A multi-year partnership to drive innovation and build the future of the sports and health technology industries in the greater Orlando metropolitan area was recently announced between leAD Lake Nona (leAD/LN) and local NBA franchise Orlando Magic.
leAD/LN is a joint venture between leAD Sports & Health Tech Partners, a sports and health tech investment platform, and Tavistock, an international private investment organization, and operates from Lake Nona, Orlando’s innovative living-lab community. The Orlando Magic and Magic Gaming will serve as an innovation partner to leAD/LN and enable the firm’s portfolio companies to test, learn, iterate, and scale their products and services. Additionally, leAD’s Lake Nona innovation hub is now officially designated as the “Home of Magic Gaming.” leAD/LN will serve as the host sponsor for the Orlando Magic gaming team by providing a location for them to train and compete, as well as access to living quarters above the hub.
“We’re thrilled to partner with leAD/LN and to support their work in establishing Orlando as a global technology hub,” said Jay Riola, Magic Executive Vice President of Strategy and Innovation. “Innovation is one of our core values at the Magic. Through that value is our belief in the power of collaboration and creative thinking. With leAD’s unparalleled expertise in sports and health tech innovation this partnership will provide our organization and fans the ability to experience the latest developments in the tech space and will also offer our organization an even greater ability to propel innovation and emerging startups in Orlando.”
As part of the agreement, leAD/LN will share its expertise in sports and health technology innovation, deep knowledge base and intel, and access to its portfolio of companies whose focus is on evolving the space to directly impact athlete health and performance, and fan engagement. leAD/LN will also provide the organization with industry intelligence and act as a venture arm that supports the development of the Magic’s innovation initiatives.
“We are excited about the partnership with the Orlando Magic and to be able to leverage a testing ground for real time feedback that will drive new opportunities for innovation in Orlando,” said Christoph Sonnen, CEO and Co-Founder of leAD. “Our mission is to revolutionize the sports and health technology space through game-changing innovation, and we’re looking forward to working together with the Magic to accelerate the growth of the world-class tech hub that has culminated in Orlando.”
“Having professional eSports athletes living, training and competing as part of our living lab environment adds to the thriving sports and technology ecosystem that leAD/LN has created in Lake Nona,” said Juan F. Santos, Senior Vice President Innovation, Tavistock Group/Lake Nona.
leAD sources, funds, and drives growth of early-stage sports & health tech startups globally. The company operates from Lake Nona, Florida supported by a community that serves as a catalyst for economic growth and opportunity for emerging startups. Encompassing 17 square miles in the City of Orlando, Lake Nona’s advanced infrastructure and commitment to collaboration have attracted visionary companies and startups from across the globe to join its living lab environment where cutting-edge ideas turn into realities. leAD boasts a repertoire of high caliber stakeholders — investors, partners, and mentors — with a wide range of expertise in sports and health, and its dedicated market intelligence team is highly tuned to the global trends, consumer needs, industry marketplace opportunities, and investor appetites.
The Orlando Magic have a history of placing a priority on technology and innovation. Since 2010, the Magic have prioritized and leveraged data, analytics, and business intelligence to better understand its fans and use insights to enhance their enjoyment and improve business operations. In 2014, the Magic opened the first design thinking-based innovation lab in the NBA. The lab’s genesis came from the desire to create a safe place for new ideas and creativity after innovation was determined to be a core value of the team. In 2015, the team was the first in the NBA to adopt cutting-edge mobile technology allowing fans to utilize the Magic app to personalize their experience at Amway Center and over the past two years the team has hosted the Orlando Magic Innovation Challenge, a multi-day event where developers, students, marketers, startup enthusiasts, graphic artists and sports business professionals have the opportunity to pitch new, innovative ideas and hear from some of the top minds in the sports technology field.
In addition, the Magic have placed an emphasis on basketball analytics for things including player acquisitions, lineup rotations and training decisions, along with a growing list of more strategic basketball decisions. The team continues to operationalize analytics on both sides of the ball, striving to improve team performance by analyzing game data in real time and reinventing the fan experience by implementing data-driven technologies.