Pokatok Announces Inaugural Sports Festival in Houston
HOUSTON, June 7, 2023 / PRNewswire / — Gow Companies announced today the coming of Pokatok™, a festival to bring the world together – nations, teams, athletes, communities, brands, innovators, and fans – for the “world’s fair for sports.” The four-day event will be held in Houston, Texas, on April 4-7, 2024.
Pokatok will include the largest sports tech expo ever, keynote speakers, panel discussions, pitch competitions, product launches, and networking opportunities for the sports industry but will also feature a sports film festival, competitions, tournaments, live music, and other activities for fans and consumers.
The festival will be centered in Downtown Houston, including the George R. Brown Convention Center, Discovery Green, and various hotels and other venues within a two-mile radius. Pokatok has secured city, state, and municipal support from Houston First, the Greater Houston Partnership, and the Harris County Houston Sports Authority, all of which will be instrumental in assisting the event efforts in a number of capacities.
“Pokatok will not only be the largest gathering of the entire sports tech ecosystem, it will also be a true fan festival for sports enthusiasts,” said Lawson Gow, Founder of Pokatok. “Everyone speaks the language of sport, it’s an incredibly powerful unifier of our society, and this festival will bring together people from around the world to experience hundreds of events revolving around the new and the next in sport.”
Pokatok X will be an expo and showcase focused on sports innovation and will bring together thousands of start-ups, founders, investors, accelerators, athletes, teams, leagues, executives, and industry experts to learn what’s new in sports tech and build relationships across the entire sports community. Expo tracks will focus on the ways technologies transform how athletes prepare and perform, how audiences experience and engage, and how arenas house and host. Attendees will experience a full calendar of pitches, keynote speakers, panel discussions, one-on-one meetings, and networking opportunities.
In parallel, The Pokatok Fan Festival will include product releases, sports technology demos, sporting events, competitions, tournaments, and other activities for fans and fanatics alike. Attendees will have the opportunity to be a spectator, competitor, or both as they interact with tech, teams, athletes, and hundreds of sporting events. Other experiences range from a sports film festival to a huge outdoor tailgate to live music throughout the festival.
“The City of Houston has built a reputation as a go-to host city for major sporting events, including, most recently, the 2023 NCAA Men’s Final Four, and is slated to be a host of the 2024 College Football National Championship, the 2024 Cricket World Cup, and the 2026 FIFA World Cup. Houston is known as one of the best sports destinations in the world,” said Gow.
“As an organization, we are consistently looking for ways to innovate and grow in the sports sector. Events like Pokatok are great for advancing sports within the region and providing unique opportunities for our community,” said Harris County – Houston Sports Authority CEO Janis Burke.
Now the home of the Sports World Fair, The City of Houston is making an intentional effort to evolve itself into a global hub for the sports tech sector.
“The City of Houston is a sports town to its core and has been host to some of the greatest events and moments in sports,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “Pokatok will help further Houston’s vision of being a destination city for global sporting events and innovations. The business community also supports this venture, and I thank them for their involvement and support. This project is an excellent example of local business leaders joining forces to expand the attractions the City has to offer to both residents and visitors.”
Applications for speakers and partners are now open at https://pokatok.com/speaker-application, as well as pre-registering for early access to tickets that will go on sale this fall.
What is Pokatok?
The sport of Pokatok dates back to 3,500 BC as the world’s first team sport, versions of which were played throughout Mesoamerica. It was the first time teams worked together to compete and win against their opponent. From the first sport to the future of sport, Pokatok will be the world’s gathering place for everything sport.
About Gow Companies
Gow Companies is the parent company of Pokatok, as well as a number of other sports tech businesses and activities. It is owned by Lawson Gow and Chris Buckner and is headquartered in Houston, Texas. GowCompanies.com
About Harris County – Houston Sports Authority
Harris County – Houston Sports Authority (HCHSA) maintains the facilities and services the debt of Houston’s major sporting venues. To support this primary mission, HCHSA is a leading proponent in attracting sporting events to Houston and promoting the city as a home for sports-related activities. HCHSA also operates annual programs to honor and recognize excellence in athletics, support the local community through programming and donations, and showcase the spirit and culture of the city. These events include the Houston Sports Awards, Houston Sports Hall of Fame, Abilities In Motion, and the National Battle of the Bands.