The recently created LA Dodgers Accelerator with R/GA, announced as the first-ever sports technology & entertainment accelerator, heralds more than one new development: it’s the first accelerator of its kind; R/GA is the first advertising agency to branch out into the startup scene; and the LA Dodgers is part of a new wave of major sports league teams getting into tech to enhance player performance, prevent future injuries, and improve spectator experience.
This new accelerator is targeting companies with innovative products and services at the intersection of sports, technology and entertainment. Emerging technologies are poised to change the way we live our lives and enjoy our free time, and our experience of sport as well.
As an industry, sport is a prime apple for startups to pick. The industry has vast resources and a captive fan base ready to buy into products and services that can enhance their enjoyment of their favorite sport, not to speak of the athletes who will certainly support any innovation that can put them at the top of the league. And the stands are empty: as yet, there are not many startups competing in this market.
Shockbox from Impakt Protective, Inc. recently acquired by i1 Biometrics, is an example of new technology that protects athletes against concussions. STATSports is an example of wearable technology that helps coaches and athletes to make decisions that improve performance. The Irish company is a world-leading provider of GPS performance analysis equipment.
The combined resources and connections of LA Dodgers and R/GA, one of the world’s largest advertising and marketing services organizations, makes the LA Dodgers Accelerator with R/GA an attractive proposition for startups and entrepreneurs interested in affecting the sports industry in some way with new and innovative products and services. They will certainly get a head start with all the marketing expertise at their disposal.
“The sports industry is ripe with opportunities for innovation”, stated Tucker Kain, Chief Financial Officer of the Dodgers in a press release. “There are countless ways for new technology to create more powerful consumer experiences, heighten fan engagement, and improve efficiencies. We’re thrilled at the opportunity to work with some of the best sports-centric startups from the LA area and across the globe.”
The first ten companies chosen to join the accelerator will be notified on July 20. The program will be run from Los Angeles starting on 18 August until early November concluding in an invite-only Demo Day.