Digitization in sport: Fan and players are getting closer

Eleven stages, 150 speakers, 3500 participants and 2.2 billion media contacts. This is what the so-called Spobis in Dusseldorf stands for. In addition to keynote speakers such as Matthias Sammer or Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, this year a central question dominated the congress agenda and the small talk: how digital is sport, how important are technological trends in an area whose fascination with the athletic happenings on the field is still important Space, in the hall and over the athletes themselves arises.

Artificial intelligence, data, and content initially seem like foreign words in emotion-driven sports business. The Spobis shows the opposite – sport and digital have long since found each other.

Look over the pond!

It stays that way and it’s not really new. America is always a good two to three years ahead of Germany in terms of sports communication and marketing. Not only when we look at the post-game interviews that take place after a few minutes cooling down for the professionals in the cabins. Podcast expert Daniel Sprügel also knows from sports podcasts: “Players like Spotify have discovered the market and are investing neatly. But in the US, ESPN’s former sports reporters have been making millions with podcasts for years, employing up to 80 people. “


Sport, together with all its diversity and emotion, will therefore be even more “catchy” in the future, with three-digit growth rates in the forecast. All the more surprising that in the Bundesliga so far only Borussia Mönchengladbach is traveling in the field.

Data, data and again data

What is always said about edge sports, so that they are more interesting for the audience and fans, is at least as true for football: It must be much more (and faster) to use the variety of data, so for fans and stakeholders even more interesting to become.

There, too, a look in the US is worthwhile. Split screens on TV for live broadcasts and content playback on mobile devices are not uncommon, but completely normal. And screaming too loud, you honestly do not hear the fans. Why? It is like so often: If things are implemented well and professionally, then it will prevail in the end.

And there are also players in Germany who can bring the sports market as well as the individual sports extremely and even more strongly forward in this context.

Such as through a special radio technology in conjunction with a chip that is worn by the athletes. “This allows us to offer all stakeholders in sport completely new opportunities. Especially when we think about storytelling and the emotional participation of fans, “says Maximilian Schmidt, co-founder and CEO of Kinexon.

Volleyball and beach volleyball show that it works. The responsible persons have opened up, have entered into new cooperations. The reward: a new innovation partner (comdirect). Because now there is real-time data for the fan on site. Then, of course, then optimally extended over the relevant communication channels. Thats how it works.

New technic? Be brave and try it!

The almost everywhere hyped App TikTok in sports? It does not work? Why not..!?

For the sports industry, it’s not just about looking at the new technologies in detail, but trying them out. After all, over 130 million people worldwide use this app, primarily a young target group. It is a social network. Short, self-made videos are accompanied with music. This is often danced or sung in sync. Manchester City from England has recently used existing video content from Pep Guardiola and played with the app. Admittedly, that takes some getting used to, but especially the young target group wants to be entertained.

The new players: cooperate instead of ignore

“The future of AI-Driven Marketing”. Sounds good and interesting. It is. Microsoft positions itself with it among other things. in the context of digitization. And of course it has an impact on sports communications.

Now imagine the rather complicated structures and organizations in the associations and associations. Recruiting staff is anything but a work in progress. Especially when you compete against players like Microsoft. But ignoring – or even worse – completely closing your eyes is not an option. Rather, it requires the much greater opening by sport.

All sports, including the sports industry, are challenged and, in some ways, forced to surrender their own knowledge, and certainly rights that have hitherto been sanctuary, and in return benefit from the new players.

It’s no surprise that a company like Teravolt is still on the rise. By combining and modulating data generated and collected using algorithms, the company enables viewers to benefit from individual highlights, instant access to their favorite scenes with one click, and live on-screen analysis.

In addition, viewers can see all the highlights scenes in a sequence, they can access all the videos (for example, club TV) of a particular player or select all scenes concerning players of a particular nationality throughout the season.

The FC Bayern as Primus

Whether you become German Champion is a challenge this year. But the Bavarians remain the industry leader. Also, because they recently founded their own digital media subsidiary. Stefan Mennerich is responsible for the new GmbH and it is a more than clever move. Thanks to the perfect infrastructure and partners such as SAP and Telekom, Bayern are now building solutions that other football clubs buy.

These are solutions for CRM and ticketing, which have already been requested by, for example, Dynamo Dresden and Rapid Wien at FC Bayern. “We’ll do it anyway. So, why not continue to benefit from it? Our partners value the price-performance level, “explains Mennerich.

Incidentally, marketers will bite their teeth on FCB even more in the future. After all, the activation of sponsorship rights is increasingly being handled by the new GmbH of Bayern.

E-sport remains

That E-Sport remains firmly in the sports business and is no longer a trend, is not new. Not even after the two days in Dusseldorf. Nor that the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) finds this hype less great and certainly not as a sport, let alone sees Olympic sports. Can one see and argue about it anyway?

Alone, one would like to call the person in charge of the DOSB: Yes, we understood your position. Now we look forward to new collaborations and ideas implemented through the use of technologies. Thanks to a non-sectoral partner. As described, there are truly enough approaches.

To the author:Konstantin Krüger has been a team leader at fischerAppelt for two years and is responsible for sports topics. Prior to that, he spent five years at Sparda-Bank Hamburg responsible for sports sponsorship as well six years press spokesman at Hamburger SV.

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