LA Dodgers eye esports with latest accelerator program

09 January 2018


The LA Dodgers has announced the launch of a global sports innovation platform which is designed to enable and support “strategic collaborations between forward-thinking organizations and emerging startups”. 

The release states that the new “Global Sports Venture Studio” will build on the success of previous Dodger Accelerator programs with R/GA (an American international advertising agency) to approach innovation as a team sport. In the long list of welcomed participants, “esports organizations” is stated amongst the,.

It expands to state that the ongoing initiative will lay the groundwork for efficient, risk-controlled innovation through “analysis, diligence, and business/creative strategy combined with startup sourcing, engagement opportunities and investment”. 

Tucker Kain, Dodgers Chief Financial Officer stated: “The Dodgers organization has seen great success with our previous accelerator programs by embracing disruption and taking a close look at new technologies and shifts in consumer behavior. We now want to open up this platform for others in the global sports and startup ecosystem to experiment with innovation, share success and grow as an industry.”

The work undertaken by the Global Sports Venture Studio will be supported by a program of curated events which will take place globally. The release states they will initially take place in Los Angeles and New York before expanding to London and other cities around the world. 

Stephen Plumlee, Global Chief Operating Officer of R/GA and Managing Partner of R/GA Ventures commented: “Our programs are designed to provide value to our corporate program partners and to startups. By evolving the program model towards a more collaborative and global approach, the Global Sports Venture Studio will better enable program partners to capitalize on disruptive technologies and emerging consumer behaviors on an ongoing basis.”

The release also lists a number of benefits from being a “Studio Partner” including: 

  • Knowledge capital in the form of access to research and insights around trends and tech relevant to Partners’ businesses
  • Customized innovation assessments
  • Identification of, and access to, curated networking opportunities
  • Access to exclusive events, content, and data  
  • Pilot integrations and other customized engagement with Studio-affiliated startups
  • Investment opportunities

It further adds that participating startups will have the opportunity to gain value from a combination of financial, creative and Partner network capital including: 

  • Introductions to Studio Partners, R/GA’s network of industry-leading clients and affiliated Interpublic agencies, and companies associated with Elysian Park and its ownership group
  • Potential investments from Elysian Park Ventures, R/GA Ventures, other Studio Partners, and a curated network of investors
  • Access to teams of strategists/designers/writers/technologists to help develop products, services, and brand value
  • Press/PR opportunities supported by R/GA’s Corporate Communications team.

Esports Insider says: It’s interesting yet unsurprising that we see yet another big name North American sports franchise eyeing the wonderful world of esports. It’ll be interesting to see who makes the cut for the new scheme from esports and where they decide to go with it now the NA LCS and OWL are fully franchised (for the time being).