Sports innovation leaders to focus on the future of women and sports on the 50th anniversary of Title IX
NEW YORK, April 19, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Billie Jean King Enterprises, Elysian Park Ventures, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and R/GA Ventures are launching the Trailblazer Venture Studio, a new venture studio focused on the biggest growth opportunity in sports: women. The Trailblazer Venture Studio sets out to accelerate the future of women and sports by providing unmatched industry access, insight, and strategic advantages to selected companies. This studio will partner with entrepreneurs and companies, ranging from early-stage startups to later-stage businesses, that put women leaders, athletes, and fans at the forefront of their thinking.
“There is a huge growth opportunity for women and sports as traditionally they have been under-resourced and underfinanced. We need more people, especially our male allies, to invest in and champion the development of high-quality opportunities,” said Billie Jean King. “We’re proud to partner with Elysian Park, the Dodgers, and R/GA Ventures and committed to making a real difference for the next generation of trailblazers.”
The Trailblazer Venture Studio will concentrate on the opportunities at the intersection of women and sports at all levels, from communities and schools to the elite amateur and professional-level women athletes. Studio areas of interest include:
- Media, Culture, and Storytelling
- Health, Fitness, and Well Being
- Training and Performance
- Sponsorship and Compensation
- Retail and Commerce
- Fan Experience
- Esports and Gaming
“Billie Jean and I have always been focused on ensuring women have equal access to opportunities in sports and in life. Our team often meets entrepreneurs who have the ability to influence the growth and sustainability of women and sports,” said Ilana Kloss, CEO of Billie Jean King Enterprises. “Through this studio we are excited to support these companies with access to funding, services, and connections that will allow them to reach their maximum potential.”
The Studio will provide selected startups with three sources of capital:
- Relationship capital: Introductions to top executives across the sports ecosystem and beyond, curated to develop specific business opportunities and accelerate growth
- Creative capital: Access to award-winning strategists, technologists, creatives, and consultants to provide services customized to the unique needs of each startup
- Investment capital: Financial capital to expand and improve their existing products, services, and technologies
“When we first launched the Dodgers Accelerator programs back in 2015 and 2016, the global sports tech market was nascent. It was the first time a global spotlight was put on the space, and there were only a handful of funds investing and even fewer success cases. But those young companies pioneered their markets and have since grown into powerful market leaders, ushering in a new era for the industry. They’re now scaling big businesses in areas such as sports betting, AI-powered video and data, digital media, and youth sports. Now, we see the same pattern and opportunity materializing for women and sports. The time is right, and five years from now people will look back on the companies coming through this program and see the emergence of future market leaders,” said Cole Van Nice, Co-founder and Managing Partner of Elysian Park Ventures.
The Trailblazer Venture Studio is the third endeavor between Elysian Park Ventures, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and R/GA Ventures. The three previously partnered to launch the LA Dodgers Accelerator, the world’s first sports tech accelerator, in 2015 and are currently partners in the Global Sports Venture Studio (GSVS), a premier group of sports leaders driving innovation within the sports industry.
“We are thrilled to partner with Billie Jean King Enterprises, Elysian Park Ventures, and R/GA Ventures to invest in an area of great importance and value, women and sports,” said Stan Kasten, President and CEO of the Los Angeles Dodgers. “This is our third, and possibly most important, collaboration and one which will help cultivate a new generation of women focused businesses by providing them with capital and insight. As always, the Dodgers will continue to be at the forefront of innovation and inclusivity in the sports and entertainment industry.”
“As a lifelong athlete and sports fan, to say that I am excited about this studio is an understatement. By bringing together best-in-class partners across sports, venture capital, and creative services, this visionary studio is positioned to drive transformative growth for women and sports. It’s time to finally level the playing field and we are proud to play a role in doing that,” said Fielding Jamieson, the Managing Director of the Trailblazer Venture Studio.
About Billie Jean King Enterprises
Billie Jean King Enterprises is a women-owned and women-led investment, consulting, and marketing firm, founded by Billie Jean King and her partner Ilana Kloss. An investor since 1968, King became an icon for women in sports and beyond during her legendary tennis career and continues to make her mark today. Billie Jean King Enterprises puts King’s philosophy and brand value to work and capitalizes on her long-standing advocacy for equality by partnering with companies to challenge the status quo and create a level playing field. Visit bjkenterprises.com for more information.
About Elysian Park
Launched in 2014 with the financial backing of the Los Angeles Dodgers ownership group, Elysian Park has built one of the leading platforms for sports investment and innovation globally. Domain focused, stage-agnostic, and thesis-driven, Elysian Park has invested in over 50 industry-leading businesses located across the U.S., Europe, Israel, India, and Australia. Elysian Park’s family of companies are building the future of sports and igniting growth in the massive intersecting markets of culture, health, tech, and commerce. Visit elysianpark.ventures for more information.
About the Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers franchise, with seven World Series championships and 24 National League pennants since its beginnings in Brooklyn in 1890, is committed to a tradition of pride and excellence. The Dodgers are dedicated to supporting a culture of winning baseball, providing a first-class, fan-friendly experience at Dodger Stadium, and building a strong partnership with the community. With the highest cumulative fan attendance in Major League Baseball history, and a record of breaking barriers, the Dodgers are one of the most cherished sports franchises in the world. Visit the Dodgers online at www.dodgers.com, follow them on Twitter @Dodgers and like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Dodgers. For media information, visit www.dodgerspressbox.com.
About R/GA Ventures
R/GA Ventures works with startups and organizations to create a more human future. We do this by identifying disruptive and inspiring technologies and ideas, and supporting those ideas with the financial, creative, and relationship capital necessary to drive growth and returns. R/GA Ventures has run 31 programs to date, including the LA Dodgers Accelerator and Global Sports Ventures Studio. R/GA Ventures and R/GA are part of the Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE: IPG). Learn more at ventures.rga.com and by following @rgaventures.
The Global Sports Venture Studio brings together leaders from the world’s leading sports organizations to engage with the sports innovation ecosystem. Our partners – Angel City FC, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Fox Sports, the Los Angeles Football Club, the Los Angeles Dodgers, MLB, MLS, NASCAR, NBC Sports, UEFA, the USTA, and Verizon – are actively working together to drive growth in the sports industry by identity, develop, and deploy new athlete and fan-focused innovations through pilots, investments, and the development of new products, services, and technologies. Visit globalsportsventurestudio.com for more details.
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SOURCE R/GA Ventures