June 5, 2019
When Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) hired Humza Teherany as the company’s first chief technology and digital officer in June 2018, he was tasked with better incorporating digital technology into the operation of the company’s sports franchises. Just over a year later, according to Teherany, MLSE has approximately 100 employees “waking up every day thinking about technology”.
In conjunction with this mandate, the organization recently teamed-up with Ryerson University to launch the Future of Sports Lab (FSL). In January, the “first-of-its kind” incubator, which was designed to develop innovation in sports, accepted six out of the 60 companies that applied. Its roster of Canadian as well as U.S.-based start-ups includes companies developing technology to enhance scouting, player evaluation, performance and injury recovery, sports betting, the language and fan accessibility of commentary, and sports media content for women.
The FSL is designed to be a mutually beneficial endeavour. The partnership offers start-ups access to MLSE’s vast network of contacts and the unique chance to launch pilots with professional teams. In turn, while large companies around the globe are being disrupted by the likes of fintech and AI, Teherany and MLSE hope to beat disruption to the punch.
Author: Aaron Barrett