Comcast is launching SportsTech, a new accelerator program for sports tech startups that will focus on media and entertainment applications, among other areas.
SportsTech’s mission reaches across the entire sports ecosystem to cover wide open areas including athlete and player performance; team and coach success, and business. But many of the areas of focus relate closely to video and engagement, including sports venue and event innovations; fantasy sports; sports betting and esports.
“The demand for sports technology across the globe has never been greater, yet most sports startups don’t have access to the resources they need to succeed nor an ability to develop relationships with the right people inside the industry,” said Jenna Kurath, vice president of startup partner development at Comcast Cable, in a statement. “SportsTech will provide the curriculum and platform for founders to develop their ideas while obtaining mentorship from leaders in multiple sports, enabling them to further deploy their technologies to dramatically improve sports experiences for athletes and audiences alike.”
SportsTech partners will include three of Comcast NBCUniversal’s sports brands – NBC Sports, Sky Sports and Golf Channel – alongside NASCAR and two U.S. Olympic sports organizations: U.S. Ski & Snowboard and USA Swimming. Comcast Ventures, the company’s San Francisco-based venture capital arm, will also be involved.
Beginning in August 2020, SportsTech will offer a three-month program for up to 10 startups. The program will be based in The Battery Atlanta/SunTrust Park, where Comcast Cable’s Central Division headquarters is located.
SportsTech is the third accelerator created by Comcast NBCUniversal in the last three years, joining LIFT Labs Accelerator, based out of the company’s global headquarters at the Comcast Technology Center in Philadelphia, and The Farm, located in Atlanta.
Comcast’s other accelerators have dabbled in sport technology. Last year’s LIFT included Edisn.ai, which creates interactive and personalized sports content by applying its artificial intelligence-powered player recognition engine to live video streams in real time. The platform also allows users to share videos and interact with their friends on social networks without leaving the screen. It also included GameOn, which creates interactive sports elements by taking stats and odds, and turning them into prediction games. Viewers then watch games after making predictions and, if they get the most predictions correct, they can win cash and brand partner prizes of up to $100,000.