fbpx

SD Huesca: A digital transformation strategy which is reaping rewards

SD Huesca, a club who currently plays in the top division of Spain, have been working on a global digital transformation strategy for the past few years in an effort to increase the club’s sustainability.

The club have begun various modernisation processes which allows them to grow globally and streamline their operations.

SD Huesca manager Luis Sanclemente explained that technological advancement is one of the club’s main priorities.

“We’ve had a digital transformation strategy that started in 2017 and it has various objectives,” he told the La Liga Newsletter.

“As well as digitally transforming the business internally and making things easier for fans and commercial partners, we’re targeting a zero-paper policy and, as far as it’s possible, the automation of internal processes.”

To support its transformation process, the club works with various apps, from those developed by in-house platforms to those developed by third parties.

Internally, the club has established a digital file tracker that monitors documents that pass through the club via a dashboard, while keeping track of all projects in progress using an open-source software.

That software has also been used to setup the structure of its online store, digital archive and fan club app.

“We then use third-party apps for some core elements to do with our internal processes,” Sanclemente added.

“We use SAGE that helps us in everything to do with accounting and invoicing, for example. We also use the classic social media apps as well as the Docuten supplier portal and e-signature platform.”

The club looks to receive all invoices electronically with this supplier portal, either through a PDF format that can be processed through an OCR system, or via other formats such as ‘Facturae’. This allows the club to sign all types of documents digitally.

“We’re starting to incorporate the signatures of players and employees and we’re talking about having everything on the e-signature platform in the next four months,” Sanclemente stated.

The club’s overall goal is to reduce the use of paper and processes that will improve their environmental footprint. The digitalisation of administrative processes is key to reaching this objective.

“Six months ago, almost all invoices were paper,” Sanclemente revealed.

“However, we have already reached a point where 95% of invoices are sent to us electronically, which saves money in postage and storage. We have 250 signed documents that were previously paper, some of them long labour contracts that can be 50 pages long.”

While SD Huesca’s digital transformation process has already brought benefits in various areas like HR, administration and purchasing, it has also increased its commercial growth.

Josan Oliva, manager of the club’s digital department, explained: “We’re working more and more with suppliers and partners who offer technological solutions. We’ve found a commercialisation channel for assets that we wouldn’t have been able to access if we didn’t have the technological portfolio that we now have.”

As part of its collaboration with La Liga, the club continues to work on ways to use technology to directly impact the fan experience.

“We were one of the first clubs to enter the data-driven programme from LaLiga, which has an objective is to integrate all the processes related to fans, season tickets, matchday tickets and marketing into digital platforms,” Oliva said.

SD Huesca is anticipating a more fluid experience when fans eventually return to their home stadium.

“Last year, we requested an upgrade for the turnstiles so that fans could enter with NFC technology, as well as their mobile phone or their season ticket card,” Oliva said. “We want entry into the stadium to be even simpler.”

“(On the day) Tickets are bought through the online ticket section of the website and the process is automatic, as we no longer gave paper tickets. Instead, we send the buyer a PDF with a QR code that can be used to enter the stadium.”

Other digital initiatives have been vital in connecting with fans of the club, wherever they may be in the world.

“In the spring we were the first club to join with LaLiga and use the Salesforce marketing cloud for newsletters,” Oliva said.

“An important part of our relationship with the fans is the new SD Huesca Fan Club, where there will be a high degree of implementation of digital activities and content.”

Sanclemente, in conclusion, believes the digital strategy organised is necessary to survive in the modern football market.

“It is very important to keep bringing technology into football,” he stated.

“We see that some public administrations in Spain have a high level of digitization in many of their processes and we believe this gives a good reference to football clubs when it comes to modernising their administration.”

Avatar
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.

LiveScore continues to grow its global reach through partnership with La Liga

New technological innovations continue to be an important factor in how football fans consume the world game across broadcast and digital media.

This growing trend was part of the motivation behind La Liga and LiveScore signing a three-year global sponsorship deal at the beginning of the 2019 season.

While the coronavirus pandemic has caused a disruption to both organisations’ core business offerings, the partnership has continued to develop ways to engage fans and enhance their experiences.

LiveScore services over 56 million active monthly users in over 200 countries through their app and website.

The organisation wanted to work with the high-profile Spanish competition to continue to accelerate its growth and global reach.

“La Liga undoubtedly has a reputation as one of the best football leagues in the world”, Will Thomas, Head of Sponsorship at LiveScore Group, told the La Liga Newsletter.

“We want to align ourselves with leading sports institutions that share similar ambitions to us, centred around growing fanbases, speed, reliability and digital innovation. We found La Liga reflected many of these qualities.”

La Liga provides LiveScore with multiple digital assets, as well as increasing the visibility of the brand with pitch-side advertising boards, fourth official boards and social media posts.

In saying this, however, the partnership centrally revolves around LiveScore’s sponsorship of La Liga Replay360° technology.

Every time Replay360° is used in a broadcasted match, which is on average six times per game, LiveScore is showcased as the presenting partner responsible for the technological innovation.

Edited clips are also shown on La Liga and LiveScore’s social media channels, with Replay360° generating over 35 million video views and five million positive engagements for LiveScore last season.

“Early indications through our research suggest that we are beginning to get some cut-through in terms of sponsorship awareness in many of our focus markets, amongst both La Liga fans and LiveScore users”, Thomas added.

“Millions of fans watch La Liga matches and follow their social channels, where we regularly appear, so the rights have been a solid base for us to work from.”

The technology is still considered to be a relatively new innovation and one that fans continually appreciate.

“It appears as if the fans love seeing goals from this unique perspective, as engagement sentiment has been very positive,” Thomas said.

