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Ticketing management powered by Advanced 

English Premier League club Southampton are one of Advanced’s clients, who present as a ticketing solution for venues.

In a time where Covid-19 has forced the need to introduce modified seating arrangements related to capacity when it is safe for fans to return, ticketing management has never been more important.

Advanced have created a range of software systems for a vast number of clients across many industries, where sports, venues and events are one of the categories under the umbrella. 

Partnering up with an array of organisations, Advanced is all about making a positive impact on millions of people’s lives, with continual investment in people, partnerships and their own technologies, where they can then stay focussed on their markets’, customers’ and stakeholders’ needs. 

Advanced allows customers to drive their efficiencies, savings and growth opportunities – using focused, right-first-time software solutions that can evolve depending on changing needs of their business and the markets they operate in. 

Advanced prides itself on being the ultimate in-ticket management and e-commerce software solution for the UK and internationally within the sports industry. Southampton have already been in a a key partnership for a few years. 

“Southampton Football Club (FC) has announced its decision to partner with Advanced and implement the new version of its innovative ticketing ecommerce solution, TALENT Sport, as part of a multi-year agreement,” they said at the time of agreement. 

“Improving the overall fan experience when purchasing online, especially during periods of high demand, the solution will help to increase the club’s volume of online ticket sales through a fully mobile responsive site and intuitive online customer journey.  

“Southampton FC will use fan data held within the solution to engage with fans online, targeting them with relevant promotions based on their preferences and interests, as well as providing an easier ticket buying process.  

“All online purchases will be managed through the TALENT Sport website, ensuring a fast and secure online experience that allows customers to make multiple purchases in one single transaction, on a range of devices.” 

Advanced’s ticketing solutions are capable of being fully moblie responsive, enabling the site to be automatically adaptable to any device – whether it be PC, tablet or mobile. No matter what device, a client’s customers will have a seamless viewing experience and able to purchase tickets 24/7. 

The software is designed specifically for clubs and venues, where a focused commerce platform gives a team’s supporters a fast, reliable and easy-to-use platform to purchase tickets whether it be online, in-store or directly from the ticket office.  

Advanced partners will have the peace of mind of knowing that customer purchasing needs are met. Clubs can also take control of their customer data, which is integrated in the TALENT engine – to profile and engage with fans more intimately with targeted communications. 

For a club like Southampton, part of the changing landscape was to cope with Covid and tier-level restrictions, where for a short time the Saints were able to allow up to 2,000 fans in St Mary’s Stadium. 

“It was an easy decision to choose Advanced’s solution,” Danielle Lewis said, Head of Ticketing & Hospitality at Southampton FC.  

“It was essential that we used technology to lead the way in our fan engagement strategy, and Advanced’s track record and credentials in the sports sector are second to none.  

“We have been working collaboratively with Advanced to define our requirements and objectives and we are confident that they will enable us to achieve our goals, improve our fans’ online experience and deliver a first-class solution.” 

The highly robust software, which operates 24/7 in the private cloud, guarantees first rate levels of service and performance. One of the features that Southampton benefit from is Advanced’s buy-back system, which allows anyone who cannot make a match to release their ticket back to the club. The club will also be able to manage the secure sale of the ticket to another fan, where these measures can help ease these fans back into the stadium are Covid restrictions eventually ease. 

“Fans are leading the way in the digital era, expecting around the clock, fast and reliable access from any device when purchasing from clubs,” MD, Specialist Solutions at Advanced, Mark Dewell said. 

“It’s rewarding to see a number of clubs recognising that our solution can deliver that connected fan experience.  

“We are looking forward to helping Southampton FC keep one-step ahead of their fans’ requirements now and for the long term.” 

To see more on Advanced, you can find it here.

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

W-League big winners in new CBA, as greater contract freedom for A-League clubs beckons

A new collective bargaining agreement has been struck between Professional Football Australia and the Australian Professional Leagues.

Equity in high-performance standards in the A-League and W-League, a 32% increase in the W-League salary cap floor and an increase in the A-League salary cap floor are the highlights of the new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) struck between Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) and the Australian Professional Leagues (APL).

The new five-year deal was described as “ground-breaking” by a joint statement between the two bodies, in an announcement that highlights the newfound confidence in the economic environment for professional football in Australia.

Much of that confidence can be linked to the new five-year broadcast agreement with ViacomCBS and Network 10 and it is no surprise that this new CBA has been deliberately linked in length to the broadcast deal.

PFA Co-Chief Executive Kathryn Gill explained that being able to achieve this agreement was a huge milestone for the professional game in Australia, after such a long period of uncertainty in recent years due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the end of the previous broadcasting deal with Fox Sports.

