How Raven Controls are evolving event safety management standards

Raven Controls

Developed by resilience experts, Raven Controls is a digital management system which provides powerful real-time situational awareness that aims to ensure reassurance for all stakeholders and venue management involved in an event.

Event safety management standards have undoubtedly shifted overtime due in no small part to the changing nature of how live events are attended and consumed. Football has no doubt seen a major change in the behaviour of fans over the past few decades with specific standards of compliance needing to be adhered to, especially at multinational tournaments such as the World Cup and EUROS.

The reality of event safety management standards is that often improvements are driven in response to major disasters such as the Heysel Stadium disaster in 1985 and the Hillsborough disaster in 1989. Both of these were massive catalysts for changing safety management standards and influenced global recognition of the need to make improvements.

The approach from then on was dominated by a European approach which aimed at preventing and managing violence – as was dictated by the European Convention on Spectator Violence and Misbehaviour at Sports Events. 2016 saw The Council of Europe Convention on Integral Safety, Security and Service Approach at Football introduced to add to the work that has been done since the adoption of the European Convention on Spectator Violence in 1985. The new convention advocated for cooperation between all public and private stakeholders involved in making events welcoming, safe and secure.

In a contemporary sporting landscape, Raven Controls is well positioned to suit the modern demands of event safety and security management and also meet the challenges created by the integrated approach being demanded by the new European Convention.

Raven Controls’ method of digital information logging (which is based on integrated emergency management principles) precisely highlights information flow and supports real-time notification alerts and subsequent escalation processes. Moreover, in terms of accountable decision-making, Raven Controls assures that policy decisions are recorded in real-time highlighting the justification and rationale for critical decisions.

Customers who utilise Raven Controls are assured not just a safe and successful event, but a comprehensive variety of accessible tools designed to assist in the smooth running of live events. It includes features such as the in-control dashboard which provides real-time critical information that is readily usable and can identify what is happening in an instant; Digital Logging to intuitively capture essential information; Checklists to provide staff with clarity; and instant notification alerts.

In addition, the Inter-Account Working component allows agencies and event stakeholders to maximise interoperability through Raven’s multi-agency situational awareness, whilst Raven Eye allows fans seeking to report issues happening during the event to get into contact with Raven through instant SMS messaging. Finally, Raven Mobile provides a guide to an event’s operations team through a remote setup aimed to provide consistency and staff reassurance.

The UEFA EURO 2020 tournament saw Raven Controls playing a central part in the coordination and communication aspects of the month-long event. Raven successfully coordinated real-time shared situational awareness across the 51 matches and 11 host cities and stadiums at EURO 2020, all the while streaming directly to the UEFA command centre in Switzerland.

Raven Controls consistently displayed a capability for capturing integral information and providing a direct link from the stadium and host city to UEFA HQ. The software available to Raven Controls at the time ensured that many policies, protocols and procedures in place were able to be effectively met and complied with.

Major tournaments such as EURO 2020 often offer a challenging adjustment period for newly-implemented technologies, however Raven’s intuitive and user-friendly system benefitted the intricacies and complexities of the tournament. Considering the tournament unfolded over 11 different countries – which subsequently included a variety of cultures, languages and customs – Raven Controls were able to consistently ensure that UEFA’s digitally embedded checklists were adhered to and that information was accurately reported and communicated.

In a live footballing event setting, Raven Controls no doubt provides a guarantee of maintaining consistent safety standards and assurance for venue management and workers. It will be fascinating to see if the technology is included as part of the organisation of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar later this year.

Genius Sports extend UK betting data deal with FootballCo

Genius Sports has won the bidding war to extend its official betting data partnership with Football DataCo (FDC), which holds data rights to the English Premier League (EPL).

The deal – which is set to expire this year – is close to being extended by an additional five-year term from 2025 to 2029.

With this deal, Genius will continue to collect, license and distribute official live betting data from the English Premier League.

Genius Sports is a UK based sports data company that provides data management, video streaming and integrity services to sports leagues, bookmakers and media companies.

The company was founded in 2016 and very quickly rose to prominence with huge deals in multiple countries across many sports. These include NCAA Basketball, NASCAR and NFL in America on top of their deals with FIBA and Canadian Football League. The company specialise in Football, controlling multiple leagues in the UK as well as the Argentina Superliga and all three German Football divisions.

Genius Sports in collaboration with FDC will continue to take over data in all FDC-licenced leagues such as the Championship, League One and League Two, as well as all leagues overseen by the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL), including the Scottish Premiership.

This new deal will see Genius Sports continue to distribute data from over 4,000 UK football fixtures per season in both the media and betting sectors.

Opta currently also have a partnership with Football DataCo, and they deal with distributing data to league media teams to use but they don’t delve in the betting market like Genius does.

In 2023, Genius Data saw a 31.1% rise in revenue in their Betting Technology, Content & Services segment which was responsible for over AU$418.8 mil in total revenue.

The sports data and technology business said the deal is still subject to approval from the leagues and their respective clubs.

Whilst the gambling data distribution has moral implications in itself, this deal isn’t all negative for viewers, with Genius also continuing to work hand in hand with Premier League Productions to enhance live broadcasts for fans with a range of interesting analytics that will heighten the overall viewing experience.

NWSL signs Amazon as a retail and cloud tech partner

The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) have confirmed a multi-year sponsorship with Amazon, making them the Exclusive Retail Sponsor of the NWSL and an extension of its current media deal.

This is an expansion of the previously announced multi-year rights deal that cemented Prime Video as the exclusive home for 27 NWSL matches each season at amazon.com/nwsl.

As part of the sponsorship, it will name Amazon as an official NWSL licensee. NWSL fans can now shop Amazon Fan Shop for hundreds of officially licensed NWSL products from Merch on Demand, Amazon’s print-on-demand service. Selection includes t-shirts, hoodies, tank tops, and more, spanning every NWSL team, across men’s, women’s, and youth styles and sizes.

This Amazon collaboration will also boost the media team at the NWSL with the league migrating match content from previous seasons using Amazon Web Services (AWS). This cloud-based media archive will enable NWSL to easily transfer historical footage and surface highlights, interviews, and behind-the-scenes footage to enhance fan engagement by building a more personalized connection between fans, the league, and the players they love.

Amazon Prime is also now the presenting partner for the NWSL’s Best XI Awards which recognises the best players by position on a monthly cadence throughout the season. For Prime, this represents an opportunity to bring fans closer to the players they love and joins them in celebrating the excellence of the athletes selected for this honour.

NWSL Chief Marketing & Commercial Officer Julie Haddon discussed the importance of expanding their existing deal with Amazon.

“We could not be more excited to continue to integrate Amazon more deeply into the NWSL family as they become our exclusive retail sponsor,” Haddon mentioned in a press release.

“Amazon’s global reach and customer-centric approach pairs perfectly with the NWSL’s fan-forward ethos. This partnership will not only amplify the NWSL’s fandom and growth but will also offer our fans an easy and accessible way to support their favourite teams and athletes.”

The ultimate goal is to increase the profile of the NWSL and serving customers’ growing interest in merchandise, content, and technical innovation.

The expansion is a fantastic move by the NWSL who are bringing the expertise of several Amazon businesses together in service to the league and its fans as they enter a period of incredible attendance and participation growth.

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