Football is one of the most popular sports in the world, generating billions of dollars in revenue annually. But over the past few decades, the way of playing football has changed dramatically as digital transformation via technology has come into play.
The English Football Association (The FA) has been transforming its digital presence for a while now, and as a result, it’s now easier than ever before to follow your favorite team and attract more people to enjoy playing football.
Digital transformation is more than just investing time and money in new technology. It is about changing your mindset and thinking differently. Craig Donald is the Chief Information Officer of the Football Association of England and he’s just one of a few key digital transformation leaders in the past couple of years in Europe who’ve managed to sustain fantastic levels of digital transformation success.
Furthermore, you see more information about how other tech leaders have managed to obtain digital transformation success by visiting www.contino.io/insights/top-20-dx-innovators for the full report.
Digital Transformation at the FA
The FA has been working towards digital transformation for the last 3 years now and it is clear that the game of football is evolving into something different from what it was 10 years ago.
Customer service and operational efficiency often go hand in hand since we promote grassroots football across England and rely largely on volunteers.
The FA has also employed technology to increase the value of our assets, such as the Emirates FA Cup, but never at the expense of our enormous volunteer workforce across the country.
The English FA digital transformation path requires us to change not only our technology but also our technology organization, as well as our internal customers and stakeholders, compelling us to think and act differently than we did in the past when we worked on projects.
For the FA, this means focusing on helping everyone involved with the game of football, whether you are a player, coach, referee, administrator, or supporter.
Impact of the Digital Transformation in Football
The game of football is undergoing an unprecedented transformation unlike any other era in its history. From how clubs are managed, to the way people interact with the game, the game of football will never be the same. And don’t forget about the rise of fantasy football!
The technologies that accompany fantasy football have drastically increased fan engagement, building loyalty for both players and club brands alike. Where does the biggest sports technology disruption sit within the industry?
There is one common business element that runs through all of the technological initiatives in the FA: it is to focus on making life easier and lowering the time it takes to get results.
Whether it makes it much easier for a grassroots player to sign up with the FA or gives statistics to the Under 21s coaches so they can detect future talent, technology is all about making things easier and getting more done in less time.
This can be achieved by building a digital ecosystem for the footballers of England from the grassroots to the highest levels. This includes everything from the youth academy system to the professional league.
“I think education is key. Don’t just go in there being the mystical gurus of technology, but try to help them understand and get the dialogue going,” said Craig.
The outcome of digital transformation for the FA is a better and more direct relationship with all the participants in English football. Allowing people to enjoy playing football and spend less time administrating football.
At the elite spectrum of the football pyramid, Craig managed to work with Google Cloud’s data capabilities to the development of the ‘Player Performance System’ (PPS), and this manages to track a host of players’ health and performance data along with in-depth analytics analysis.
The impact of digital transformation on football has been huge. Fantasy football has become a billion-dollar industry. Clubs are using data analytics to improve their teams. Players are learning how to manage themselves digitally. Technology is allowing fans to connect and share information.
With the advent of digital transformation, the game of football is evolving into something even greater. It is changing the way people play, watch, and support the sport. The FA is leading the charge in embracing new technology and transforming the way the game is played.