By Jon Weisman

As part of the organization’s forward-thinking mentality, the Dodgers have joined with technology, design and marketing company R/GA to launch a program for investing in startups to benefit the next era of sports teams and their fans.

“The sports industry is ripe with opportunities for innovation,” Dodger chief financial officer Tucker Kain said. “There are countless ways for new technology to create more powerful consumer experiences, heighten fan engagement and improve efficiencies. We’re thrilled at the opportunity to work with some of the best sports-centric startups from the L.A. area and across the globe.”

The new program, Dodgers Accelerator (@DodgersAccel on Twitter), is designed to enable companies to explore and launch new business models, as well as help accelerate the growth of great products and services that have recently launched but not yet scaled. Ten startups will be chosen to receive special access to industry partnerships and distribution channels.

“The Dodgers continue to build on a strong partnership with the city of Los Angeles, and with the launch of this Accelerator, the Dodgers are committed to helping bring sports innovation and entrepreneurship to this great city,” said Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten.

Program areas of interest include (but are not limited to) integrated solutions in the areas of fan engagement, fan relationship management, eSports, smart arenas, big data and analytics, fitness and youth sports, sports training and sponsor integration. R/GA will operate the program.

Companies from Los Angeles and around the world are encouraged to apply through June 29. The program will take place in Los Angeles from August 17 through early November with an invite-only Demo Day, where each company will have the opportunity to present to investors, industry leaders and the sports, technology and entertainment communities.