On May 25, Sports Innovation Lab's 2022 ‘Top 25 Most Innovative Teams in the World’ report ranked the Seahawks as the 18th-most innovative sports team in the world, leading the NFL. The Rams were the other NFL franchise to make the list, placing 21st in their maiden appearance.
The Seahawks improved one spot from their 2021 position, Sports Innovation Lab, in its inaugural “Most Innovative Team” report, ranked Seattle as the 19th-most innovative overall, placing behind fellow NFL teams like the Patriots (13th) and Packers (14th). The NFL experienced a decline in top-25 representation this year, with just two teams placing in this year’s top-25 compared to a total of four in 2021.
“Innovation is so native to this city and region, and our organizational focus is to reflect that in how we build the fan experience and how we show up in this community,” Seahawks Vice President of Marketing and Community Engagement Jeff Richards told Seahawks.com’s Maliik Obee.
“Connecting the 12s with our players, our brand and other 12s in meaningful ways at Lumen Field, in the community throughout the year and through a variety of digital experiences is what we're focused on every day. The team at Sports Innovation Lab has found a really unique way to quantify that innovative spirit and we're proud to be recognized in this way.”
Sports Innovation Lab is a market-research company that works with sports teams to help them understand their fanbase and how technology impacts their behavior.
“Sports Innovation Lab helps the world's leading sports organizations identify and understand their fans, thereby enabling better fan experiences,” defined the company’s website definition.
“We do this by collecting and analyzing data on what fans do, watch and buy. We believe the future of sports lies in a community-based monetization model, and the properties, brands and media organizations who lead this evolution will do so by making strategic data-driven decisions. Let us help you make yours.”
The "Most Innovative Team" report aims to clearly highlight the global team leaders in innovation.
“Many industry leaders struggle with the definition of innovation. They say: ‘We know it when we see it." But for us, that wasn’t good enough,” explained Sports Innovation Lab co-founder and CEO Angela Ruggiero, a four-time Olympian, four-time Olympic medalist and hockey Hall of Famer.
“The 'Most Innovative Teams' report is the answer to that ambiguity, providing a definitive ranking based on strict criteria that identify and score what it means to be innovative.”
The report researches and grades three metrics of innovation, devised by Head of Innovation Abe Stein and his Sports Innovation Lab team: revenue diversification, technology enablement and organizational ability. Here's how it's broken down:
“Revenue diversification: We track how teams are broadening fan scope and driving revenue through alternative channels.
Technology Enablement: We track the strength of association between teams and technologies associated with fan behaviors across the most meaningful and important public data sources.
Organizational Ability: We track how team front offices are organized and staffed and how they incorporate data and business intelligence into the operations.”
These three factors “are then weighted and fed into a calculation that arrives at a final overall team score.” The researched data is continuously revisited and recalibrated until the final team score is published in the report.
The Seahawks' placement in the top-25 is a testament to the work done by the organization's upper management, including but not limited to: 
“All of these teams, in one way or another, felt the discomfort of trying something new for their business and created a culture to embrace this discomfort and the uncertainty of venturing into the unknown,” assessed Ruggiero in her 2022 report introduction. 
“That innovative spirit should be acknowledged and celebrated.”
Based and born in the UK, Matty has coached football for over 5 years, including stints as a scout, defensive coordinator, and Wide Receiver/DB Coach. He is Xs and Os obsessed.


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