Great benefits for both sides

Digital ecosystems in professional football

For the fan, the stadium experience will become even more individual in the future. The same applies to experiencing and accompanying one’s own club from afar. The clubs, in turn, will also benefit because they can generate new revenues via the digital channel.

Digital ecosystems create new growth opportunities and innovations. The breaking down of traditional industry boundaries and the focus on the needs of the customer or consumer are decisive factors. In the immediate future, these systems will also play an increasingly important role in the multi-million euro business of professional football, enabling clubs to generate revenue beyond traditional sources of income.

Instead of the classic entertainment provider in the form of products and media content, clubs will take on a new role. With digital, sustainable and fan-tailored ecosystems, connections between people and companies will emerge from which both sides can benefit.

The Corona pandemic has once again highlighted to clubs the importance of development and evolution over the past two years. According to a Stats Performs Report statistic, 74 per cent of respondents said that the pandemic had given their organisation new insights into the future of sports and the media world of sports. In another survey, only a third of respondents said that their organisation was absolutely up-to-date in terms of media.

The market for sports technology, on the other hand, is growing rapidly, by 16 per cent a year until 2028, so that in six years around 36 billion dollars are expected. Technology will therefore become even more important in the areas of marketing, stadium experience, ticketing and coaching, among others.


Digital and individual full service

What is important in the digital ecosystem for football clubs? First of all, the clubs have a good to – in the case of the top clubs – very good starting position: there are many millions of fans and a large number of sponsors and partners. For clubs in other sports, too, adaptation is important in order to keep up in the future. Regardless of the sport, a crucial aspect of success for the digital ecosystem is always balancing the individual interests of all players.

On a match day, clubs will in future be able to offer stadium visitors an all-round digital service that can be tailored to individual preferences. The contents include, among others: Information on the fastest or cheapest way to get there, direct ordering and prompt collection of a jersey and personalised suggestions on how to use the time from arrival to the start of the match at the stadium, including waiting times at the merchandise shop or the food stall.

In summary, this means that a functioning digital ecosystem improves the fan’s living environment. Information, communication, entertainment or purchases – the appropriate access ensures the optimal experience in the stadium or anywhere else in the world. Everything is provided accordingly to let the fan participate in everything as closely and as intensively as possible, regardless of his location.

For the clubs on the other hand, the sphere of influence expands. With the new interface to fans and access to data, they would have control over the digital value chain. Digital revenue per fan increases and for sponsors and partners, digital fan profiles would become a new and useful currency.

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