You are now in the main content area

Ryerson University and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment announce the Future of Sport Lab

Unique collaboration will grow and support sport business ecosystem in Canada
September 11, 2018
From left: Humza Teherany, Sumit Arora, Teresa Resch, Jennifer MacInnis and Cheri Bradish

From left to right: Humza Teherany, Chief technology and digital officer, MLSE, Sumit Arora, Sr. Director, strategy, MLSE, Teresa Resch, VP of team operations, Toronto Raptors, Jennifer MacInnis, Senior Director, Applied Research & Commercialization, and Senior Legal Counsel, Office of the Vice-President, Research & Innovation and Cheri Bradish, Director of the Future Sport Lab and Loretta Rogers Research Chair in Sport Marketing with the Ted Rogers School of Management.

TORONTO, ON, September 11, 2018 - Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, Ltd. (MLSE) and Ryerson University announced today they have agreed to establish a lab for sport innovation and research called the "Future of Sport Lab" (the "FSL"), one of the first of its kind in North America.

The objective of the FSL is to be Canada’s leader in sport innovation, creating a sport business ecosystem that will connect Canadian sport properties and industry partners, entrepreneurs, faculty and students. Together, they will support and foster innovative sport business solutions and technologies along with sport industry research, insights and education.

The first component of the FSL will be an incubator for sport-related startups open to entrepreneurs from across Canada. Operated under the direction of Dr. Cheri L. Bradish, Loretta Rogers Research Chair in Sport Marketing with the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University, the FSL incubator will start accepting applicants in October 2018.

“Toronto is truly a world-class sport business city. The Future of Sport Lab will bring together the incredible talent that’s already here and give them a chance to collaborate and create solutions with real world impact. This will be the new home of sport innovation in Canada,” said Bradish.

“Ryerson continues to be a leader in creating business ecosystems anchored by innovation and entrepreneurship,” shared Ryerson University President Mohamed Lachemi. “We’re thrilled to share this vision with MLSE to ensure Canadian sport and sport business are shaping the global future of sport,” he added.

“Toronto has established itself as a world-class sports and entertainment market for our teams and venues, but also as a leader in the business of sport,” said Michael Friisdahl, MLSE President & CEO. “This partnership with Ryerson will support the talent and innovation that has contributed to the city’s strong global reputation and continue to create opportunities for success in the industry in the future.”

Activities of the FSL will include:

·         Creative research and innovation partnerships

·         Applied research and needs assessments to identify emerging opportunities and solve real world problems

·         Support for startups including the potential opportunity to have MLSE pilot testing of products/services

·         Research forums to bring together experts to identify emerging trends and solve practical sector challenges

“Delivering championship teams and the ultimate fan experience for our fans is MLSE’s primary focus,” said Humza Terehany, Chief Technology & Digital Officer at MLSE. “Innovation is a key part of our ability to enable our teams to perform at the highest levels but also to deliver new ways to engage our fans with exciting new technology.”

The collaboration between Ryerson and MLSE will also result in the development of complementary sport business programming at both the MBA and undergraduate levels.

For further details, please visit (external link) 

About Ryerson University

Ryerson University is Canada’s leader in innovative, career-oriented education. Urban, culturally diverse and inclusive, the university is home to more than 45,300 students, including 2,600 Master’s and PhD students, 3,800 faculty and staff, and nearly 198,000 alumni worldwide. For more information, visit

About MLSE

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 D-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 & 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, the Toronto Raptors’ training facility and the MasterCard Centre for Hockey Excellence, the practice facility for the Maple Leafs and Marlies.

For more information:

Charzie Abendanio
Tel: (416) 815-5455

Zandra Alexander
Public Affairs, Ryerson University
Office: 416-979-5000 x 4282