Real Sociedad has partnered with Microsoft to transform and improve the club’s Anoeta stadium for the ultimate fan experience.
The club will work with Microsoft Sports and its Madrid-based Global Sports Innovation Centre (GSIC) to launch a technology-based startup acceleration program which will see up to 10 companies compete to provide prototypes for their stadium solutions.
Jokin Aperribay, President of Real Sociedad, states that “For Real Sociedad to turn Anoeta into a Smart Stadium is an opportunity that we should not miss as it is perfectly aligned with our goal of offering our fans the best possible experience at our Stadium, besides turning it into a meeting point for San Sebastian and Gipuzkoa.”
The Sport Thinkers Smart Stadium program, designed by GSIC, will help the La Liga club work on the main aspects that Microsoft Sports takes into account when developing Smart Venues projects, namely:
- The design should revolve around the safety and comfort of the stadium’s users, who should be top of mind during the transformation process, providing the best experience for fans.
- The stadium should become an architectural and touristic icon for the region where it’s located.
- The stadium should also serve the community as a meeting point not only for sporting events, but also to accommodate other types of entertainment activities of interest.
- The developed actions should also be able to maximise the business potential of all sporting events that take place in the stadium.
Transforming the beautiful game
The program will launch on 13 July, with applications being accepted over the summer. In October, the final 10 startups will be decided, followed by a week of immersion with the club in November. This week will allow contestants to familiarise themselves with Real Sociedad’s strategy, use cases and challenges.
From November till February 2019, the startups will then have until February 2019 to develop their solutions, after which the winning transformation project will be chosen.
Iris Córdoba, the General Manager of the GSIC, highlights that “This initiative seeks to identify the best innovative startups that can provide technological solutions regarding the smart stadium concept and thereby help to bring the future of the improved experience of soccer fans, putting at the disposal of a club like Real Sociedad, the latest solutions in the sector. ”
The 10 companies chosen for the final of the competition will benefit from free GSIC membership, in addition to benefitting from all the services and advantages provided by the Centre, including networking, participation in activities aimed at innovation and applied research, B2B contacts, visibility in media and international events, and more.
Microsoft’s goal is to provide fans with unforgettable experiences on every occasion. Sebastián Lancestremère, General Manager of Microsoft Sports states that “That’s why we work as a team with the GSIC and expert partners in the industry, taking advantage of the Microsoft Sports platform to develop new services and experiences for fans, before, during, and after each sports event.”
If you are a startup interested in participating, an institution willing to support the program, or a sports entity looking to explore collaboration possibilities, register for the event here.