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Home / Global Sport Institute News / Inspiring new ideas on the inaugural Sports Innovation Tour

Inspiring new ideas on the inaugural Sports Innovation Tour

ASU students tour local sports facilities, challenged to innovate through the lens of sport
February 25, 2020

The Global Sport Institute in partnership with ASU Entrepreneurship + Innovation and the ASU W.P. Carey School of Business recently hosted the inaugural Sports Innovation Tour. The tour was focused on engaging and challenging students to innovate through the lens of sport. This was done by taking the students on a bus tour of several local sports facilities including Ability360 Sports & Fitness CenterChase Field, and Sun Devil Stadium. At these facilities, students had the unique opportunity to hear from key leadership and get a behind the scenes look at how these organizations and venues operate. The goal of the tour was to challenge students to innovate around the topics of fan engagement, venue technology, player performance, and more. Leaders at all three locations on the tour shared valuable knowledge and insight on both their successes and the challenges that the venues face in these specific areas.

Ability360 Sports & Fitness Center

The first stop was Ability360 Sports & Fitness Center, a training facility that offers exceptional adaptive sports, recreation, aquatic, and fitness programs. Their mission is to promote the independence, health, and overall well-being of people with disabilities. Leadership from Ability360 shared information on the wide variety of different adaptive sporting events that they host each year and explained the unique aspects of their venue. Students learned about how the center has become one of the premier locations for adaptive sports in the country, how quickly they have grown since they first opened, and the challenges that they have faced due to this growth.

Participants of the tour stand outside of the Ability360 Sports & Fitness Center

Participants of the tour outside of the Ability360 Sports & Fitness Center.

Chase Field

At Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, participants were guided by leadership from the D-Backs Special Projects team. Students learned about the variety of different events hosted each year, recent innovations that have been made to the ballpark, and how the D-Backs focus on creating a special experience for their fans. The tour included stops in various locations of the stadium including on the field, inside the locker room, and in the dugout. This gave students a unique perspective and insight into all different aspects of the venue and what happens operationally at each game and event held there.

Students on the tour posing for a photo on the field at Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks

Students on the tour had the unique opportunity to experience Chase Field from a different perspective.

Sun Devil Stadium

The final stop on the tour was Sun Devil Stadium, home of the ASU Football Team. At this location participants on the tour learned about the recently completed five-year renovation. Leadership from Sun Devil Athletics shared all of the new additions as well as the strategic thinking that went into the decision making for these changes. Students learned about the issues that were solved by the renovation and the difficult decisions that had to be made during this process.

Students on the tour pose on the main concourse at Sun Devil Stadium with the scoreboard in the background

Forks Up: ASU students on the last stop of the tour at Sun Devil Stadium

The tour culminated with students taking the knowledge that they gained on the tour to thoughtfully examine both what these venues did well, and the challenges that they faced. Participants of the tour were highly encouraged to take their experience and ideas gained from this tour and apply them to the upcoming Phoenix Rising Venture Challenge (PRVC).

The PRVC is a new funding track in collaboration with the Global Sport Institute, ASU Entrepreneurship + Innovation, and Phoenix Rising FC. This venture challenge is a call for ASU students, faculty, and community members to innovate and solve challenges specific to sport.

Tracy Lea, Assistant Director, Venture Development for ASU Entrepreneurship + Innovation and Jeff Kunowski, Associate Director of Innovation Programs at the Global Sport Institute provided the basic framework for how to outline their ideas and apply them to the PRVC. By doing this we hope that the tour participants will be given a lane to see their ideas all the way to fruition and create a pathway to entrepreneurship and innovation through sport.

Grant Fogerty is the Entrepreneurial Programs Assistant for the Global Sport Institute. He is a student pursuing his undergraduate degree in Economics from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. He is expected to graduate in the Spring of 2020.