Thursday September 21, 2023
The Best Employers in Sports Survey is Now Open!

Dodgers Accelerator with R/GA: Bringing the Human Element to the Sports Startup World

Front Office Sports Today

Could Promotion-Relegation work in College Football?

The proposal aims to create an exciting media product while reducing travel for non-football sports.
Listen Now
September 21, 2023 | Podcast
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

This article is powered by the SMU Sport Management Program.

The Dodgers Accelerator with R/GA is the gold standard when it comes to sports startup accelerators. Photo via R/GA

By: Adam White, @FOSAdam

Ask any investor or entrepreneur what the most important aspect of a successful startup is and you will most likely get a response to the tune of, “The people.”

No matter how many emails you send, how many Slack giphys you receive or how many LinkedIn connections you sift through, nothing replaces the human element and no one knows that better than Dylan Boyd, Director, New Programs Development, R/GA Ventures and Scott Dudelson, Dodgers Accelerator Managing Director.

As two of the key members in the development and growth of the Dodgers Accelerator with R/GA, they, along with their team, have brought the human element to the startup space in a way that has seen the partnership between the Dodgers, R/GA and the companies associated with the program elevated to new heights.

At the Dodgers Accelerator with R/GA, it is all about a hands on approach. Photo via R/GA

Now in its second year, the Dodgers Accelerator with R/GA, a breakthrough program in the sports and tech startup space, welcomes its second class of companies. After an extensive application program, the five companies selected, which include Greenfly, Keemotion, Renegade, ShotTracker and WSC got to work in late August in Los Angeles in preparation for their November 10th Demo Event.

Though these 90 days are a grueling test for all the teams involved, the team at R/GA wants to make sure that none of that time is wasted.

“One thing we really try to do is make sure that by the time they hit the ground in our LA office, there is really no ‘get to know you time.’ We make sure we dig in with them those first weeks and that we are bringing in the right corporate leaders and executives for them to meet and learn from,” said Dudelson.

One of the biggest pride points of the Dodgers Accelerator with R/GA is the true hands-on approach they take with each company, something not seen at most startup accelerators across the world.

“It is not a traditional investment program or a traditional accelerator. It is more of a venture studio model where, we are setting KPIs and goals and are holding ourselves just as accountable as we are holding the founders. It really makes for an interesting two-way street,” said Boyd.

“A lot of investment corporations write a check and say, ‘Hey, we will be here for some phone calls,’ whereas, we really roll up our sleeves and do everything we can to help these companies.”

One of the biggest perks of the Dodgers Accelerator with R/GA is the connections the two entities bring to the startups. Photo via R/GA

When it comes to creating the best program for these companies to thrive, the Dodgers and R/GA were a match that only Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups could rival as Boyd puts it.

“This came together with the executive ownership team of the Los Angeles Dodgers. They looked at their organization and the sports industry and identified an opportunity to combine emerging technologies with their expansive network to push the boundaries on what was possible in the world of sports innovation.”

“We (R/GA) had worked with them on some digital projects and the conversation started from there. We knew what we could do for them and they knew what they could do for us. Coming together was like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, we wanted to merge the best of both worlds.”

Regardless of how well the Dodgers and R/GA mesh, in order for the companies in the program to find the success they are looking for, it comes down to the people who are leading them and the problems they are solving.

Also, as Dudelson puts it, it is not always just about the founder, but the whole team.

“It is not just the founder, it is the founding team and the early team that surround the founder that dictate whether a startup is going to succeed or fail.”

During the course of the program, the startup teams get the chance to learn from industry leaders. Photo via R/GA

If a monetary investment and the commitment of time and expertise from the likes of Boyd and Dudelson wasn’t enough, R/GA provides the startups in the program with agency services, the most critical part of the partnership according to Boyd. These can include expertise as diverse as business consulting, experience design, branding and technology services.

“The startups in the program have four to eight person teams at their disposal to help them with everything R/GA specializes in.”

“One of the most unique aspects is that we have a global presentations team that comes in and helps them build, refine and create not only pitch decks, but sales decks while making sure their message is clear and impactful.”

Over a year ago, the Dodgers and R/GA pioneered the sports team and accelerator integration and since then, the 76ers have jumped on board with more teams coming.

“It is not a traditional investment program or a traditional accelerator.”

— Dylan Boyd

Regardless of how many join the fray, the Dodgers and R/GA’s approach will remain the gold standard.

Want to learn more about the Dodgers Accelerator with R/GA? Visit their website here!

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Buzzer's investors included Michael Jordan, Kevin Durant, and Patrick Mahomes.

Buzzer, the Gen Z Sports App Backed by $44 Million, Shuts Down

Buzzer's investors included Michael Jordan, Kevin Durant, and Patrick Mahomes.
Rodgers co-founded Online Sports Database with actor Ryan Rottham,

Aaron Rodgers’ Startup Seeks $1.5 Million in Crowdfunding

Rodgers' Online Sports Database is launching a crowdfunding campaign.
Harry Kane joins Dak Prescott and Dustin Johnson as investors in OxeFit.

Harry Kane Invests in OxeFit, Fitness Startup Reaches $45 Million in Funding

Harry Kane joins Dak Prescott and Dustin Johnson as investors in OxeFit.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

Could Promotion-Relegation work in College Football?


Featured Today

Boise State Broncos running back Ashton Jeanty (2) runs the ball against the North Dakota Fighting Hawks during the first half at Albertsons Stadium.

The First Official Proposal for Promotion-Relegation In College Football

Realignment is forcing Group of 5 schools to rethink their structure.
A general view of Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium Stadium.
September 20, 2023

Political Support Grows for RFK Stadium Bill

The Commanders exited RFK after the 1996 NFL season for FedEx Field.
Philadelphia Eagles jerseys.
September 19, 2023

Fanatics Fumbles Eagles Merchandise, Pauses Future Shipments

Michael Rubin has apologized for crooked Eagles apparel sent to fans.
September 19, 2023

Coach Prime Is Ratings Gold, And Everyone Wants A Piece Of The Pie

Colorado games continue to deliver huge viewership numbers.


Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Chicago Cubs
New York
Tri Star Sports and Entertainment Group, Inc.
USA - Multiple Locations

MLS’ Chris Schlosser on Pioneering the Digital-First Sports League with AI

Chris Schlosser discusses MLS's growth and digital transformation.
April 25, 2023

Oakland A’s Could Share Stadium with Triple-A Team

The Oakland A's could be searching for a place to play.
Titans stadium.
April 19, 2023

Titans' Historic New $2.1B Stadium One Step Closer to Reality

About $1.26B in public money would go toward the new stadium.
May 20, 2022

Crypto Crash Impact on Sports Sponsorships

Prior to the last two weeks, cryptocurrencies, NFTs, exchanges, and a host…
March 11, 2022

The Evolution of Consumer Wearables

The wearables market has seen incredible amounts of growth since the onset of the pandemic. Trends like telemedicine and remote patient monitoring have helped spur adoption and inspired new consumer products that allow for the tracking and collection of biometric data.
February 11, 2022

The Role of Live Sports in Streaming

The streaming wars have intensified as the field is as competitive as ever. One way to retain customers? The answer might be live sports.
February 4, 2022

Super Bowl Ad Market Examined

The Super Bowl is now only one week away and the stakes…
February 3, 2022

Making Headlines

NFL: The Giants hired Laura Young as director of coaching operations. Young…