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STATSports leading the way for GPS tracking

Big-name Premier League clubs have chosen to partner up with STATSportswho are industry leaders in providing GPS tracking systems and analysis. 

Up to five of the top six in the league have already made the switch to STATSports, including Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur – while the service is used by the majority of fellow Premier League sides.

These Premier League clubs have worked closely with STATSports as they developed Sonra 3.0 and Sonra Live which is the latest software upgrade that the Premier League will be set to receive – featuring marketing-leading analysis platforms and further improvement on athlete monitoring.

STATSports are widely regarded across professional football – in addition to their big-name Premier League clients, they also push further into the English FA and abroad across the world, venturing out to the likes of Paris Saint Germain and Juventus. 

STATSports were involved in the Project Restart by informing the Premier League with a Player Proximity Report, using their data to show which type of sessions would cause players to come to together more often. STATSports offers a quick and time-effective process, with download times four times faster than any platform. It means receiving results from a typical session for a squad of players would take under two minutes. 

For elite clubs, Sonra 3.0 is the ideal go-to solution and it further streamlines and enhances performance with a host of new features that will make a difference. Sonra 3.0 is the brand-new product launch by STATSports and the latest offering for anyone looking to acquire their very own GPS tracking and analysis. 

Among the key inclusions, session planning features have been added to the calendar, allowing club performance departments to map up training cycles for weeks in advance. Video integration in the Video Manager has been developed further while adding a full squad 2D positioning. There is also a Scientific Calculator, allowing practitioners to create bespoke custom metrics based upon their own requirements.

Users are now able to choose between ‘Light’ and Dark’ modes as they can customise their preferred theme when on the app. 

The launch of Sonra 3.0 has coincided with the introduction of a new iPad application called Sonra Live, enabling coaches to monitor training in real-time. 

Sonra Live’s real-time data has been independently validated to form a perfect correlation with downloaded data, making this the most accurate live-monitoring solution of its kind. Coaches can then make instant, informed and impactful decisions for anything they intended to achieve. 

Sonra Live features team-level reporting, detailed individual-player dashboards, drill cutting for precise session analysis, post-session reporting via PDF/CSV and synchronisation to desktop applications for further analysis. 

STATSports’ on-board metric processing means there will be no data drop-out and they are the only provider in the industry to give 100% identical live and post-session download data quality.  

With flawless results, this puts the power in the end users’ hands to make immediate decisions with confidence no matter what they want to do. Coaches can set multiple thresholds for individual players or full squads, while multiple coaches can each monitor their own iPads simultaneously. 

“This is an exciting day for STATSports and the many teams we work with. This is another major advancement in the level in which coaches and managers can monitor their players,” STATSports co-founder, Sean O’Connor said. 

“Technology is now truly integrated into the game and we have played our part in that. We have worked closely with those teams during lockdown and also used the time to finalise the development of our new Sonra platform – we’re confident that our clients will further benefit from working with us through the introduction of this.” 

The creation of both Sonra 3.0 and Sonra Live reaffirms STATSports’ commitment to being the industry leader in GPS tracking and innovations for this space, supplying this resource to world-renowned clubs. 

“We have really enjoyed developing this new software platform. Time is a key commodity for clubs,” STATSports co-founder, Alan Clarke said. 

“The quicker they can make decisions with reliable and accurate feedback, the greater the edge they have on their competition.  

“We will continue to push the boundaries of what is possible and ensure athletes can do the same on the training pitch and the competitive environment.” 

For more information on STATSports, you can find it here.

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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

Mondia: The technology company partnering with Spain’s top-flight to deliver La Liga Xtra globally

Mobile technology company Mondia group has teamed up with La Liga and become their official technology and commercial partner for the creation of La Liga Xtra, a subscription-based mobile service which will offer exclusive content and experiences to football fans.

Through an agreement with Orange group, the platform will be available in European, African, Asia Pacific and Middle Eastern markets to the operator’s millions of customers in the coming months. This will be the initial roll-out of the service, with Mondia continuing to distribute the offering through their various partnerships across the world.

The La Liga Xtra platform includes exclusive video content, images, articles, infographics as well as upcoming fixtures and in-depth player and team info. Users of the service have the choice to subscribe to a package on either a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

In addition, users can play games such as quizzes, a prediction challenge and La Liga’s fantasy football game, with the option of competing against others.

Interactive experiences are also on offer to La Liga Xtra subscribers, including the chance to speak with a La Liga Ambassador in a live chat.

70 countries are set to host this platform, with more announcements to be made in the coming weeks. The platform will be available on desktop, mobile and tablet devices, hosted within the Orange ecosystem.

Speaking about this launch, Óscar Mayo, La Liga’s Head of Business, Marketing and International Development, told the La Liga Newsletter: “This is an exciting venture between two organisations with an extensive global reach and the desire to build communities of football fans through engaging content and new experiences.”

“We want to entertain fans all week long, not only during the 90 minutes of a match, and we are convinced that LaLiga Xtra will achieve this,” he continued. “Our goal has always been to get closer to fans across the Middle East and Africa to show everything that Spanish football has to offer. We’re excited to continue building these connections by working with Mondia and Orange group.”

Mondia has reached over 1.4 billion global users and counting, previously working with brands such as Disney, Sony, Universal, Nintendo and other prominent telecommunications companies.

In this case, Mondia will organise integrations between La Liga and Orange, developing, managing and maintaining the subscription platform. The company’s digital payment entity, Mondia Pay, will be the official payment partner and will direct payments through direct carrier billing and other cashless options.

“Our partnership with LaLiga is an endorsement of our expertise in creating digital experiences for all. Our ability to create an end-to-end solution including digital payments, is the real value Mondia brings together with our experience in operating in many markets across the globe”, said Paolo Rizzardini, Chief Commercial Officer at the Mondia group.

“LaLiga is a premium content partner with a commitment to delivering exceptional experiences to their audiences, and we are thrilled to help make initiative a reality”, he added.

Leaning on its two decades of experience in similar business deals, Mondia is adapting marketing strategies and promotions based on each market to tap into local nuances and cultures. The Orange group’s contribution will also be noticeable in this area, by assisting with various campaigns both online and offline.

While the new platform will initially be available to Orange group customers, there are plans to expand the reach of the service to multiple telecommunications companies around the globe in the near future. The Spanish top-flight competition and Mondia will also study the data to refine the platform and provide a continually improving user experience over time.

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.”

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.

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