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MatchDay Digital – the alternative for NPL clubs

In a time where fans are not guaranteed to be able to attend games due to COVID-19, MatchDay Digital makes programmes accessible to everyone.

In a time where fans are not guaranteed to be able to attend games due to COVID-19, MatchDay Digital presents as a beneficial way to make programmes accessible to everyone.

MatchDay Digital is the world’s first, football-focussed digital magazine platform that sees premium content made available for everyone no matter where they are, including matchday programmes, popular football magazines, newspapers and high-quality fanzines. Fans will then have access to digital versions of content that may have otherwise been print-only.

Available on Apple iOS with Android and Desktop to follow soon, MatchDay Digital brings all quality football content to the app and sees the development of programmes for football clubs.

By having all football content in the one place, it reaches a bigger audience where fans may find a hidden gem they might not have seen before. MatchDay Digital uses the Intelligent Content Engine (IP) to match material uploaded by clubs, leagues and countries that fans follow on the app, which significantly increases the visibility and reach of each publication that in turn enhances the fan experience.

MatchDay Digital is a free-to-use platform given they work on a revenue share based on the volume sold and a further reinvestment into marketing with each partner. Their strong technology roadmap will allow for more interactivity, dynamic content and translations as they look to extend their reach globally.

English League One side AFC Wimbledon are part of MatchDay Digital’s clients, featuring English Premier League teams Burnley and Crystal Palace, as well as Championship clubs Brentford FC, Norwich City, Nottingham Forest and Watford where digital content is provided.

AFC Wimbledon’s partnership began from the opening day of this season where fans could download the matchday programme for the game against Plymouth Argyle, even without being allowed to attend.

AFC WImbledon CEO Joe Palmer sees this as a step ahead of the curve when factoring in the potential of further reach within the app.

“AFC Wimbledon is a forward-thinking club. We are embracing the future and our new stadium shows that. We’ve not skimped on technology in any way,” Palmer said to FC Business.

“We have to future proof and think ahead as to how fans’ behaviour will change, and digital content is just part of that. We’re not the biggest club, but that doesn’t mean we can’t think like one.

“Digital magazines have been teetering on the edge of full existence for a while now. A lot of people have been talking about them, but it made sense for us to take this step now.

“There’s plenty of research that now shows mobile phone use in stadiums is massive. Practically, people don’t want to hold a physical magazine.

“Digital is a much more cost-effective and time-effective way of operating and clubs need to challenge more fans to move to digital we move into the future, because it’s better for us as businesses, and it’s better for fans as consumers.

“Modern-day football clubs can encourage that change for the good of the fans, and the good of the club.”

In today’s current climate, where the production of printed magazines and distribution would be tricky amid the challenges of COVID-19, the idea of going digital has an even stronger case and big appeal to any football clubs yet to make the switch.

“We knew that fans would only occasionally buy matchday programmes when physically attending football games,” MatchDay Digital founder & CEO Damian Woodward explains.

“Through our research we found out that if it was more convenient, easy to access and offered better value, more fans would purchase programmes. Over 50% of match-goers and 25% of fans watching on TV or through subscription services would be interested in buying a digital programme if it were available to them.

“For clubs, we could see that they were spending time and money on producing, printing and distributing a high-quality publication for each home game, but that the audience for this was so limited.

“You’re only speaking to the people who are attending the game, but if you speak to every club in the country, they’d tell you that their fanbase is much, much bigger than just the people who are able to get to the ground on Saturdays.

“MatchDay Digital allows clubs to access their audience wherever they are. That means greater revenue from increased sales, a better connection to the fanbase and unlimited exposure that can be sold on to sponsors. It’s a no-brainer, for no extra cost.”

You can find more on MatchDay Digital here, where you can get in touch by filling in a contact form.

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Liam Watson is a Senior Journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on international football policy, industry matters and industry 4.0

NSW Government announces $100 million fund

A new $100 million fund was announced to stimulate local economies, boost employment, and promote healthy lifestyles across New South Wales.

A new $100 million Greater Cities and Regional Sports Facility Fund was announced to stimulate local economies, boost employment, and promote healthy lifestyles across New South Wales.

It is part of the 2020-21 Budget released by the NSW Government on Tuesday that has delivered some exciting news for the community sport sector.

This funding will stretch over the next two years and be able to go towards NSW football clubs who can concentrate on upgrading and improving their facilities to a better standard.

“Right across NSW, community sport is the heart and soul of our social fabric and we want to make sure we have the best infrastructure for our State,” Acting Minister for Sport, Multiculturalism, Seniors and Veterans Geoff Lee said.

“$100 million will be injected into improving facilities and spaces across metropolitan and regional NSW to enable more people to participate in sport and active recreation.

“By investing in new and existing infrastructure we will encourage participation in grassroots sport and create employment opportunities as part of the NSW Government’s multi-billion-dollar infrastructure pipeline.

“We have seen record participation in children’s sport thanks to our Active Kids program and our investment in sports infrastructure aims to build on this success across all genders and abilities.”

Football NSW sees this funding as an opportunity to address facility issues that they identified in their NSW Football Infrastructure Strategy 2020-2030. These funds can help increase support for the largest team-based sport in NSW.

Football NSW has congratulated their State Government on this 2020/21 Budget which will make a profound impact in bouncing back from COVID-19.

The funds compliment the NSW Government’s $148 million investment in the Active Kids program this year, to further support communities to keep active and involved.

The Budget will also allocate $3 million for the development of a business case to turn Jubilee Oval in Kogarah into a revitalised suburban stadium.

