An industry-leading technology solution is set to be introduced through a new venture between software company SAP and Dimension Data, a South Africa-based IT solutions services provider.

The initiative will see Dimension Data’s Sports Practice division partner with SAP’s sports and entertainment division. The initial focus of the partnership will be on delivering live stadium solutions to clients.

Eventually, the venture will expand to support fan engagement, athlete performance and digital solutions for various sports properties and the wider sports industry.

Dimension Data and its parent company, NTT Group, already holds a global strategic partnership with SAP.

Scott Gibson, Dimension Data’s group executive of digital practice, said: “We’ll see the stadium experience evolve beyond a fan sitting in a seat watching a ball game, or watching a cycling race from the top of a hill. Technologies such as virtual and augmented reality will give fans unprecedented live event experiences, whether they’re sitting at the event, or are thousands of miles away.

“This is where mobility and infrastructure technologies will be crucial, and where our evolving connected stadium solution will play a critical role in reinventing the fan experience across a broad range of sports.”

Stefan Wagner, senior vice-president and global general manager of sports and entertainment at SAP, added: “No sport can survive without fans, because that’s where sports revenue is. Fans are no longer satisfied with simply viewing sport from a distance and on the sidelines.

“They want to be close to all the action, and want to know every detail of their heroes, and participate in conversations with other fans. Dimension Data, SAP and NTT Group are well-positioned to take advantage of this fast-growing trend through our and live venue technology.”

Dimension Data currently serves as the title sponsor of UCI WorldTour cycling outfit Team Dimension Data, and is also the official technology partner for Amaury Sport Organisation, which owns and operates the Tour de France. The company has also provided technology solutions for the last two editions of football’s Fifa World Cup.