French sports bodies engage in connected stadia venture

A group of key stakeholders in French sport have proposed the introduction of centralised funding programmes for the digitalisation of stadia and arenas.

The proposal is one of the findings from a study on the connectivity of sports venues conducted by the Ministry of Sport, French Football Federation (FFF), French Football League (LFP), National Basketball League (LNB), National Handball League (LNH), National Rugby League (LNR) and the National Association of Professional Sports Leagues.

Three objectives were set within the framework of the study: to engage with new connected audiences, to transform the spectator experience in French venues and to create a model of economic development that is more efficient for resident clubs and teams.

The stakeholders said that three major lessons were gained from the study. Firstly that 67% of participating clubs said they have 3G/4G networks in their venues, while 49% said they have established a customer-relationship management system. However, only 5% said they have developed a ticketing offering that can be coupled with transport provisions for travel to stadia or arenas.

In a joint statement, the stakeholders said: “The study identifies a French offer of products and services related to connected stadia that is both important and varied. With a strong growth potential, it confirms France’s capacity to innovate in sport and to develop a leading economic sector throughout its territory and internationally.

“The study proposes the creation of one or more digitisation funds for sports venues. They would constitute a financial tool at the national level, supported by federations, professional leagues and financial partners, and would make it possible to pool funding in support of club projects.

“The study recommends that professional federations and leagues define a digital project in each sport with quality standards for clubs, as well as training, experimentation and pooling programs in support of clubs.”

Image: LNB