Southern Expansion, a group seeking to launch new A-League and W-League football franchises in southern New South Wales, has laid out plans for extensive digital fan engagement initiatives that would be introduced should it be successful in its bid.

The group has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Solos Integrity to introduce a host of innovations.

Smart wearable merchandise will be offered to fans, while smart gate technology would also be in operation at the stadium on match days.

“The football, match-day, player interaction and membership benefits of our fans will be central to the success of our club, and digital engagement is central to those outcomes”, Chris Gardiner, chief executive of Southern Expansion, said.

“Digital technology will be the backbone and heart of our club. We want fans to be connected to their favourite players. We want spectators to have the best, most convenient game experience. We want club news and initiatives and benefits at the fingertips, immediately, of club members. We see Solos Integrity’s smart technologies as giving us that capacity.”

Solos chief executive George Monemvasitis provided more information on how the technology would work. 

He said: “With our technology integrated into a team’s merchandise, an individual will be able to walk straight through fast track smart gates that identify their ticket saved on the label on approach.

“When they arrive at concession stands for food and drinks, their profile will be readily available, with the ability to repeat saved orders and automatically pay through linked details provided by the customer on their smartphone.

“No more waiting in lines for fans with genuine merchandise, only improved access and more time spent enjoying the game. As part of our partnership with Southern expansion, we will be continuing our shift towards customer empowerment, through the launch of pilot programs to test the technology with fans.

“From this, we will then commence scale across the organisation to serve the proposed team and work to implement our systems at stadiums to provide fans with new and exciting experiences.”

The Southern Expansion club would represent the St George and Illawarra regions of New South Wales. The group has a vision of becoming the leading football club in Australia and has plans to raise the profile of the sport in the area south of Sydney. The A-League currently has 10 teams.

Image: Southern Expansion