“The players’ vision for the negotiations was economic security and stability for the clubs, the leagues and the players. This agreement is a foundational step towards this objective and our leagues will be stronger as a result,” she said via the joint statement.

“It has been an incredibly challenging time for our game; however, we believe the CBA will provide a platform for our leagues to be re-launched and for a genuine partnership between the clubs and the players to be forged.

“I would like to acknowledge the work of Greg O’Rourke, Danny Townsend, Tracey Scott, Chris Pehlivanis and John Tsatsimas for their efforts and commitment during the negotiations and especially the players who participated so actively throughout.”

PFA President Alex Wilkinson noted the immense sacrifice made by many players to usher the game through the COVID-19 pandemic, which he says helped pave the way for this agreement.

“This generation of players, club owners and staff have been asked to make immense sacrifices to preserve our sport during unprecedented times,” he said.

“As a result of these sacrifices we have been able to take an important step forward and provide greater certainty for the clubs and players and make important progress in areas such as our high-performance environment, player welfare whilst further embedding our commitment to gender equity.”

Under the new CBA, genuine equity in high-performance standards in the A-League and W-League have been entrenched in order to create a “world-class workplace” for all of the country’s footballers.

This CBA will be the first to deliver common standards across higher performance and medical departments across both the W-League and the A-League.

Increases to minimum and maximum player payments are also factored in during the course of the five-year CBA with a particular focus on an increase to the W-League salary floor, providing another massive boost on the back of the recently announced expansion of the competition to also include Central Coast Mariners, Wellington Phoenix and Western United.

There will also be a reformed contracting model that allows for greater capacity in squad investment for clubs, with an allowance for up to two “Designated Player” spots, which will allow clubs to invest between $300,000 and $600,000 in players whose salaries will be excluded from the A-League salary cap.

These “Designated Players” will be in addition to the current exemptions, such as “Marquee Players”.

Furthermore, there will also be greater capacity for clubs to contract youth players with an increase in the cap on scholarship players.

The CBA also provides for guaranteed funding for player welfare and development programs, as well as greater support for the PFA Past Players Program.

APL Managing Director Danny Townsend said the deal was proof that the APL was living up to its promise of greater investment since taking control of Australia’s professional leagues.

“When APL took control of the leagues, we promised it would herald a new era of investment and this agreement shows the progress that has already been made,” he said in a statement.

“This is a clear example of what can be achieved when we work together with a common vision to realise the potential of Australian football.”

APL Leagues Commissioner Greg O’Rourke added the investments would help clubs deliver a much-improved on-field product.

“Players are partners with us in the game and central to its growth. Having all of our partners on-board with the re-imagined future of the game is vital, and this agreement marks an important milestone in our new relationship,” he said.

“There will be immediate improvements across the men’s and women’s leagues, most notably for women’s football, all of which will flow through into improved experiences for players, and ultimately into growing and improving our game.”

UEFA EURO 2020 reaches global audience of 5.2 billion

Euro 2020

UEFA have announced that the recent EURO 2020 tournament was a landmark global success with over 5.2 billion people tuning in from continents across the world.

As the first major sporting event to be staged since the COVID-19 pandemic put the world in its entirety on hold, the popularity of UEFA EURO 2020 was a reflection that the power of football has in uniting people.

The hugely successful tournament – which saw Italy beat England in penalties in the final – left its mark in viewership history, ranking amongst the most viewed moments of all time and breaking live streaming records along the way.

The Final was watched by 328 million fans, on par with the record set in 2016. The match between Italy and England at Wembley Stadium was the most-watched TV event in the United Kingdom in 24 years and in Italy since 2012. The match also set all-time streaming records for any type of programming in both countries.

“The incredible TV audience figures show the massive appeal that EURO has, not only in Europe but worldwide,” UEFA marketing director Guy-Laurent Epstein said.

“The tournament has a global audience which continues to grow, in particular in North America and Asia, where the fan base following EURO keeps expanding.

“We also note that there is an ever-increasing number of fans accessing matches through streaming services.”

On average each live match was watched by over 100 million viewers with impressive increases in viewership in global markets such as China, where a growth rate of 43% was registered compared to 2016, with a cumulative audience of 352 million.

The event saw more Chinese fans accessing matches through streaming services than through traditional TV. In the USA, audiences grew by 32% with a cumulative TV audience of 87 million. India registered a growth rate of 229%, and a cumulative audience of 107 million.

On social media, there were 7.5 billion interactions and views of which two billion were generated by official UEFA accounts, making it the most engaged EURO ever.

“Digitally, we have seen incredible engagement during the tournament, and we are extremely satisfied with the performance of our own UEFA platforms,” Epstein added.

“The UEFA.com website and application has seen a 250% increase in traffic compared to 2016. It shows that our content offer has been extremely well received by fans and that our digital set-up is amazing.”

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