UK based Eleven Sports Media continues to evolve – where next?

Founded in 2009, Eleven Sports Media continues to have a huge impact on the world of sport, particularly football.

The UK company provides a range of in-stadium products, that give fans a better engagement experience at the stadium.

The company’s development team built both its StadiumTV and StatTV platforms, which are a big part of the match day experience for over 500,000 fans in the UK.

The StadiumTV platform has over 1,800 screens and is now showcased at over 50 sporting venues, making Eleven the biggest media network in UK sport.

Its StatTV and StatTracker channel brings live stats to stadiums and official club social media platforms.

While their products continue to garner widespread attention, brands associated with the company are allowed to engage with these huge audiences across the football landscape.

Eleven have provided various partners with comprehensive activations, including PR support, detailed campaign reports, social media amplification and organised marketing opportunities.

The company has had critical success with its Partner Programmes setup, with their model recognised as the best in the Football Business Awards.

Eleven have a partnership with the London Stadium as well as clubs such as Newcastle United, Rangers Football Club and Leeds United.

The company believes the expertise and knowledge they have is a huge asset in a commercial partnership programme.

“We realised that many brands failed to have a predefined activation plan when they were partnering with clubs,” CEO of Eleven Sports Media, Matt Cairns, told fcbusiness.

“They were spending money on acquiring rights but then didn’t have a plan in place to fully activate that sponsorship and make it work.”

Eleven identified that there was little structure to most commercial partner programmes, therefore they implemented an organised tiered structure.

The use of segmented LED with their proprietary inventory, as well as a strong focus on applying activation strategies, help brands pinpoint the commercial opportunities they can capitalise on.

“We’ve sold or facilitated over 300 partnerships in the last 12 months and everyone has had built in activation which has been delivered by Eleven.

“We advise each partner on the exposure to be gained from the media buy, but also ensure that their campaign is amplified by helping the partner celebrate the partnership and ultimately raise the profile of the brand by taking their association with the club beyond traditional football audiences.”

Many start-ups lack the resources to take advantage of commercial benefits in a partnership, so Eleven has tried to address this.

By arranging an end-to-end solution, Eleven takes accountability to ensure partnerships are fully activated.

“For a partner programme to have true commercial success, it goes well beyond having the correct list of assets.

“There are dozens of variables which will result in success or failure, at Eleven we believe that it is that attention to detail which sets us apart from anyone else in the industry,” added Cairns.

Eleven gives clubs access to in-depth insights, campaign analysis and sales training to improve aspects of each partnership.

The use of Eleven’s Insights department has already given clubs the opportunity to achieve their highest commercial numbers in a partnership.

“Although clubs have commercial teams, many don’t have that dedicated resource around insight that we have where they can really delve into that next level of commercial insight,” added Eleven’s commercial manager, Jordan Wilson.

“We found that we were delivering it so successfully for ourselves it made sense that clubs should get this too and they’re finding it really valuable.

“It also gives us that next level of insight when creating new partnerships, ones that are meaningful and built on something.”

Cairns adds: “When a company is investing in a high-level sponsorship it can achieve certain goals by a standard associated set of rights, but it won’t achieve the true value unless it is harnessed and leveraged by the brand to the point it becomes ingrained in every part of the organisation.

“We understand that and have got a proven track record in delivering this service.”

With over ten significant UK Clubs already using the model, the Eleven Partner Programme is looking to explore its possibilities in Europe and other areas.

Is this a viable proposition to those in Australian football circles?

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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.

Sydney FC to utilise AI technologies with Bigtincan

Sydney FC has confirmed a ground-breaking partnership with AI-powered sales platform Bigtincan to improve fan engagement, plus player and coach development using the technology’s capabilities.

As a result of this partnership, Bigtincan will deliver a branded platform to enhance the performance of individuals and teams throughout the Sydney FC organisation.

Using AI, the company will leverage things like a player app for personalized skill development and coaching messages translated into multiple languages. Bigtincan will also help the club organise documents and information in a unified place for seamless access.

Bigtincan will utilise virtual showrooms powered by AI to showcase Sydney FC to its membership and fanbase, enabling interactive, self-guided tours and Digital Sales Rooms (DSRs).

The AI sales platform mission revolves around reshaping the future buying experience, leveraging AI and Augmented Reality to tailor experiences to the brand they partner with, and offering personalized engagements that guide customers toward confident decisions.

Bigtincan’s portfolio is wide and incredible with expertise that the biggest brand sand sporting organisations have adopted. These include Major League Baseball, Boston Red Sox, Sacramento Kings, and the Los Angeles Chargers, and other leading global leaders like Nike, Clorox, and Citibank.

The shared values of Sydney FC and Bigtincan converge on delivering engaging, empowering training experiences that enhance performance both on and off the field.

Mark Aubrey, Sydney FC CEO, discussed the club’s future vision with Bigtincan.

“Success stems from nurturing and training those entrusted with performance. Our coaches empower our players, much like Bigtincan does for major brands and global sports franchises with their AI-powered technology,” Aubrey mentioned in a press release.

“Our shared values in training and coaching create a natural alignment, and I am eager to see where this partnership takes us.”

