Startups spent six months participating in newly expanded custom curriculum in collaboration with a prestigious roster of sports partners, including the Premier League, NASCAR, PGA TOUR, and WWE, to enhance their technologies and explore business opportunities
Founders will showcase their innovations during a startup spotlight event today at the Sports Business Journal DRIVE conference in St. Louis
Comcast today announced that the 10 companies chosen for the third class of the Comcast NBCUniversal SportsTech Accelerator, powered by Boomtown, have secured 25 pilots, partnerships, and commercial deals while participating in the customized program.
Over the past six months, the 10 companies collaborated with experts from Comcast, NBCUniversal, Sky, and Boomtown, along with SportsTech’s advisors, including NBC Sports, NBC Sports Next, Sky Sports, Comcast Spectacor, and GOLF, as well as Premier League, NASCAR, WWE, and PGA TOUR, and three US Olympic sports organizations – U.S. Ski & Snowboard, USA Swimming, and USA Cycling – to hone and advance their readiness for commercial success.
During the Startup Spotlight event – taking place at the SBJ DRIVE conference in St. Louis today – these founders will continue to showcase the product-market fit of their technologies and discuss how some of the leading sports organizations are now applying these solutions to solve critical business challenges.
“Each startup team selected was enterprise-ready and given unique access to decision-makers from some of the top sports brands in the world,” said Jenna Kurath, Vice President, Startup Partnerships and Head of Comcast NBCUniversal SportsTech. “The relationships formed working one-on-one with sports leaders are invaluable and our founders took every opportunity to test and refine their technologies to deliver business value. Seeing our founders use their learnings from the program to gain deep customer insights to scale their businesses and find sustainable product fit in the market has been exciting. We are proud of what these entrepreneurs will continue to accomplish as we bring fans closer to the sports moments that matter.”
This year’s cohort has also benefited from a series of unique excursions and working retreats structured around SportsTech partner events:
- The program began with a week-long partner roadshow experience in Florida designed to deepen customer discovery, taking founders into behind-the-scenes experiences at Universal Studios Florida, NASCAR’s Daytona International Speedway, and the WWE Athlete Performance Center while also showcasing how PGA TOUR and NBC Sports’ GOLF produce professional sporting events, like the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
- In Atlanta several months later, the partner consortium gathered with the 2023 class to present business results from proofs of concepts and pilots underway. Additional experiences at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, NASCAR’s Talladega Super Speedway and The Atlanta Braves’ Truist Park provided real-world exposure to see how their products and technologies could add value.
SportsTech participant companies participated in a custom curriculum focused on refining their product and improving their go-to-market strategies, fundraising, sales, marketing and branding, product design, personal growth, company culture, and tactics for working at an enterprise scale.
The 10 startups were vetted and selected through a highly competitive process that evaluated over 920 applicants from across 40 countries. The excitement behind the SportsTech program and the efficacy of its outcomes continues to fuel interest and demand with more than 1,500 applications for SportsTech’s fourth cohort, launching in Q1 2024. Since the first class in 2021, SportsTech portfolio companies have achieved 112 pilots, partnerships and commercial deals with consortium partners.
“We are focused on forming long-term partnerships with each of the founders who entrust us and our program with the opportunity to elevate their positioning and preparedness to make a significant and sustainable impact in the world of sports,” said Chris Traeger, Executive Director at Boomtown for the Comcast SportsTech program. “Our 2023 class has thrived from the elongated program structure, and we’re thrilled to be a continued part of their growth trajectories and appreciate the impact that their continued success has on our ability to continually attract the most innovative startups into our ecosystem.”
Meet the 2023 class of Comcast NBCUniversal SportsTech:
Aircast – Melbourne, Australia
Aircast provides sports fans direct access to near zero-latency multi-view video, audio, and data, making them the director of their own experience.
The company’s unique in-venue video technology is being piloted by several live sports venues in conjunction with NBC Sports Regional Networks and Comcast Business to produce near zero latency video feeds from the production truck to the event attendees including live replays, multi-camera views, and English and Spanish language broadcast audio. This is coming off Aircast’s highly successful deployment with FIFA at the Women’s World Cup in venues across Australia and New Zealand.
EINBLIQ.IO – Munich, Germany
EINBLIQ.IO is an insights and automation platform that enables media companies to operate sophisticated, excellent, energy-efficient, and economic streaming services.
The company is working closely with Comcast network engineering and product teams, spanning Xumo, Xfinity Stream, and Peacock, to integrate their game changing technology for highly advanced quality of service measurement of streaming video over standard internet connections.
FanFest – New York, New York
FanFest is the easiest way for the biggest names in entertainment to empower superfans to grow their audience with interactive shows gated by digital memberships and tokens hosted live on their digital channels.
