Elite football teams join to create Sport Innovation Alliance to push tech transformation
The Sport Innovation Alliance (SIA) has been launched by 10 football clubs around the world to give them more power as a group to drive technological innovation and change, as well as to increase potential sponsorships and other revenue streams.
The open collaboration is made up of clubs around the world to share ideas and synergies to define, execute and maintain a sustainable innovation process in each of the clubs.
Real Sociedad in Spain, Cagliari in Italy, Feyenoord of Rotterdam and Legia of Poland plus Club de Regatas Vasco da Gama in Brasil, Universidad Católica of Chile, Club Atlético Nacional of Colombia, Sporting Cristal in Perú and Club Atlético Peñarol of Uruguay, as well as Al-Ittihad Jeddah Club of Saudi Arabia, are members of SIA.
Football clubs today face the challenge of confronting processes of digital transformation, development of new technologies, innovation and improvement of processes with limited resources and experience, Real Sociedad said. From artificial intelligence, Big Data and Blockchain, to stadium management, fan engagement, and even the development and planning of the sport, a lot is resting on clubs’ IT teams and budgets.
The reason the alliance was formed was because the member clubs felt their budgets were not large enough to extend or to improve the scope of technology within their clubs, internal IT teams were not skilled enough to cope with ongoing innovations, and that while it is possible to find consultants to advise on what to do, resources were still lacking on how to complete the digital transformation process.
Through SIA, the clubs want to have more of a global presence and impact. Therefore, through the creation of SIA, the objective is to maximise the resources of each club. SIA is looking to identify and share the best solutions that are already being used in each club and to look at and create new solutions, sharing the costs amongst the member clubs, including the creation of digital assets. SIA will roll out those digital solutions amongst the clubs using the same IT team, based on the joint buying power of the group. Once created, those innovations can be monitised as a group and sold onto other clubs outside SIA.
SIA will also certify tech partners for member clubs, look to increase sponsorship for them, and help push for more events, from conferences to eSports, within member clubs to drive further revenues.