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Global Sport Institute and Phoenix Rising FC partner to launch sport innovation challenge with up to $15,000 in venture funding

By Phoenix Rising Communications, 10/08/19, 1:00PM MST

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PHOENIX (October 8, 2019) —The Global Sport Institute along with its innovation program partners at ASU Entrepreneurship + Innovation have announced a new collaboration with Phoenix Rising FC - the Phoenix Rising FC Venture Challenge. 

The venture challenge is a call for ASU students, faculty, and broader community members to innovate and solve challenges specific to Phoenix Rising’s interests. The call for innovation will open on December 3, 2019 and culminates with a live pitch competition on May 1, 2020 at ASU Demo Day.

The Phoenix Rising FC Venture Challenge is seeking ideas in specific areas of innovation that will serve the club’s future goals and aspirations. These areas include: fan engagement, venue operations, loyalty tracking, players, analytics, wearables, media, merchandise, food and beverage, and other concepts. Phoenix Rising will provide the winner of the venture challenge with the opportunity to beta test their product/service at the Phoenix Rising FC games. The Global Sport Institute will supply the winner of the venture challenge with promotional resources, mentorship, coaching, and an award of up to $15,000.

Jeff Kunowski, Global Sport Institute’s Associate Director of Innovation Programs, explained the mutual excitement for the partnership. “Phoenix Rising FC has made a major impact on Arizona’s sports market. They continue to push the boundaries both on the field and in the areas of fan engagement and community involvement. Given the stage of growth they are in, we knew an innovation partnership could provide opportunities for our ventures to apply their ideas and keep the team on the cutting edge for years to come.”

VP of Phoenix Rising’s Sales & Marketing, Sam Doerr, echoed those thoughts. “We are honored to partner with the Global Sport Institute and look forward to participating in the live pitch competition. We are committed to fostering these entrepreneurs and their ideas at a direct level, and we believe this will help us grow in many different ways.” 

Kenneth L. Shropshire, Global Sport Institute CEO and adidas Distinguished Professor of Global Sport, said, “We strive to inspire innovative thinking because it has the ability to positively shape the future of sport. From creating unique business solutions to making new advancements with technology, we’re very excited to take our innovation programs one step further in this collaboration with Phoenix Rising. We see this partnership serving as a model for even more engagement, encouraging the growth of entrepreneurial ideas that have potential to be far reaching in sport.”

There will be two application windows for the Phoenix Rising FC Venture Challenge. The first takes place from December 3, 2019 - January 3, 2020 and the second runs from January 28, 2020 - February 28, 2020. The venture challenge framework will be provided through ASU’s Entrepreneurship + Innovation division and will conclude with a live demo day pitch competition on May 1, 2020. Those interested in joining the pitch competition can learn more and apply at globalsport.asu.edu/sport-ei/venture-funding.

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About The Global Sport Institute
The Global Sport Institute is where diverse disciplines come together to thoughtfully examine critical issues impacting sport. The Institute is unique among sports research institutes around the globe, as its efforts are supported and integrated across the entire university — from engineering to sociology, to the athletic department and beyond — rather than within a single discipline. For more information visit https://globalsport.asu.edu/sport-innovation or find the Global Sport Institute on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. 

About Phoenix Rising FC
Phoenix Rising FC is the highest-level professional soccer franchise in Arizona’s history and the defending 2018 USL Western Conference Champion. The club is owned by legendary Chelsea and Ivory Coast striker, Didier Drogba, Advantage Sports Union CEO, Alex Zheng, Phoenix Rising club governor Berke Bakay, and an impressive collection of business leaders and international celebrities. Established in 2016, Phoenix Rising FC is one of 10 cities applying for Major League Soccer (MLS) expansion and currently plays in the USL Championship, the largest Division 2 professional league in the world. For more information visit PHXRisingFC.com or find Phoenix Rising FC on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. 

About ASU Entrepreneurship + Innovation
ASU Entrepreneurship + Innovation connects individuals to the information, resources, and people that can help people turn ideas into reality. For more information visit https://entrepreneurship.asu.edu/.