Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Collaborate on New R&D Program to Gather and Bring To Life Ideas from Fans and Key Stakeholders  


SEATTLE – January 24, 2023

MLSE Digital Labs and Amazon Web Services (AWS) unveiled today a new research and development program called SportsX, focused on creating new, innovative digital solutions that achieve technological advancement in sports to enhance team performance and the fan experience.   

“We’re thrilled to announce SportsX, a new incubator in collaboration with AWS rooted in research, applied sciences and product development,” said Humza Teherany, Chief Technology & Digital Officer at MLSE. “The program is an extension of our ongoing work with AWS and combines the expertise from both of our organizations with ideas shared by our passionate fans, to create a powerhouse in sports innovation.” 

SportsX aims to push the boundaries of what’s possible in sports by exploring and innovating in three focus areas: 1. Creating extraordinary fan experiences, 2. Giving teams a winning edge and 3. Creating positive social and environmental impact. SportsX believes in the power of collective efforts, and that great ideas start with those who share our passion of sport, both professionally or as a fan. 

The program is designed with a bottom-up approach to capture, analyze, and build out the best ideas from key stakeholders, which include coaches, fans, partners, and employees. Chosen ideas will be evaluated for viability, developed, and tested in the MLSE environment with the goal of creating solutions that can benefit the sports industry at large. A dedicated SportsX web portal accompanies the launch where interested stakeholders can join the collective and receive updates regarding idea submission openings. 

“Just as AWS is democratizing technology by giving businesses of all sizes access to the same cloud and AI solutions, SportsX aims to level the playing field in sports innovation,” said Eric Gales, country manager AWS Canada. “MLSE and AWS will give anyone, from organizations to superfans, the opportunity to take their amazing idea and transform the sport they love.” 

The launch follows a successful pilot that generated industry-leading ideas under the R&D program. One of the first concepts in flight includes the NHL Extended Reality Stats Overlay; an augmented and immersive NHL game viewing experience through extended reality that brings broadcast and video game capabilities to those watching in-person. Another standout concept includes the Immersive Basketball Experience that uses optical data to give the user a life-sized augmented reality experience as if they are viewing a game as a player or sitting courtside. 

“MLSE’s partnership with AWS was built on the vision of disrupting the sports and entertainment industry and enhancing the fan experience through technology innovations,” said Jordan Vader, Senior Vice President, Global Partnerships at MLSE. “We are proud to deliver on that promise with SportsX and work with AWS to bring to life a pipeline of extraordinary ideas.” 

SportsX builds on the recent announcement that MLSE and AWS are innovating together to transform the sports experience for its teams and Canadian sports fans. AWS is MLSE’s official cloud provider and the official provider of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and deep learning cloud services. Using AWS’s comprehensive portfolio of cloud services, MLSE is building solutions that will support its teams in creating and delivering extraordinary moments for their sports fans. 

The program is being launched in phases, starting with the SportsX website where interested stakeholders can join the collective and sign up for updates. Details on the submission portal will be released at a later date. 

For more information about SportsX and to join the collective, visit


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About Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment

Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE), one of the world's premier sports and entertainment companies, owns the Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL), Toronto Raptors (NBA), Toronto FC (MLS), Toronto Argonauts (CFL), Toronto Marlies (AHL), Raptors 905 (NBA G League), TFC II (USL) and Raptors Uprising Gaming Club, the Toronto Raptors esports franchise in the NBA 2K League. Its charitable arm, MLSE Foundation, focuses on funding initiatives to support youth through sport and recreational programs. In 2017 MLSE Foundation, with support of community and corporate partners, built MLSE LaunchPad, a 42,000-sq. ft. space dedicated to programming that support its four Pillars: Healthy Body, Healthy Mind, Ready For School and Ready For Work. MLSE also owns and operates Scotiabank Arena, Canada’s premier sports and entertainment venue hosting more than 200 events each year, two digital channels - Leafs Nation Network and NBA TV Canada and has a partnership with Live Nation - the largest concert promoter in the world. MLSE has also invested in and operates five of Toronto's sports facilities – Coca-Cola Coliseum, BMO Field, BMO Training Grounds at Downsview Park, home of Toronto FC's Academy and the First Team's practice facility, OVO Athletic Centre, the practice facility for the Toronto Raptors, and Ford Performance Centre for Hockey Excellence, the practice facility for the Maple Leafs and Marlies.

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