Orlando Magic Host Third Annual Innovation Challenge In January

Registration is open now and offers game tickets, other prizes

ORLANDO – As part of the Orlando Magic’s continuing commitment to innovation and technology, the team will host the third annual Magic Innovation Challenge on January 19-21, 2024 at Amway Center and the Magic offices in the CNL II building. The weekend will offer developers, students, marketers, startup enthusiasts, graphic artists and sports business professionals the opportunity to pitch new, innovative ideas and hear from some of the top minds in the sports technology field. Participants will be given a general business challenge and then be tasked with forming a team to create solutions.

The challenge will offer participants the opportunity to interact with potential customers, get training in innovation methodology and have expert mentors to assist with the presentation that will be pitched to a panel of judges on the last day of the weekend. The winning team will also be recognized at center court during halftime of the Jan. 21 game.

Registration includes suite tickets to the Magic vs. Miami game on Jan. 21, networking opportunities, food, drinks and other Magic items. For more information and to register, please visit www.orlandomagic.com/omic2024.

The Magic’s Innovation Challenge is powered by HyperValidation, an event-based innovation program launched by local entrepreneurs Rajiv Menon and Jacques Fu. The facilitator for the weekend will be Roger Osorio, who has served in that role for all past innovation challenges as well.

“The Magic’s Innovation Challenge has been growing each year and we’re excited to bring it back,” said Magic Executive Vice President of Strategy and Innovation Jay Riola. “One of our core values at the Magic is innovation. Through that value is our belief in the power of collaboration and creative thinking. Central Florida is home to an active and vibrant innovation community, and we are excited to host this exciting event for a third year.”

Judges picking the winning presentation will include Magic Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer Esu Ma’at, National Entrepreneur Center President Belinda Kirkegard, and leAD Sports & Health Tech Partners Chief Operating Officer Kendel Fiorentino. Participants will also have the opportunity to learn from key members in academia along with local business leaders. Prizes for the winning teams to include tickets to a game during the 2023-24 season, a behind-the-scenes experience at leAD’s Lake Nona offices and more.

In 2014, the Magic opened the first design thinking-based innovation lab in the NBA. The lab’s genesis came from the desire to create a safe place for new ideas and creativity after innovation was determined to be a core value of the team. The lab is a place where judgement is suspended, ambiguity embraced, and the evolution of habitual ways encouraged.

More than 100 projects have gone through the lab, ranging from customer service initiatives to technology applications to corporate partner activation activities and arena renovations.

The Orlando Magic have a history of placing a priority on the customer through technology and innovation. Since 2010, the Magic have prioritized and leveraged data, analytics, and business intelligence and has worked with partner SAS, a leader in analytics software and services, to better understand its fans and use insights to enhance their enjoyment and improve business operations.

In 2015, the team was the first in the NBA to adopt cutting-edge mobile technology allowing fans to utilize the Magic app to personalize their experience at Amway Center, including managing tickets, purchasing seat upgrades, and ordering express pickup or in-seat delivery of food, beverage, and retail merchandise all from their mobile phone. The Magic have also pioneered new methods of digital fan engagement such as Magic Vision Mobile, flexible ticketing solutions, including various pass ticketing products, called the Fast Break Pass, and introducing the first-of-its-kind Magic Money program that allows Loyal Blue season ticket members to return tickets for games they’re unable to attend and create a digital currency for use to customize their membership experience at future games. In addition, the Magic have implemented various concepts inspired by past innovation challenges related to ticketing products, app engagement, communication strategies and more.