Norwegian company TicketCo continues to build its profile in UK market

While some traditions stay, football does continue to change in the modern world.

One area of the game which has undertaken a rapid technological transformation is the method in which supporters make purchases.

The technology available gives clubs new decisions to make, which would have been unheard of several years. For example, the choice to operate cashless stadiums.

Norwegian company TicketCo is embracing the idea of going cashless. The company works with clubs to increase revenue at stadiums by maximising sales and reducing overall costs.

This is all done via its payment platform which gives supporters easy access to purchase tickets, merchandise as well as food and beverages. Transactions can be made anywhere whether its online, inside the stadium or at the turnstiles. The scanning app technology cuts queues, which is increasingly important in this day and age.

TicketCo entered the UK market in 2017 and has partnered with clubs including Wycombe Wanderers, Kilmarnock, Macclesfield Town and Solihull Moors.

Benefits of going cashless include the reduction of time for sales, a lower security risk and a lower cost. Better data is also captured by the technology, which clubs can use.

The platform is available on both iOS and Android devices and gives organisers the chance to advertise offers before events occur.

Wycombe Wanderers have reported a 57% increase in supporters purchasing tickets online since they partnered with TicketCo.

Mark Palmer of Wycombe Wanderers told FC Business: “The TicketCo platform is fantastic and makes purchases so simple. It makes buying tickets so simple online, via mobile phones, the website and Facebook. It enables us to provide a better service to supporters and is helping the club grow.

“We’ve had a lot of success with the new TicketCo platform when it comes to fans buying tickets quickly and simply online or via the app. The cashless solution at the bars was the next step in our strategy and not only does it improve the experience for supporters, it also helps us process more transactions, so it is a win, win.”

It is a similar situation at Macclesfield Town where fans have gone from buying tickets in cash to online. National League side Solihull Moors partnered with TicketCo to help the club prepare for future growth.

“TicketCo has ticked all the boxes for us; a quick and trouble-free implementation that was easy to use and demonstrated immediate commercial benefit on increased sales, cash handling and cash flow,” said Chief Executive Calvin Barnett.

“Throughout last season it proved itself time and time again especially in our huge FA Cup and end of season games. It is fair to say without the platform we would have struggled to cope.

“Having now introduced merchandising to the platform we enter this season looking to make significantly more use of the features and functionality it provides to drive not just commercial revenues but a better all-round buying experience for all involved.”

UK Country Manager at TicketCo, David Kenny, said various clubs are buying into the advantages of the cashless technology.

He claimed: “More and more clubs are directly benefitting from the upsides of our cashless technology both in terms of improving revenue and the fan experience and we’re looking forward to further UK growth.”

That growth seems to be on its way as TicketCo continues to invest in its technology to support transitions to cashless stadiums.

“Next season we are due to introduce a card- reader that is so robust it even runs off-line if the network is down,” added David. “The technology will also provide a payment solution that eliminates the need to top-up apps and prevents the risk of customer data loss.”

Philip Panas is a sports journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy and industry matters, drawing on his knowledge and passion of the game. Follow him on Twitter @PhilipPanas

City of Greater Geelong Council injects $350,000 into Corio Soccer Club facilities

The City of Greater Geelong Council have announced an initial funding grant of $350,000 into improving Corio Soccer Club’s facilities.

As a part of the Hume Reserve Master Plan, gender neutral change rooms will be developed on the site, as well as an upgrade to the team’s clubrooms.

Hume Reserve is considered one of Geelong’s largest soccer facilities. The reserve is home to three soccer pitches, two of them with lighting.

City of Greater Geelong councillor Eddy Kontelj was excited to commence the works, which have been in the pipeline for the past few years.

“Located in the heartland of soccer in Geelong’s northern suburbs, the Corio Soccer Club is steeped in soccer history and epitomises multiculturalism. This club and its community, that has contributed so much to Geelong, is about to get some back,” councillor Kontelj said.

“As a Geelong councillor, it has been extremely exciting to be working closely with club president – Mario Gregorio, the committee and also the Bell Park community over the past 3 years, to finally bring this extremely progressive and inclusive club room, gender-neutral change room development, plus the Hume Reserve Master Plan to commencement stage.

“The City of Greater Geelong Council’s $350,000 injection is a tremendous boost to kick start this ~$1 million project.

“Hume Reserve is set to be a first-class soccer facility as well as a really inclusive area for the broader community to use. Born and bred in the area, I could not be more pleased and proud of this development,” he concluded.

