Orlando Magic and leAD Lake Nona Partner for Sports Venture Arm

leAD Lake Nona (leAD/LN), and NBA franchise Orlando Magic today announced a multiyear partnership to foster innovation and build the future for the health and technology industries in the greater Orlando metro area.

leAD/LN is a joint venture of leAD Sports & Health Tech Partners (a world-renowned sports and tech investment platform) and Tavistock (an international private investment organization). It operates out of Lake Nona, Orlando’s innovative living-lab community.

The Orlando Magic and Magic Gaming will be an innovation partner to the leAD/LN. This will allow portfolio companies to learn, iterate, scale, and test their products and services. LeAD’s Lake Nona innovation center is now officially known as the “Home of Magic Gaming.”

leAD/LN will be the Orlando Magic Gaming team’s host sponsor. They will have access to living quarters and training facilities 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 Magic Executive Vice President of Strategy and Innovation, Jay Riola. “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.”

This comes as the rise of sports accelerators and incubators are taking off.

LeAD/LN will provide the opportunity to share its expertise in health technology innovation and sports, as well as its deep knowledge and intel. It also has access to its portfolio companies that are focused on advancing the space in order to directly impact athletes’ health and performance. leAD/LN will provide industry intelligence to the Magic and serve as a venture arm supporting the development of its 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.”

LeAD funds and sources early-stage health tech startups worldwide. The company is based in Lake Nona, FL and is supported by a community that provides opportunities for new startups and economic growth.

The 17-square-mile Lake Nona area is located in Orlando. Its innovative infrastructure and willingness to collaborate have attracted visionary startups and companies from all over the world to its living laboratory environment, where cutting-edge ideas are made a reality.

LeAD has a diverse group of stakeholders, including mentors, investors, partners, and mentors, with extensive expertise in health and sports. Its dedicated market intelligence team is well-tuned to global trends, consumer demands, opportunities within the industry and investor appetites.

The Orlando Magic is known for prioritizing technology and innovation. The Magic have prioritized analytics and business intelligence since 2010 to better understand their fans and to use these insights to improve their enjoyment and business operations.

The NBA’s first design-thinking-based innovation laboratory was opened by the Magic in 2014. After innovation was deemed a team core value, Magic opened the lab to foster new ideas and creativity.

The team was the first to adopt mobile technology in 2015 in the NBA. This allowed fans to personalize their visit at Amway Center using the Magic app. Over the past two years, the Orlando Magic Innovation Challenge has been held.

It is a multi-day event in which developers, marketers, students, entrepreneurs, graphic artists, and business professionals can pitch innovative ideas to some of the most prominent minds in sports technology.

The Magic also places a greater emphasis on basketball analytics, such as player acquisitions, lineup rotations, and training decisions. They are also making more strategic basketball decisions. The team is still operationalizing analytics on both the basketball and player sides, working to improve team performance through real-time analysis of game data and reinventing the fan experience with data-driven technologies.


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