CrowdedVENUE makes stadium safety simple 

CrowdedVENUE focuses on visitor safety, revenue generation and user experience to create a secure stadium event for all.

CrowdedVENUE focuses on visitor safety, revenue generation and user experience to create a secure stadium event for all. 

They have become a unique combination of IoT hardware and a purpose-built software application that collects, transmits, analyses and presents the behaviour of pedestrian/crowd movement without any need for manual processing during or after study. 

CrowdedHUB sensors merge together the very best in physical identification, including Wi-Fi scanning, Bluetooth scanning, Thermal and 3D imaging of environmental sensing to create a valuable collection of unique data that is independent of any infrastructure. 

 

CrowdedVENUE’s boasts an incredible data gathering hardware system that is regarded as the most secure in the industry, with automated anonymisation at the source and a multi-layered security application. 

Crowded uses the very best in technology to offer an accurate and cost-effective pedestrian movement analysis solution that addresses the growing demands of both the private and public sectors. 

A network of independent sensors are able to accumulate over 90% of individuals in most areas. That information is then sent directly to Crowded who will automatically generate data relevant to the venue or location. 

The CrowdedVENUE software application continually accesses each sensor on their own to safely extract anonymous data and perform detailed analysis, maps and charts to display all the results. 

The following areas are covered in data collection extending to both inside and outside the venue: 

  • Volume per location 
  • Dwell times per location 
  • Most popular locations by visitors,  
  • Most popular routes by visitors,  
  • Top routes by direction with average journey times 
  • Safest route analysis 
  • Event-based predictive evacuation strategy 
  • Visitor heatmap 
  • 3D imaging 
  • Raw.csv Download 

CrowdedVENUE is related to the PoC’s belonging to stadia and other high-profile indoor venues. CrowdedRAIL and CrowdedCITY are two of the other sectors under the Crowded umbrella where they are predominantly utilised by the public sector as part of a multi-faceted range of consultancy services.  

However, CrowdedVENUE has been developed to help the end-user more directly in a manner that is extra simple, clear and easy to use. This approach enables the client to improve visitor safety whilst increasing revenue generation. 

 

The CrowdedVENUE service creates an increased level of value compared to its core function. By providing the stadium the means to transcend all current data collection and football monitioring solutions in favour of a real-world IoT “smart” service, it has everything required to become the global standard in crowd safety and visitor experience tools. 

“CrowdedVENUE is one of several services in the range that offers seamless integration into existing infrastructure via its API function.” they said.  

“Crowded is a fantastic solution for new works as a standalone service, but when a major venue already exists, such as a stadium, it is usual for that environment to be operating a proprietary app for visitors, usually based around experience.  

“The CrowdedVENUE API gives you the best of both worlds, allowing you to retain the control and familiarity of your current services, whilst seamlessly integrating the entire value proposition of Crowded.  

“For venues that do not have a current consumer-focused application, CrowdedVENUE is again the perfect choice for you.  

We will guide you through the design, installation and testing phases of installing a visitor app and the Crowded back-end analysis package, helping you to maximise value for both the venue and its visitors, with minimal operational impact.” 

Crowded not only tracks movement of crowd behaviour accessible, robust and cost-effective, but does it in a manner that is safe and secure, making sure that personal information of all visitors is protected. 

With Data Protection and Privacy Law being such a growing concern, Crowded was built specifically to protect the personal information of visitors alongside the integrity of the data the service gathers.” they said. 

“Any potential personal information is anonymised at source, by the hardware itself. This ensures that no personal information is ever in our possession. 

“In addition to this, Crowded provides the user with all the raw data gathered in .csv format. This gives each user the opportunity to observe the integrity of both the data set and the analysis performed by the application.” 

With a variety of data capture services available, CrowdVENUE presents as the ideal point of call for the safe recommencement of fans to stadiums with COVID-19 slowly easing in Australia. 

For more information on Crowded, including extra details on each individual sector, pricing packages and contact, you can find it here. 

Football Queensland announce four new clubs for NPL Women’s competition

Football Queensland have confirmed four clubs have been successful in their application to play in the NPL Queensland Women’s competition from 2021.

Those clubs are Virginia United, Olympic FC, Peninsula Power and Brisbane City.

The teams were selected by an NPL Women’s Assessment Panel, who followed a range of stringent criteria.

The four clubs will form part of an initial 16-team competition in 2021, which will split into two, after each team has played each other on one occasion.

From 2022 onwards promotion and relegation will be introduced into the system.

Football Queensland Board member and former Matilda Amy Chapman oversaw the moderation process and explained the high standards of the successful applicants from the highly competitive field.

“I firstly want to congratulate the four clubs that have been awarded licences and sincerely thank the 14 in total that submitted either an application or expression of interest,” she said.

“The strong appetite among clubs to want to be part of women’s football is something to celebrate.

“The interest levels and the overall high quality of applications reaffirmed the football community’s confidence in the NPL Women’s reforms FQ has announced in recent weeks.

“Virginia United, Olympic FC, Brisbane City and Peninsula Power provided exceptional submissions that exceeded the selection criteria, factoring in essential considerations such as female facilities and programs, and most critically demonstrated each club’s capacity, willingness and strategy to take the women’s game to the next level.

“The key criteria demonstrate that FQ is strategically focused on driving opportunities for women and girls, and unlocking the legacy of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.”

Football Queensland will liaise with all clubs over the coming months to continue to prepare for the expanded 2021 competition, which will also lead into a two-tier Senior Women’s system in 2022.

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