The implementation of the Hume Reserve Master Plan hopes to reinforce “its role as an important local level soccer facility and valued community open space,” according to the City of Greater Geelong website.

The City of Greater Geelong’s extended plan for the reserve can be viewed here.

DAZN to exit deals as Twitch launches sports category

DAZN is set to exit multiple soccer broadcasting deals, while Twitch has launched a sports category and partnered with several elite soccer clubs.

UK sports streaming service DAZN is set to exit multiple soccer broadcasting deals, while Twitch has launched a sports category and partnered with several elite soccer clubs.

SportsPro has reported that DAZN will end its contract to broadcast the UEFA Champions league in Asia.

DAZN owns the rights from 2018 to 2021 for the Champions League and Europa League for Japan, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Taiwan, Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei.

Bloomberg reported that COVID-19 and the major changes to the schedule caused by the pandemic are the main reasons for DAZN seeking to back out of the agreement.

DAZN only ever launched a platform in Japan. The company ended up sublicensing the rights to other providers for the other nations. Both Bloomberg and SportsPro suggested that DAZN has made a loss on this broadcasting deal.

DAZN has also exited its deal to broadcast Serie A in Brazil, SportBusiness has reported that the streaming service has cancelled the arrangement despite there being another year left on the agreement.

The English Premier League, Ligue 1 and Major League Soccer are also broadcasted by DAZN in Brazil.

Meanwhile Twitch, a live video streaming service known for Esports and gaming, has signed strategic partnerships with Real Madrid, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, and Arsenal.

Each club will have their own channel and create content for the platform such as streaming press conferences, friendlies, or youth matches.

Twitch also created a new sports category, meaning users will be able to find all of the sports streams in one section on Twitch.

These elite European football clubs are not the only sports teams or organisations to have deals with Twitch. Some English Premier League games were streamed on the platform last month, while the Ultimate Fighting Championship, National Hockey League and National Basketball Association were also broadcast on Twitch.

Twitch also has deals with England’s Rugby Football League and America’s National Women’s Soccer League.

These sporting organisations provide a range of content for the platform – whether it be live games or reruns of famous matches such as the NBA’s ‘Top Ten Games of the Season’.

Football players across Australia to #PlayinPurple for pancreatic cancer

Football players in Australia will be pulling on their purple socks next month to help raise awareness for pancreatic cancer.

The #PlayinPurple campaign was started by Isabella Di Manno in 2015, after the death of her fiancée’s mother due to the illness.

Pancreatic cancer is projected to claim more lives than breast and prostate cancer with around 80 percent of diagnosed patients to die within a year.

In 2019, over 3500 players around the nation wore purple socks to raise awareness for the disease, with the campaign raising funds for research, improving diagnosis and treatment.

“The campaign continues to grow from strength to strength each year, drawing much needed attention to pancreatic cancer,” Di Manno said.

“It’s wonderful to see the participation grow across clubs, codes and regions and reading the testimonials and talking to players, it’s clear the campaign unities communities through active participation and acts as a positive talking point between people who might not necessarily know the outcomes of pancreatic cancer.”

Avner Foundation CEO Michelle Stewart added: “We are excited to see playing fields Australia-wide turned purple for pancreatic cancer, and awareness on this scale is exactly what we need to help shine a light on this disease.

“This campaign is a wonderful opportunity to increase engagement between clubs, players and the community, all participating for a very important cause – pancreatic cancer awareness.”

The campaign has been supported by Football NSW since its inception, with CEO Stuart Hodge proud to promote the cause.

“Football NSW are proud to be supporting a wonderful community initiative, combining the wonderful code of football with truly ground-breaking campaigns such as the: #PlayinPurple – Football socks campaign for the Avner Panceatic Cancer Foundation.

“We kindly encourage our football family to do their bit in getting behind this amazing initiative.”

The Manly Warringah Football Association and Sutherland Shire Football Association have also thrown its support behind the initiative.

“The Manly Warringah Football Association is proud to support Purple Sock Day to help raise awareness for pancreatic cancer. Grassroots football plays an important role in our Community and we encourage as many teams and clubs as possible to get behind the #PlayinPurple campaign,” MWFA CEO David Mason said.

“Pancreatic cancer is on the rise and SSFA is proud to support this important awareness-raising initiative again in 2020. The spirit of sportsmanship is wonderful as local football fields become awash with purple socks, and I encourage associations across the state to participate,” claimed SSFA General Manager Jeff Stewart.

More information about the campaign can be found here.

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