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Henk-Frits Verkerk: “Data has created an entirely new dynamic for club/sponsor partnerships, and the classic sponsorship model will lose its relevance”

At the FUTURE OF FOOTBALL BUSINESS Conference 2022 presented by keyper, international experts presented their approach, how to deal with challenges, such as sustainability in the football business, fan involvement and brand awareness.

Football is community, movement and belonging. It’s a fundamental part of society, a driver of inclusion, cohesion, and growth. However, the football industry faces many challenges.  

Lukas Kimpel (Master Student, Manchester Business School) argued that one major challenge of the football industry is the sustainability. The pressure from the public and the responsibility to deal with it gets bigger. Clubs need to get involved and have an impact on the energy-crisis by being inventive.

Another challenge is the fan engagement in times of social media. Clubs use social media such as Instagram or Facebook to broaden and deepen fan engagement. It drives loyalty, and in turn, increases revenue, strengthens relationship, and enhances competitiveness. Alex Pinter (Strategic Innovation & Growth Lead, Accenture) pointed out that clubs have to understand the impact of the content they share and how they can use it strategically to their advantage.

New channels must be offered to interact with fans. Matjaž Možina (CEO, 2Mobile) presented a solution. Chatbots that offer fans the opportunity to get information about games, schedules, buy merchandise and food on a matchday. “Sport chatbot simplifies and enriches sport fans’ experience and builds a community of sport fans. Messaging Apps are where the customers are, and where they want business to be,” Možina said.

This not only brings revenue but also data can be collected. And data helps a football club to create new sponsors opportunities and generate revenues. How a data management system helps to find the right sponsors explained Henk-Frits Verkerk (Client Service Director, Sports Alliance) and Robert Zlotnicki (Territory Agent, Sports Alliance). “Data has created an entirely new dynamic for club/sponsor partnerships, and the classic sponsorship model will lose its relevance,” Verkerk said.

Andreas Kienbink, CEO of keyper gave insights into the future of ticketing. He stated that “ticketing needs to become invisible if done the right way.” It needs to work and be convenient for the user – the fan in that case.

The presentations showed that clubs should be closer to companies and organizations outside the sportsbusiness in order to find solutions together and overcome the future challenges. Thus, benefits can be driven from challenges.

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