Fast Company Magazine just released their list of the Top Ten Most Innovative Companies in Sports. You can click here for their list, complete with detailed reasons, but here is the quick list of company names in order:
- New England Sports Ventures
- Andrews Sports Medicine
- HOK Sports
- Levy Restaurants
- Ultimate Fighting Championship
I’m not quite sure what to think about this list. Some of them I definitely agree with (New England, Nike, ESPN, HOK and AEG), while others I don’t quite understand (Andrews, Speedo, Levy and UFC). This list seems geared towards “established” companies, while some of the most innovative concepts in sports business are from smaller, niche companies, particularly in the worlds of web and mobile.
What about companies like Fantasy Sports Ventures or OpenSports, which are on the cutting edge for fantasy sports programs? What about some other professional teams that do some exciting things in social media and CRM? What about MLBAM, which continues to be a technology leader on the web side of professional sports? I do like NHL.com’s inclusion on this list, although their website is not a separate business, so this should really reflect the NHL as a whole. The list is also lacking in international companies (I don’t know much about the international side either, but I’m sure that there are some highly innovative companies out there).
None of this is meant as a knock on the list or the companies on the list. It just got me thinking that there is a lot more innovation out there, and that a top-ten list is going to miss out a lot of exciting and truly innovative sports companies. Can you think of some other companies that could have made the top ten? Leave a comment below with your ideas!