Blog post -
Meet the Team: Alex, Head of Sport Tech Hub
As part of our London Sport Consultancy’s re-brand, we’re sitting down with the key team members working on our consultancy services. Our 'Meet the Team series' introduces Alex Zurita, Head of Sport Tech Hub.
So, tell us about yourself?
I lead London Sport's strategic commitments to supporting technology, data and digital initiatives designed to raise levels of participation in physical activity and sport in the capital.
Originally, I'm from Venezuela but have called London home for over 20 years.
I studied Sports Coaching at the University of East London, having been swayed by my love of sport and the opportunity to foster a professional career in the industry, something that wasn't accessible in Venezuela.
While at university, I started to mix my education with professional experience, working for Millwall Community Trust, Millwall Girls’ Centre of Excellence and the Football Association.
I then joined London Sport in 2011 with a brief secondment to the London Legacy Development Corporation as Programme Manager for the London 2012 legacy, and multi-million pound project, Active People, Active Park.
What is your role with London Sport Consultancy?
I’m the Head of London Sport’s Sport Tech Hub. In its simplest manner, Sport Tech Hub accelerates the use of technology to help more people become active.
This means supporting and upskilling organisations in the sector to embrace, adopt and develop partnerships with tech ventures that can add value to their own programmes and objectives.
We also aid tech ventures to launch, grow and scale their products in a way that resonates with the sector and can support the increase in participation of less active audiences.
Since our launch in October 2017, we have accelerated 34 ventures which have reached more than 130,000 Londoners through over 40 pilots brokered between the sport sector and tech ventures.
When not supporting organisations or ventures in our community, I spend time mentoring businesses in other sport, fitness and wellness-related tech programmes globally.
This supports the growth of the SportsTech ecosystem by connecting with initiatives and organisations and inputting into events and investment pitches.
Why choose London Sport Consultancy?
Since 2017, we have built an innovation network of over 100 ventures from 16 different countries, all aligned on technology that can get people more active.
Our deep knowledge of tech products relevant to the physical activity and sport sector means that we are in a prime position to help organisations to integrate tech solutions as part of funding bids, scout and source the most relevant products, and create mutually beneficial partnerships that lead to more people being active.
To aid entrepreneurs, our team aid tech ventures to launch, grow and scale their products in a way that resonates with the sector and can support less active audiences to participate in physical activity.
I truly believe that if we want to see a real shift in participation, technology, and collaboration with entrepreneurs, is a key part of the solution.
The physical activity and sport sector is vying for people’s time and attention, time that can be put into entertainment, arts, leisure, travel and so on.
We need to continue shifting our mindset as a sector, be curious about how technology can help us, how we integrate entrepreneurs as part of our workforce and recognised their solutions as a component to tackle inactivity and grow participation.
What are your top learnings from your successful projects and why?
For traditional sport sector organisations:
- Identify the challenge to tackle: supporting organisations with this has enabled us to find solutions with the right track record.
- What happens beyond finding and agreeing on a partnership with a venture: agreeing a pilot is at times the easiest part, however, how the digital intervention is rolled out, presented to the audience or stakeholders is a critical and at times an afterthought.
- Working with a for-profit venture: embrace this knowing that the venture has a viable solution, which can add value to existing projects or objectives, and are bringing out sector capital to the table.
For tech ventures:
- Understand your data: how this can help to evidence your impact to the sector or organisations you are working with
- A product for less active people: understanding the lives of less active people can be challenging, however, we've successfully helped entrepreneurs with this before.
- Why you: there are plenty of products at the disposal of the physical activity and sport sector, carving out a unique and valid reason is key to differentiating your product.