I don’t gush often, but I have to confess, I am an all-out soccer junkie. Now, other than the fact that I have modestly insulted the world’s most popular sport by referring to it in “American,” let’s just say when I hear digital transformation and Soccer in the same sentence, my ears perk up. This passion that I have for “The Beautiful Game,” may reflect my individual tastes, however, for anyone that is a fan of any sport in the world, we all know the intrinsic connection that can exist between a person and their sport, and more specifically their team. For many, it only takes one visit to their team’s stadium to fall further in love. In many ways, sports marketing is the ultimate example of experience marketing, and few topics today are hotter than that.
Recent reports have cited the growth of brands competing on customer experience to nearly 90 percent this past year, meaning that more than ever before, brands have realized that the age of digital transformation will produce winners and losers—not just based on who has the best products and services, but based on which companies are able to create the most memorable experiences for their customers.
In order to deliver revolutionary experience, access to data and business intelligence is key. At Microsoft’s Digital Difference event in New York City yesterday, Spain’s largest professional soccer league, LaLiga and Microsoft announced a fascinating business intelligence partnership. This partnership will allow LaLiga to completely personalize their fan experiences for their more than 1.6 Billion social media followers. The personalization will enable fans, based upon their data and preferences, to only see the most relevant content from video to statistics to player news and team info for their favorite team(s). By partnering with Microsoft via a global alliance, LaLiga’s leaders are accessing artificial intelligence and cloud services to truly personalize fan interactions. Fans can specify their rooting interests then access only the most relevant content, including videos that reflect their preferences, or stats on their favorite teams or players. Via various digital channels, fans can connect with other LaLiga backers worldwide, creating interconnected communities.
In a release from Microsoft they explain the partnership and how it will work:
This alliance, through which Microsoft becomes Official Technological Partner of LaLiga, promotes the use of the most advanced technologies for the development of pioneering global sports management solutions. By deploying Microsoft’s artificial intelligence tools and applying its cognitive services, LaLiga will be able to transform its operations, for instance, it will be able to foresee the demand for specific online content or predict attendance numbers at the stadium on any given day. The use of chat bots will enable a new model of interaction with fans through voice and natural language. “Our partnership with LaLiga is going to lead to a major new wave of innovation in the sports industry, revolutionizing the way in which supporters relate to clubs and players, and radically transforming the management model of the sports organizations themselves,” stated Pilar López, President of Microsoft Ibérica.
As I see it, this partnership is a breakthrough not only in sports marketing, but in the use of advanced analytics and artificial intelligence to truly map and deliver a 360 degree view of the customer. While we have heard about this end-to-end customer experience, we have few successful examples as companies have struggled to capture enough data to truly get beyond the early stages of conquering the customer experience. I believe if this takes off, we will see sporting leagues follow suit around the world, and companies across a plethora of industries will be able to capitalize on a similar strategy to take their individual customer experiences to a new level.
If you are anything like me, you can remember the smell of the concessions and the roar of the crowd from the games you have attended in the past, but in the age of digital transformation, the fan experience goes so far beyond game day. From the way we read about our teams on social channels, to the way we interact in groups, to the way we shop online for our favorite team memorabilia, the fan experience is more manageable than ever before. More connecting points, more data, and more insights have given teams the opportunity to create even deeper relationships with their fans, re-imagining what is possible when people, passion and technology come together. What we have here is the digital difference, powered by Microsoft in partnership with perhaps the greatest soccer (football) league in the world.
For more resources on Microsoft BI and their partnership with LaLiga please check out the following.
- PowerBI demo from Digital Difference
- Event “Digital Difference” Microsite – The image package will be a download Press Kit on this news site above, they are still putting all the images/footage together for posting.
- New video: How the soccer fan experience is heading to new heights in Spain’s LaLiga [points to transform]
- Transform blog and video
This post was brought to you in partnership with Microsoft. Opinions are my own.
Daniel Newman is the Principal Analyst of Futurum Research and the CEO of Broadsuite Media Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise. From Big Data to IoT to Cloud Computing, Newman makes the connections between business, people and tech that are required for companies to benefit most from their technology projects, which leads to his ideas regularly being cited in CIO.Com, CIO Review and hundreds of other sites across the world. A 5x Best Selling Author including his most recent “Building Dragons: Digital Transformation in the Experience Economy,” Daniel is also a Forbes, Entrepreneur and Huffington Post Contributor. MBA and Graduate Adjunct Professor, Daniel Newman is a Chicago Native and his speaking takes him around the world each year as he shares his vision of the role technology will play in our future.