“LiveScore is in the business of providing goal updates and scores to football fans, so building on this association is both obvious and important to us.”

The arrival of the global pandemic did force some adjustments, with both parties having to think on their feet when it came to their previously arranged agreement.

“We want to enhance the LiveScore user experience through our sponsorship assets, providing better content and more unique fan experiences and rewards,” Thomas explained.

“Clearly, the pandemic has made this more difficult as it has been impossible since March to utilise things like match tickets, hospitality and ‘behind the scenes’ access. So, we have really focused on what we call ‘the controllables’ and that is broadcast and digital.”

To succeed in this space, LiveScore worked with La Liga to produce video content that was unique to the situation.

“We have collaborated with several past and present La Liga players such as Steve McManaman, Patrick Kluivert, Marc Bartra, Ivan Rakitić, Saúl Ñíguez and Samuel Chukwueze, as well as LaLiga President Javier Tebas, which is enabling us to provide regular engaging content that fans are already enjoying,” Thomas stated.

With around 25% of LiveScore users following La Liga passionately, there was keen interest in this content amongst its own userbase and also from those who follow the La Liga’s digital channels. The first ‘LiveScore Challenge’ films featuring players, as well as accompanying interviews, are already available on both organisation’s social channels with approximately 25 individual videos to be released by the end of the 2020/21 season.

As La Liga continues to enhance its own OTT streaming service, the Spanish competition is in a position to share new findings with partners such as LiveScore who are looking to develop similar offerings.

LiveScore launched a free-to-air live streaming service in June of this year.

“We’ve been delighted with the response at this early stage,” Thomas revealed.

“LiveScore app users in the UK, Ireland and Nigeria are now able to access live matches from some of the top football competitions around the world and over 70% of app users in each of those markets have watched a match so far. Furthermore, 25% of those viewers have gone on to watch more than 10 live matches – a sign that our users are enjoying the action we’re providing.”

Both companies will continue to try to stay ahead of the technological curve, with the data they have gathered through a wide userbase, vital to detect new trends.

“The provision of insight is something we work closely with rightsholders on to shine a light on the popularity of specific competitions around the globe and how LiveScore streaming its content can influence this in a positive way,” Thomas said.

For example, LiveScore can provide La Liga information on the level of interest in certain fixtures and teams in certain markets, with the ability to compare those figures to other leading leagues and clubs across the world.

“From a research and development sponsorship perspective, we are continually sharing key findings with each other on the successes and challenges of the partnership,” Thomas noted.

“From a broader business perspective, outside of the confines of the sponsorship, we are a digital global content business that is accessible to sports fans all over the world and we are always open to providing advice and support to our trusted partners.”

“We are still in the infancy of our partnership, but I am sure future innovations will come as we continue to work together,” he concluded.

Football Victoria introduces Club Support Series

Football Victoria has announced the launch of their Club Support Series, a new initiative for Committee Members.

Football Victoria has announced the launch of their Club Support Series, a new initiative which aims to provide all the tools, training and resources for Committee Members where they can go through key topics via pre-recorded webinars.

The series has been introduced as a way for Clubs and Associations to address all the diverse challenges that come with running a community sporting organisation. It will be the replacement for the Club Development Conference in 2021.

Each of the following webinars and associated toolkits are accessible at any time and Football Victoria endeavours to regularly add more to all the topics during the year. Each topic has been specifically formulated to hone in on the most common enquiries from across the football community:

Administration

  • Developing a COVIDSafe plan

Engagement

  • Volunteers: How to engage and retain at this challenging time

Finance

  • Developing a budget
  • Managing cash flow
  • Reading a profit and loss

Other resources

  • Position descriptions for Committee members

Football Victoria welcomes committee members to explore all these sessions and share them with fellow members at a club or organisation. There will be regular updates throughout 2021 and if you would like to see more details about the sessions, you can find it here.

Leeds United sign Dugout content deal

Leeds United content will be available on the video-only football platform Dugout, after the club signed with the digital media company.

Leeds United content will be available on the video-only football platform Dugout – after the club signed with the digital media company.

A range of digital content including archive footage of former Leeds stars such as Tony Yeboah, Mark Viduka and Lee Bowyer will be featured on the Dugout mobile app and on Dugout.com.

Leeds United Executive Director Paul Bell explains that the partnership allows Leeds to further connect with fans all over the globe.

“Over recent seasons we have been working hard to grow the Leeds United brand both on and off the pitch, with last season’s promotion to the Premier League testament to that,” he said.

“Since returning to the Premier League we are seeking to tell our exciting story to fans around the world and have managed to secure a number of exciting content partnerships to help facilitate that goal, working with OneFootball to reach millions of fans through their platform, partnering with Roc Nation to amplify our brand and content in the USA and most recently collaborating with Ninjas in Pyjamas as we enter the eSports arena for the first time.”

The partnership hopes to attract new fans to the club via curated digital content.

Dugout was founded in 2016, by A.C. Milan, Arsenal, FC Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid.

The platform receives over 400 million views a month and is partnered with more than 120 football organisations.

Dugout also provides revenue for clubs with adverts either before or during a club’s content.

Co-Founder and Chairman of Dugout, Elliot Richardson, addressed how Leeds is an iconic club with a large fan base.

“It is a club that is digitally innovative and we are looking forward to working alongside them to provide high-quality, bespoke and exclusive football content during the first season back in the top flight,” he said.

“Our extensive global network of premium publishers will now have access to the latest Leeds content ensuring the club can reach a truly global audience via new channels.”

© 2020 Soccerscene Industry News. All Rights reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.

Most Popular Topics

Editor Picks