Football and Data
16. September 2021
It is an exciting season that has been tackled in Danish football’s super league and 1st division. Hopefully on the field, but also with new data and insight into what is going on in the stands.
The divisional association has brought together the 24 clubs in the 3F Superliga and 1st Division to share data with the common aim of developing even better experiences for the spectators. It also provides a starting point for a few more spectators.
The foundation is that supplisers of ticket systems for the clubs must be certified. They become that by being able to supply data on a number of parameters to the common system. The first phase consists of 16 data points that the divisional association has defined. This is what Esben Halding, head of business development at the Divisional Association, tells us. Five suppliers are certified. Venue Manager is one of them.
The data that comes in is, for example, whether a spectator is at a match for the first time, or comes regularly or is a faithful spectator, and perhaps has bought a season ticket. It can also be age and other segmentation data, depending on how much is known about the audience. The original 16 data points have already been expanded to 30. This is because it has been possible to collect more data. Esben Halding expects the use of data to continuously develop, because it is a new area for football clubs, so you learn all the time.
The platform is built, and with the certification of the ticket suppliers, the data rolls in. Now they must be converted into knowledge and insight, and from there you can develop the clubs’ business.
We must not sit in isolated silos, but learn from each other, says Esben Halding.
The first challenge has been to get all the clubs and their different systems on board. It is in place and it is quite unique, also on a European level. The next step is that the data comes in stably and can be validated. It is underway now, as the corona restrictions are eased. They have made it difficult because data has been severely affected by the restrictions.
The platform does not do the job alone. Analysis and presentation tools have been built on top of the platform, and in the autumn the Divisions Association will proceed with arranging courses and competence development for the clubs. They are the ones who must convert data to improve the experience for the spectators, so it is absolutely crucial that the clubs are ready and able to handle turning data and insight into actions and development. Because the platform is shared, the clubs will also be able to learn from each other.
Best practice in one club can be transferred to another club, says Esben Halding.
The spectators, football fans, will experience the effect of the data collaboration. For example, the clubs can communicate more relevantly to them and that the offers they receive better suit their needs and wishes. If the experiences for the spectators can be improves, the Divisions Assocation believes that this can be translated into higher spectator numbers. It is of course influenced by other things. Such as the game on the field and competition from other types of experiences than football, states Esben Halding. He finds that other clubs in Europe are interested in what the Danish data collaboration leads to.