Microsoft links sports organisations to fans with new service-based digital sports platform

In the not-too-distant past, heading a ball during a football match was not a decision to be taken lightly.

Covered in heavy leather, one bad knock to the head would have you seeing stars. But today is a different story.

New materials have paved the way for lighter, more accurate balls, which are far more pleasurable to use. We’ve come a long way since the very first pig’s bladder was kicked between two posts…

The evolution of sport
The same can be said for all sports in general. Playing, spectating and managing sports has evolved at an incredible rate, while technology, allows fans to interact with their favourite teams/players like never before.

Social media and digitalization has enabled new opportunities for small clubs to connect with their fans, and the true democratization of technology for sports will happen when every club in the planet has a digital platform to understand their fans’ needs.

Microsoft recognises the importance of technology and its impact on all sports. Microsoft Sports Digital Platform  The platform allows these sports organisations to use technology to connect with fans, improve their services, establish new revenue streams, and more.

Reinforcing its commitment and ambition to helping transform the sports industry, Microsoft has now announced its MSDP solution as a service (MSDP SaaS).

Its new availability on a service model takes Microsoft’s existing established sports platform and scales it to a more affordable basic layer of main services up to more in-depth customer needs, allowing each project to grow according to customers’ visions, bringing transformation to more sports organisations than ever before.

An end-to-end solution which offers simplified digital transformation for sports organisations of any size, MSDP SaaS offers a comprehensive range of digital services to drive deeper fan engagement by building natural, tailored experiences that offer more for fans and sports organisations alike.

MSDP SaaS increases the value of fans by providing all the tools necessary to understand their passions, their likes, and their behaviour – information which can then be used to provide them with an improved service, while winning over loyalty and opening new revenue streams beyond simply the selling of tickets.

Sebastián Lancestremère, General Manager for Microsoft Digital in Sports states that “Digital transformation is redefining the sports industry with major trends in mobile, IoT, the cloud, big data and social shaping the fan’s consumption behaviour. These fans, the customers of our customers, have evolved how and where they consume content and entertain themselves.”

“Sports fans are consuming an average of 10 hours a week on TV and 45 percent of sports fans follow on a second screen (tablets or smartphones). Millennials are leading the multi-screen trend; however, the next generation of fans will inevitably leverage digital even more – making the digital transformation of the sports industry a top priority to ensure relevance and accessibility for the future. Microsoft is mobilising fans to be active citizens of a club or federation, increasing pride and nationality.”

Digital transformation for all

Due to its nature as a service – which includes Microsoft Dynamics, Azure and Office 365 – Microsoft’s solution means that customers won’t have to invest large amounts of money for the set up and delivery of the platform.

Microsoft’s cloud solution partner Global TMS will walk customers through every step of the service’s integration, providing sports organisations with powerful tools ranging from websites, apps and games, to deep-dive analytics tools which will provide vital information.

This information can include detailed 360-degree fan profiles, engagement rates (allowing tailored promotions), video platforms, marketing automation, push notifications, digital marketing tools and much, much more – all without the large economical barriers which traditionally accompany such vast undertakings.

“Global TMS aims to be the reference company in the implementation of Microsoft Sports Digital Platform as a service, in the sports industry thanks to the experience and knowledge of the industry we have. Microsoft owns the most complete technological offering regarding the Sports market, and both of us share the vision of democratizing the Sports content accessibility at global level.” – Francisco Pino, Global TMS Sports Business Manager

Ultimately, this solution offers the benefit of technology to all sports organisations, both large and small, with a one-stop-shop monthly-fee solution that covers all of their digital transformation needs, enhances fan engagement, and boosts new revenue streams.

In action – Valencia CF

A historical football club founded in 1919 and one of the most supported and most successful teams in the world, Valencia CF is leading by example, by embracing digital transformation using MSDP SaaS.

“Valencia’s desire to improve the club’s connection with its fans was a big challenge. We are looking for efficiencies through digital transformation, and focusing on the fans to provide more, and better experiences, says Anil Murthy, President Valencia CF.

“For that reason, the club is working with Microsoft and GlobalTMS, investing in strategic assets like the Microsoft Sports Digital Platform as a Service for enhancing football transformation with technology, data acquisition and analytics, mobile, digital content, connectivity, fan engagement and experiences.”

“From digital to in-venue experiences, the fan will be at the centre of everything”, Murphy continues. “The main aim is to create a one-to-one connection with every fan, to get a better understanding of each one so that we can provide them with what they want the most.”

Winning six La Liga titles, seven Copa del Rey trophies and six more titles in various European competitions are all extremely impressive feats – but Valencia CF’s decision to grow its success off the pitch by embracing digital transformation, will set the club up for a whole new arena for success.

Using Microsoft’s service, the club can look forward to connecting at a much deeper level with its fans, increasing its optimisation and opportunities for new revenue streams in the process.

The four pillars of success
Microsoft’s solution delivers on four key pillars – Fan Engagement, Smart Venue, Business Insights & Productivity and Team and Player Performance. These four pillars leverage the underlying Microsoft Cloud Platform to create tremendous Cloud growth opportunities.

Fan Engagement: a platform which provides the services that connect fans with teams, athletes, and each other. It also supports content management, marketing campaigns, and gamification services.

Smart Venue: a myriad of solutions through cloud services which includes a large set of fan services and experiences for the venue, including retail, food & beverage, cashless payments, digital ticketing and access validation. It also includes 360-degree video content creation, immersive experiences, social analysis, instant access to refreshments, merchandise, IoT, and more.

Business Insights: provides the foundation services and advanced data processing for insights that improve customer service, target marketing efforts, and tracks business performance and operations through the use of advanced data processing.

Team and Player Performance:  a scenario where Microsoft enables independent software vendors (ISVs) to provide solutions that realise the on-field benefits of advanced athlete data and performance analytics. This solution enables team managers and trainers to create new training experiences for athletes, as well as collect data from multiple sources to generate insights that athletes and teams can use to maximize their performance.

For more information please contact:

Microsoft: sportbusiness@microsoft.com
Global TMS: sportsinfo@globaltms.es