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.

Global Institute of Sport and former Newcastle United defender Steven Taylor launch ‘study and play’ academy in Dubai

Global Institute of Sport (GIS) has announced an expansion into the Middle East by partnering with leading football performance specialists The Player, co-founded by former Newcastle United defender Steven Taylor.

Aspiring footballers from across the globe can now study a GIS university degree and immerse themselves in an elite football environment with the stunning surroundings of Dubai.

The new ‘Study & Play: Dubai’ initiative provides footballers of all levels with an unprecedented opportunity to train and play in state-of-the-art facilities under the guidance of UEFA A licenced coaches. Alongside their football, students studying a specialist GIS online sports degree will receive local academic support, as well as be part of a global cohort of GIS students studying the same degree course.

Open to students from across the world to move to Dubai, successful applicants will be able to immerse themselves in the Middle East’s emerging football market, gain cutting-edge skills and apply for sports work placements that will shape their future both on and off the field.

The Player Co-Founder and former Newcastle United player Steven Taylor commented:

“This partnership with GIS offers a fantastic opportunity for young athletes. Education is one of our four main focuses at The Player, and we’re able to offer high level performance training alongside this education.”

Fellow The Player Co-Founder and UEFA A licenced coach Sam White added:

“We’re really proud to be introducing this partnership with Global Institute of Sport, and being able to offer young professionals and talented young athletes the opportunity to study a degree and play or work within the world of football in Dubai at the same time.”

GIS President and CEO Sharona Friedman stated:

“GIS was founded with the intention of bringing the best learning and education from the world of sport together so that students are able to graduate with a holistic understanding of best practice from around the globe.

“We are delighted to partner with The Player to provide an additional immersive opportunity for students to study and train in an elite football environment, whilst also bringing our education model to a new region, which will be at the forefront of sports business and performance for the decades to come.”

The GIS degrees available to study as part of this opportunity are:

All programmes are delivered entirely online with the exception of MSc Football Coaching & Analysis, which is largely online plus two residential weeks in either London, Miami or Melbourne.

For more information on Study & Play: Dubai, you can visit the link here:

FIFA implement measures to protect female players and coaches

FIFA has announced several amendments to the current Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (RSTP). These changes have been approved by the FIFA Council by May 2024 and have been brought into effect from June 1.

These changes are majorly focused on women and the impact that menstruation and pregnancy have on their careers.

A meeting of key stakeholders and FIFA members resulted in these new regulations advancing the women’s game.

These include:

  • FIFA female players and coaches can now receive a minimum of 14 weeks of paid maternity leave.
  • A minimum of 8 weeks of paid absence for female coaches and players who adopt a child under the age of 2.
  • Also, a minimum of 8 weeks paid absence from the birth of the child if they are not the biological mother (for example same-sex parenthood).
  • Players are entitled to full remuneration if they are absent from training or games due to menstruation or pregnancy health reasons.
  • There is increased support for female players in contacting families during national team contexts to ease pressure on children and mothers.

FIFA Chief Legal & Compliance Officer Emilio García Silvero has commented on the recent changes:

“FIFA is committed to implementing a dynamic regulatory framework that is sound and suitable for the increasing needs of female players and coaches,” he said via media release.

“In order for the game to further flourish, it’s key that we have a holistic approach towards player well-being, including the legal aspects.”

This is a huge advancement in the game’s equality mission as FIFA has recognised and actively planned to ease the physical, psychological and social dimensions of pregnancy and menstruation for women athletes.

These regulations fit Goal 2 in FIFA’s Strategic Objectives for the Global Game: 2023-2027, which describe the organisation’s commitment to exploring and implementing further safeguards for player and coach welfare.

FIFA Chief Football Women’s Officer Dame Sarai Bareman outlined the importance of placing women’s physical health in the legal and mainstream dialogue of the sport.

“When you’re playing sport for a living, and in a professional environment, we have to factor in that the female menstrual cycle can also impact on your ability to deliver within your role,” she added via media release.

“So, it’s important that we protect … those that are affected by their menstrual cycles in a way that it doesn’t put at risk their employment situation with their club and, ultimately, their ability to earn money.”

This announcement shows the players are becoming the major stakeholders in laws and regulations around their welfare.

This is an important strategy for the equality of the game by making sure that women’s sporting careers are not put on hold or impacted by their natural body function or raising a child.

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