Comcast launches sports tech accelerator with three US sports bodies

US media company Comcast NBCUniversal has launched SportsTech, a new global accelerator programme for sports technology start-ups.

NBC Sports, Sky Sports and Golf Channel have partnered up on the initiative and will be joined by North American stock car-racing series Nascar, U.S. Ski & Snowboard and USA Swimming. Comcast Ventures, the company’s San Francisco-based venture capital arm, will also serve as a partner for the project.

Each partner will serve on an advisory committee that will influence the innovation priorities of SportsTech. The partners will provide start-ups with access to strategic industry relationships, mentorship and partnership opportunities.

Comcast NBCUniversal has encouraged early-stage start-ups to apply for the inaugural class, which begins in August. The accelerator will be based in The Battery Atlanta/Truist Park, where the company’s central division headquarters are located. The deadline for applications is May 15.

The three-month custom-tailored programme for up to 10 start-ups will launch in August. Initial focus areas will include media and entertainment, fan and player engagement, athlete and player performance, team and coach success, sports venue and event innovation, fantasy sports and sports wagering, esports, and the business of sport.

Selected start-ups will be based in Atlanta for the duration of the accelerator and will operate from SportsTech’s offices at The Battery at Truist Park. Accepted start-ups will receive $50,000 (€45,000) in equity-based funding as part of the initiative.

Jenna Kurath, vice-president of start-up partner development for Comcast Cable, said: “The demand for sports technology across the globe has never been greater, yet most sports start-ups don’t have access to the resources they need to succeed nor an ability to develop relationships with the right people inside the industry.

“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 becomes the third accelerator launched by Comcast NBCUniveral in the last three years, after LIFT Labs Accelerator and The Farm. Boomtown Accelerators, which operates The Farm, will also direct SportsTech.