David Keane, Co-Founder and CEO of Bigtincan, expressed enthusiasm about the digital partnership with Sydney FC.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with Sydney FC, leveraging our innovative AI-driven technology to support the team on and off the pitch while expanding the reach of our sales enablement automation platform,” he added in a statement.

This partnership is a major step forward in innovation for Sydney FC who are committed to providing specialised coaching and training, mirroring the club’s investment in the development of its staff and players both on and off the pitch.

SciSports: Delivering a comprehensive data solution for football operations

Best popularised by Football Manager, football fans around the world are becoming increasingly aware of data-driven software and analysis. In truth, these worlds have been colliding for some time as the football industry continues to be at the forefront of innovation.

Leading the way in this area is Dutch-based company SciSports, which has risen to prominence in Europe for its diverse range of data-driven software services.

The company delivers key football operations services, including recruitment, performance and opponent analysis, career advice, and data delivery. These services are utilised by national teams, clubs, players and player agencies, and league associations.

Its leading partnerships are with the Dutch Eredivisie and Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB), as well as Premier League club Crystal Palace, and A-League side Adelaide United.

In addition, its applications are used by a host of British and European football clubs, winning many plaudits from performance analysts and football recruitment departments.

This article will take you on a deep-dive into the range of applications SciSports offers, and how it is changing the face of football operations.

Recruitment

Arguably its most prized feature, SciSports provides its clients the very best data-driven player recruitment software money can buy.

Its application connects club scouts and player agencies to over 270,000 players in the men’s and women’s game, 3,700 clubs, and 250 league divisions.

Part of the software allows clubs to create their own profile that details their style of play. This helps clubs save valuable time in their recruitment process because players who suit the club’s profile will be prioritised within its search engine.

Player profiles built within the application include features such as the SciSkill Index – an in-house player performance metric – performance statistics, and player roles.

WIthin its Pro recruitment application, player profiles include AI powered player valuations, and a GBE points calculator that determines the eligibility of a player for work permit or visa applications.

SciSports offers a monthly subscription package for its two recruitment application offerings (Essential and Pro), benefitting clubs at all levels of the professional game.  

Altogether, SciSports’ in-depth, data-driven technology is making football recruitment simpler and more efficient, helping football clubs steer clear of the “flop” branding that permeates through modern football.

Career Advice

Connected to its recruitment and performance analysis services, SciSports can assist players and player agencies greatly.

Their career advice service enables agencies’ to create player-profiles for their clients, driven by SciSports existing performance analysis software.

The profile contains in-depth information ranging from physical attributes and tactical suitability, to career history and player ambitions.

Again, the application is offered in two monthly subscription packages – Lite and Pro – which have differing levels of access for players and agents.

Whilst the services helps a player market themselves, it also better informs them about where their next move should be, which SciSports evidences through its high-profile player partnerships.

Case Study – Memphis Depay

SciSports’ highest-profile success story is current Atletico Madrid and Netherlands forward, Memphis Depay.

After struggling at Manchester United, Depay and his agent sought the help of SciSports to assist in revitalising his career.

His player profile and subsequent analysis advised him to reject moves to Spain, Italy, and England, in favour of a move to French Ligue 1 club, Olympique Lyon, who were seen as best-suited to his playing style.

Depay revitalised his career, going on to score 63 goals in 139 appearances for OL, before representing his country at the 2021 European Championships and 2022 FIFA Men’s World Cup.

Fellow Dutch forward Wout Weghorst is known to have succeeded using SciSports career advice and performance analysis applications, whilst several Dutch Eredivisie players have been known to further their careers.

Performance Analysis

Having the ability to analyse player and team performance day-by-day is imperative in elite football. SciSports aims to assist elite football clubs in offering extensive performance analysis applications.

Its performance analysis software is data provider agnostic, meaning it can be connected to existing data sources such as player-tracking data (GPS systems), event data, and video footage.

The result is a one-stop-shop software for performance analysts and coaches to use with their players and teams.

The package produces greater staff reporting, video analysis, and data visualisations, all of which are vital to being a successful football operation.

Given the diverse nature of football tactics and analysis, pricing for its service is available for request only.

Opponent Analysis

Similar to its performance analysis services, SciSports also provides opponent analysis for football clubs.

In today’s football climate, getting the edge over a rival takes place not just on the pitch, but in offices over weeks and months. One small piece of analysis could be the difference between failure and success.

SciSports again uses incredible detail to provide clubs with analysis that evolves simple stats into some of the most niche around. For instance, attacking and defensive style trends, or the types of set-piece variations an opponent runs, their success rate, and times in games that they run them.

Data-driven opponent analysis is already a prominent feature in professional football, but SciSports existing services in recruitment and performance analysis situates them as an industry leader.

Data Delivery

Last, but not least in its catalogue of services, SciSports can integrate its software with existing in-house technology, making the transition easy for football clubs and player agencies to align with the company.

Like its performance analysis service, pricing for its in-house data-delivery solutions are available for request only.

SciSports are expanding its operation to leagues in North and Central America, and whether it penetrates the Asian or Australian market or not, its services are a valuable template for improving football operations.

With some of the world’s leading universities based in Australia, there is a clear capacity for the creation of data-driven software that can drive the professionalisation and expansion of the Australian game.

For full information on SciSports, you can find it here.

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