning and business development support for the chosen companies.
The NBA is specifically searching for new technology solutions that can enhance the league’s games on the court, as well as improving the overall fan experience and the sports industry worldwide.
The move marks a significant step towards the NBA owning the technology it uses instead of just licensing it, which is common practice for major sports leagues around the world.
The initiative is an expansion of the NBA’s existing multi-year technology partnership with Intel which was launched in November last year. That deal currently sees Intel provide its virtual reality capabilities and 360-degree volumetric video for the NBA’s global broadcast partners.
“We look forward to tapping into Intel Capital’s infrastructure and 27-year track record of identifying successful startups,” said Amy Brooks, president of team marketing and business operations and chief innovation officer at the NBA. “Together, we will identify and support the next generation of innovative sports and entertainment technology companies to find and develop new ways to enhance the game on the court and the fan experience.”
“Venture investments in sports reached US$1.5 billion in 2017, and the next five years in sports will be defined by even more technology disruption,” added Wendell Brooks, senior vice president of Intel Corporation and president of Intel Capital. “With this new initiative, the NBA and Intel Capital aim to bring extensive human and technology resources into companies we believe will lead the next wave of transformation in sports and entertainment.”