Charlotte-based TPG Sports Group has a very clear mission: to connect professionals with key leaders in the sports industry. TPG Sports Group Vice President Charlie Wend said one big way they do that specifically with startup professionals is through its Sports Tank Innovation Studio.
“We are able to bring our network to the table,” he said. “Starting a sports business can take a long time. We’re able to help put them on the map and scale quicker.”
Wend added that one of the biggest things the sports industry tends to look for is what can give them an edge over the competition, and a huge part of that is the latest in technology.
“It’s an arms race for teams to surround themselves with new technologies,” Wend explained.
A major highlight of the program, which is now in its fifth year, includes the Sports Tank Innovation Studio Demo Day. This will take place during the February NBA All-Star Weekend in Charlotte. TPG is partnering with SportTechie for the event. At Demo Day, participants will gain access and exposure to the sports industry’s biggest executives, athletes, brands and investors.
Five companies have been selected and will be showcased at Demo Day: companies in the eSports space, betting space, injury prevention/wellness space and broadcast/streaming space.
In addition to exposure, startups will be provided with hands-on advising and consulting on business development, partnerships and market strategy. Program participants will receive monthly mentorship in addition to an intensive boot camp retreat at the culmination of year one in Charlotte.
Companies will also have access to the Sports Tank network of investors, industry executives and events. Business development will be supported by connecting and exposing startups to influencers (industry experts, athletes) who align with a shared vision.