Digital transformation in sports: The DFB & NBA
Digital transformation is the use of new technologies to drive significant business improvements, taking into account the ever-changing nature of customer demands. While this sounds like something reserved for high-tech businesses, digital transformation is, in fact, crucial for all businesses. To illustrate this, let's take a look at two unique cases of digital transformation from the sports world: the German Football Association (DFB) and the National Basketball Association (NBA).
German Football Association
The rules of the game are changing -- not in the basic sense of gameplay, but rather in the way teams play and engage with their fans. Technology is amping up the competitiveness on the field. Decisions need to be made faster than ever, and playing tactics and passing accuracy are increasingly important. Even certain positions on the field have changed -- you won't find a classical striker like Gerd Müller in today's game.
The DFB has taken all these factors into account to maintain their high performance with new technology. They are transforming their game with a slew of new technologies: in-memory analytics, visualization, the cloud, mobility, camera footage, and sensors. These bits and pieces are pulled together with one innovative solution, allowing the DFB to easily assess player and team performance. Thanks to its social features, players can even collaborate better with this platform.
With insights into their own gameplay and that of their opponents, players now train smarter than ever. Coaches are relayed key information on individual players and on team performance, allowing for advanced decision making. Visualizations from these data convey tactics faster and more simply.
The DFB's digital transformation affects fans too, with new value-added services kicking fan engagement to another level. Fans now receive personalized promotional offers for new events or ticket offerings. Social media features will allow fans to see which of their friends will be at the game and even offers a way to organize carpooling to games. And with access to player statistics and real-time game analysis, fans are engaged at an even deeper level.
National Basketball Association
Rather than just sitting on its 65 years worth of game statistics, the NBA unveiled an interactive, high-traffic-capable statistics website. For the first time ever, fans have access to the sport's entire database of history and statistics. To ensure that its 760 million fans can all enjoy the experience, the content is distributed in over 47 languages across more than 250 countries.
On the site, fans can manipulate the league's entire database of historical data. It's always up-to-date, with game details uploaded 5 minutes after every game. Even media outlets have recognized the value of the site and now use it for game reporting.
It's no surprise that such a compelling site has enjoyed great success. In just one season, the site has seen a 65 percent growth in visitors. Even better, visitors are spending twice as long on the site once they're there.
Both the DFB and the NBA have done great jobs upping their game with unique digital transformations. Every business can do the same with their players (employees) and fans (customers). Technology provides the means to enhance and innovate for real business improvements.