In just a few short weeks, FanFest moved from proof of concept to live customer pilot with Sky Sports for their Champions League Preview show: Football Daily. From this success, FanFest subsequently reached over 275K Premier League fans with a live show from Mercedes Benz Stadium during the Atlanta portion of the Summer Series matches.
FanSaves – Ottawa, Canada
FanSaves is a digital couponing platform that gives fans discounts and deals from sponsors of their favorite teams, increasing fan engagement and activation while tracking important customer analytics for teams and their partners.
FanSaves completed a live pilot with NASCAR for the inaugural Chicago Street Race over the Fourth of July weekend through embedding in the Chicago Resource Guide that led race fans to 35+ local Chicago businesses during race weekend. The pilot was immensely successful with more than 90% of the race fans that accessed the guide redeeming at least one local offer.
GeoSnapShot – New South Wales, Australia & Denver, Colorado
GeoSnapShot is a Powerful AI media distribution platform that allows users to instantly share photos from an event and organize them so they can be found quickly and easily.
The company completed a technical proof of concept with SportsEngine using advanced AI that allows parents and athletes to find, acquire, and download video and photographic imagery from sports events in a centralized and automated way. This success led to a joint referral opportunity program nationwide.
Quicc – Wichita, Kansas
Quicc is a powerful video content management system that automates video transcription, captioning, searching, and clipping workflows.
During the accelerator, Quicc completed proof of concept opportunities highlighting their advanced captioning and search capabilities that offered upwards of a 10X improvement in accuracy and throughput for digital content for three major NBC News / RSN outlets across the country.
Recut – New York, New York
Recut helps users create unlimited personalized video content at scale for fans and audiences.
Working with Comcast Spectacor / the Philadelphia Flyers, Recut utilized their new and innovative approach to engage audiences through the deployment of personalized videos at scale helping sales representatives generate warmer and more engaged leads for the Club Level sales campaign.
Rivalry Tech – Houston, Texas
Rivalry Tech is a food, beverage, and merchandise mobile ordering platform for high-volume settings, including stadiums, resorts, hospitals, and entertainment venues.
After completing multiple proofs of concept with partners, Rivalry Tech is working through contractual negotiations and reviews across multiple channels within Comcast Business sports venues, enterprise businesses, and the PGA Tour.
RIZZARR – Detroit, Michigan
RIZZARR is a content marketplace that connects brands seeking purpose-driven digital media with vetted, talented creators worldwide.
The company has completed proofs of concept with multiple partners including NBC Sports and NBC Sports Next throughout the accelerator, and is currently working on a long-term paid pilot supplying marketing content services for several GolfNow customers.
Tickets for Good – Sheffield, United Kingdom
Tickets for Good helps event partners fill venues and increase revenues by giving free and discounted tickets to targeted & validated consumer groups that support the local community.
Tickets for Good’s ticketing platform is now live supplying discounted golf tee times to healthcare workers in Central Florida with NBC Sports Next and GolfNow. In parallel, their continued growth and expertise in the UK allowed them to successfully partner with Major League Baseball and the Chicago Cubs for the London Series this summer.
About Comcast Corporation
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company. From the connectivity and platforms we provide, to the content and experiences we create, our businesses reach hundreds of millions of customers, viewers, and guests worldwide. We deliver world-class broadband, wireless, and video through Xfinity, Comcast Business, and Sky; produce, distribute, and stream leading entertainment, sports, and news through brands including NBC, Telemundo, Universal, Peacock, and Sky; and bring incredible theme parks and attractions to life through Universal Destinations & Experiences. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information.
About Comcast NBCUniversal SportsTech
Comcast NBCUniversal invests in the best sports tech startups in the world. We back this investment by providing our startups with a rigorous, custom curriculum, and we surround our entrepreneurs with a dream team of sports industry advisors and experts who are passionately dedicated to helping them succeed. Comcast SportsTech features a partnership of four of Comcast NBCUniversal’s sports brands - NBC Sports, Sky Sports, Comcast Spectacor and Golf – alongside Premier League, NASCAR, WWE, and PGA TOUR, and three US Olympic sports organizations: U.S. Ski & Snowboard, USA Swimming, and USA Cycling. This network of partnerships brings an early lens into innovation solutions, exclusive access to research and business insights, and differentiated value to Comcast’s media rights relationships. The program brings creative solutions to the partner consortium and to market through the lens of eight core investment categories: Media & Entertainment; Fan/Player Engagement; Athlete/Player Performance; Team & Coach Success; Venue & Event Innovation; Fantasy Sports & Betting; esports; and the Business of Sports. Visit www.comcastsportstech.com to learn more.