Sports industry heavyweights back incubator venture

Global Sports Venture Studio, a new platform designed to connect industry leaders with startup companies, has signed partnerships with a host of high-profile sports properties.

Adidas, Dick’s Sporting Goods, E15, Fox Sports, Levy, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, the NHL ice hockey league and Octagon Sports and Entertainment Network have all signed up as founding partners of the venture. Uefa, the governing body of European football, has also joined as a European anchor partner.

The platform will centre on the strategic objectives of each founding partner and will provide industry leaders with access to startups, data and meaningful collaboration.

Global Sports Venture Studio has been built as an offshoot of the accelerator program of MLB team the Los Angeles Dodgers, in conjunction with R/GA Ventures, the investment and innovation arm of the R/GA agency.

The Studio will address topics such as data optimisation, media rights, retail, sports betting, youth sports, player performance, next-generation content platforms, venue innovation and fan experience. Partners will receive access to content from experts and founders who specialise in these areas of focus.

Tucker Kain (pictured), chief financial officer for the Dodgers and managing partner of Elysian Park Ventures, the team’s investment arm, said: “Our founding partners are leaders within the sports and entertainment ecosystem, and we're looking forward to experimenting and innovating together.

“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.”

Gary Stevenson, president and managing director of MLS Business Ventures, added: “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 fan base.

“The Studio will support our ongoing efforts to grow the sports industry and build a league for the future.”