The proceeds from the round will accelerate the company’s development of the industry’s leading source of fan behavior data and insights
Sports Innovation Lab, a data-driven fan intelligence company, has completed raising a round of funding that increases the company’s total capital raised to $5.8 million. This latest round was co-led by Elysian Park Ventures, the private investment arm of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ ownership group, and Eileen Murray, the former co-CEO of Bridgewater Associates, with participation from a number of private and public equity investors, including sports, media and technology investment platform Aser Ventures.
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Former NBA champion and IOC Athletes’ Commission member Pau Gasol and former NBA champion Shane Battier also participated in the round, as well as DraftKings CEO and Co-Founder Jason Robins, actress and Touch fanwear founder Alyssa Milano, former EY Global Vice Chair of Public Policy Beth Brooke, Gaingels – an investment syndicate supporting LGBT and diverse leadership in venture capital – and digital agency R/GA’s investment arm R/GA Ventures, amongst others. These participants join previous investors such as Firehouse Capital, Seattle Sounders Co-Owner & President of Operations Peter Tomozawa, and women’s-focused seed fund Golden Seeds.
Sports Innovation Lab’s securement of additional capital signals accelerated growth for the company, which has established itself as a frontrunner in supporting the world’s largest sports organizations with their market research and strategic plans to future proof their businesses.
“Sports Innovation Lab has powered the sports industry with data and fan intelligence for the past five years,” said Sports Innovation Lab CEO and Co-Founder Angela Ruggiero. “Our data platform and behavioral analysis are providing a new lens through which teams, leagues, and brands can understand their fans and provide breakthrough fan experiences. The sports industry is evolving rapidly because technology is changing fan behaviors. We help our clients stay ahead of the game through our data-driven approach.”
Elysian Park Ventures Co-Founder and Managing Partner Cole Van Nice added: “The sports industry needs a company that can provide a data-driven understanding of fan behavior. We’re excited to join Sports Innovation Lab as an investment partner because they’re already working with the world’s leading sports organizations and brands in this way, providing and utilizing data to develop breakthrough fan experiences. CEO Angela Ruggiero possesses a unique understanding of what’s missing in the sports industry as a former Olympian and International Olympic Committee Member, and has used that insight to develop an innovative approach to fan intelligence the industry desperately needs. The timing, opportunity, and leadership vision is right for Sports Innovation Lab.”
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“I’m dedicated to seeing gender equity in my lifetime,” said Alyssa Milano, founder of Touch by Alyssa Milano. “I’m thrilled to be an investor in Sports Innovation Lab as they continue their important work in unlocking the business potential of women’s sports.”
Leaders in Women’s Sports
Sports Innovation Lab’s fundraise coincides with a year that saw the organization cement itself as a leader in the business of women’s sports. Earlier this year, its groundbreaking The Fan Project report found that women’s sports is the path to growth for the entire sports industry, and unveiled a new industry blueprint called the Community-Based Monetization Model that shows businesses how to maximize revenue streams across sports verticals by catering to behaviors strongly exhibited by fans of women’s sports. Recommendations from the report, which built on years of research on Fluid Fans™, have since been adopted by leaders at global brands and sports organizations.
Last week, Sports Innovation Lab also announced the formation of the Women’s Sports Leadership Board, bringing together more than two dozen leading executives from leagues, media networks, brands, retailers, and other influential properties from across the sports landscape. The board is the first of its kind, specifically dedicated to accelerating the growth and commercialization of women’s sports, and includes Elysian Park Ventures’ Cole Van Nice, amongst directors from other brands including ESPN, WNBA, LPGA, PHF, Facebook, International Tennis Federation, Coca-Cola, Mastercard, Visa, and more.
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