In the upcoming months, UEFA will start implementing few crucial digital projects. Always with the three most important stakeholders in mind: fans, broadcasters and sponsors / partners. Particularly within perspective of the upcoming tournament challenges: the new Champions League and European League cycles (2018-21), pioneering Nations League and above all – the EURO 2020.
SportandTech had rare opportunity to discuss these topics shortly after the UEFA Europa League Final in Lyon and our partner in this conversation was Sachin Mehrish, digital product and delivery in the UEFA for more than a decade. We had the pleasure and opportunity to listen to the most important digital development ideas that UEFA has put on its innovative roadmap. The very first conclusion we had drawn? The digital strategy of the European football giant is definitely parting ways with the traditional media-driven model.
Big Data. This is the concept that does not come out from office desks in the Nyon headquarters. “The goal for the next two years is to provide the fan clubs and teams participating in our competition with personalized, useful and convenient content. In the right dose, time and format. We must learn as much as possible about our fan“, Sachin claims.
“I like the things around me to be beautiful & slightly dreamy, with a feeling of worldliness.”
UEFA has been working on Business Intelligence projects for several months, which will allow them to collect, analyze and monetize as many data about its fans as possible. “We plan to introduce a BI platform in 2019. Everything, however, needs to be matched and bring tangible results to our broadcasters and sponsors in two years’ time during Euro 2020“, says Sachin.
The platform will certainly have similar elements to the Microsoft one used by Real Madrid or LaLiga. But the final goal is different. “We all strive for the greatest personalization of content, which results in direct or monetized products. However, we cannot compete with clubs. Fans of Real Madrid or any other club will never be UEFAfans in the same way. They will always emotionally stick to their team. Our ultimate goal is not to sell merchandising, but to use precise fan information within our digital ecosystem“, says Sachin. Fanbase data that UEFA will be able to share with its long-time sponsors (e.g. Playstation, Adidas, Heineken, Hankook Tire, Mastercard, PepsiCo or Nissan, just to name a few) and the new ones like Spanish Banco Santander, Booking.com or Volkswagen. This will definitely help sponsors activations in the most suitable way and they themselves push for more innovation from UEFA’s side as their own industries: banking and financial services, travel agency business, as well as car manufacturing and mobility, undergo rapid and disruptive revolution.
So, what is it actually about that recently hyped tailored fan-content? “In two years’ time and before EURO 2020, we would like to have a football fan, of, for example, Spain to receive via our official app a complete and useful information about his national team. Logistic and public transports tips in every of 12 host cities, info regarding the accommodation, and even where the most radical supporters are concentrated. We also want to know if fan of Spanish National Team supports other teams, clubs or even follows some other sports. And if so, then when it comes to football our knowing our fans, we aim to provide them always with the best content – in the right form and intensity. All this is supposed to be an intelligent knowledge about the fan, without the old-fashioned questionnaires and overflow of unsolicited, unwanted information“, explains Sachin. “The content generated in our mobile app and on the website is a priority at the moment. There are countries, such as India, where young people consume literally every sport content exclusively through a smartphone. We need to get as much information about them as possible and reach out with content in the best way. We have to generate interest among new, young fans who are not necessarily football-fanbase. It is about creation of grassroots in different sports” says Sachin.
In a few weeks, UEFA will also reveal its cards concerning eSport projects. We sense the potential for creation of own e-league or e-tournament proposition. The Nyon-based association will also develop further cooperation with influencers started via a partnership with freestyle soccer skills channel, F2.
Moreover, UEFA has made big steps in terms of the new blockchain trend.Around 10,000 neutral fans’ tickets for the UEFA Europa League Final in Lyon were sold, activated and shared by ticket applications with valuable fan data registered in the blockchain system. “We will keep testing this solution, but of course not every stadium is as technologically advanced as OL Park, so we will not always be able to use this option. But mobile ticketing is the future. Also, in the context of our partners. Everyone needs to know how to assemble such a mobile medium not only through simple banners. Volkswagen needs to know how to do it in the right way, knowing its customer base, and Hankook in its own way“, claims Sachin.
A lot of interesting projects to come. The UEFA digital transformation is gaining serious traction as it overcomes many previously unanswered challenges. We will be keeping an eye one them closely and keeping you posted on sportandtech.com about the most crucial updates.
Nova was the magplus that we all wanted to read in the Sixties because every issue brought something new and relevant to our lives: extraordinary fashion by Molly Parkin; innovative
As you can see, you can embed GIFs in theme theme. This works like a charm in any post type. Enjoy that!