Technology accelerator Tesonet invests in Zalgiris Kaunas 22
Tesonet, the technology accelerator that Zalgiris has had successful cooperation, has set to join forces with the green-and-whites at a larger scale, as they become a shareholder of Zalgiris. This year, the legendary sports club and Tesonet jointly established the sports technology start-up Zalgiris Ventures and will continue to focus on the development of the sports club’s commercial activities, business growth and innovation.
“Over the last few years Zalgiris has proven that it can deliver great results in the sports business and develop commercial projects with a strong management team. Now, with the addition of a strategically strong partner with valuable international experience, we will be able to realise even bigger plans. Tesonet will invest in our business model and provide opportunities to grow and earn more by reinvesting it into an even stronger team,” said Zalgiris Kaunas Director Paulius Motiejunas.
“The current Zalgiris management team are partners with the right mindset and continues to demonstrate excellent business results. Combining their sports industry know-how and Tesonet’s tech knowledge and experience with building global brands, we will accomplish even more ambitious plans. We come to this partnership with the aim to innovate and develop a digital transformation. Utilizing the next-gen tech, we will provide Zalgiris fans with unique experiences that will bring them even closer to the team.
We will also help Zalgiris generate additional income flow, independent from the limitations of Zalgirio Arena capacity or countries’ borders. Those additional funds will help with the team formation processes and further improve current infrastructure,” said one of the Tesonet founders Tomas Okmanas.
New technology opportunities
One of the first steps in the cooperation was taken just a month ago with the creation of Zalgiris Ventures, a sports and technology start-up, together with Tesonet.
“We have developed our long-term innovation strategy with the vision for Zalgiris Kaunas to become an internationally recognised brand in the field of sports innovation. This would be a breakthrough in our activities through innovation and modern technologies. The establishment of Zalgiris Ventures and the partnership with Tesonet will be a strong driving force behind this strategy,” said Motiejunas.
The current five-year strategy defines the organisation’s direction of improvement in the areas of sports management, customer experience and engagement and business partnerships.
In the area of sports management, collaboration with innovators and new technologies will lead to increased productivity, better data collection and analysis. This will enable smarter, faster, and more effective decisions to be made when coaching teams. New technologies will also be used to monitor athletes’ health.
Another area of development is improving the fan experience through modern solutions and technologies, including the development of the Zalgiris Insider content platform.
Changes to the structure
Even before the transaction was completed, the Zalgiris Group was established to unite all the companies and have them operating under one umbrella, such as Kauno Zalgiris football club, the merchandise distributor Delegatai (Zalgirisshop.lt), Zalgiris Honor Club, etc. The unification of all companies under a common group banner will make project and human resources management more efficient and will also bring clarity in external communication.
Kauno Arena, which manages Zalgirio Arena, will continue to participate in various tenders for the operation of the facilities, and its experience and knowledge will enable it to contribute to the development of even more infrastructure projects in Lithuania.
Following Tesonet’s acquisition of a 25% stake in the holding company Zalgiris Group, Jonas Karklys, one of the accelerator’s board members, will join the board. The remaining 75% of the shares remain in the hands of Motiejunas, who has also bought shares from Arvydas Sabonis, who remains actively involved in the management of the organisation. He has been invited to become Honorary President of Zalgiris Kaunas.