Fight against alienation in professional football

How can a modern football club grow without alienating its most loyal fans? Surprisingly, digitalization could contribute decisively in the search for compromises.

We live in a time in which familiar and learned things take on new forms. Our society is in a state of upheaval. Things are changing as strong as they have not for decades. This can also be seen in football, the much-quoted "mirror image of our society". Fans protest against commercialization, the power of investors, and associations and leagues. The reasons for this are many and varied, digitalization chief among them.

After all, there is currently no football club in the Bundesliga that does not face digital challenges, nor one that does not attempt to use digital content to tap into new revenue sources at home and abroad. Not long ago, 1. FC Cologne reported on 150 "digital potentials in the areas of fan engagement, smart stadium, business operations and team/player performance". Archrival Borussia Mönchengladbach wants to open an office in China. The larger clubs such as Bayern, Dortmund and Schalke have long been active abroad. In the digital age, the modern Internet media will continue to shape and change the strategy, structure, culture and processes of every professional club. The intelligent linking of data and targeted processing of large amounts of data have meanwhile become near guarantees of success in both the sports and business sectors. With the help of state-of-the-art technologies, clubs are in the process of creating a digital, 360-degree fan experience across all communication channels and contact points (e.g. stadium, online shop, club TV, social media); they then use digital fan tracks for new service offerings and business models.

>>> Read the complete article by Prof. Schmidt on LinkedIn