It’s one of the biggest and most recognisable sports brands in the world and that’s the problem. For Real Madrid, they know they are big ticket and that can create all kinds of issues when it comes to seeing opportunities for growth. Big stars sell the big tickets and a steady stream of trophies doesn’t hurt.
The issue isn’t getting big, Real are already there, it’s making the most of the opportunity to maximise the experience for fans and the payoff for sponsors. With a reach of around 450 million worldwide, but with varying levels of interest and attachment to supporters, Real needed a solution that would make every supporter feel like they were in the Santiago Bernabeu while also improving the experience for supporters actually in the stadium. The La Liga giants worked with Microsoft to maximise its touch points on every level.
Less than 3 million of Real’s supporters are based in Spain, so the potential of bringing people in by digital tools was enormous. Microsoft worked with Real to listen to the fans, learning about them, creating the appropriate personalised content and serving it in various ways. Statistics, video, gaming, or fans interaction are some of the ways the app uses to maximise the capabilities of the digital platform Microsoft created for Los Blancos.
“We became the strategic partner of the club in order to digitally transform this institution. A leading club with an excellent evolution as Real Madrid is has to keep implementing and offering new services to its worldwide fans. Microsoft and the club have been working very closely to put the team ahead in the use of technology, placing its millions of fans in the centre of a unique experience,” a spokesperson for Microsoft told Crowdsight.
“In Microsoft we have been working closely with Real Madrid to develop a digital platform that meets its specific needs with the aim of turning the club into a renewed institution. Thanks to technology, Real Madrid has now a tool to understand their fans and respond quickly to their needs and requests, always providing a relevant and targeted value offer. With this tool, they have the ability to analyse a massive volume of deep data about fans. That is the basis for a new level of one-to-one engagement, to develop and deliver specific offers and build a deeper level of connectivity with all of the fans worldwide.”
— Microsoft Canada (@microsoftcanada) May 25, 2015
Inside and outside the stadium, Real has sought to improve the touchpoints, finding new ways for fans to feel part of the Real Madrid experience, whether they are in Castilla or Canberra. The key is to make fans feel special in their own way at each kind of interaction.
“Real Madrid knows better each and every one of the millions of fans around the world, their tastes, preferences and needs. As a result, the Club offers its fans new experiences and exclusive digital services, resulting in a more personal, close and “exciting” interaction between the club and the players. Fans can enjoy the content and services quickly and easily, without the need to use multiple sources or applications. Surely we are convinced that these new services make the fans even more excited about the team and players,” Microsoft told Crowdsight.
It’s that approach to multiple touch points that ensures that while fans everywhere get something on game-day, there’s a unique impact for those at a match.
“Fans benefit not only on the match day but throughout the year thanks to a rich diet of must see content delivered to any device, anywhere in the world. Also, Real Madrid has invested in new ways of enhancing the game day experience through a range of interactive experiences which at the same time create new routes to revenue through transaction and fresh sponsorship inventory.”
— TOK.tv (@TOKtvUS) September 30, 2015
Digital Sponsorship Initiatives
The goal for Real Madrid in this project was making personalized experiences for the fans, and knowing what they are interested in to offer them relevant contents. The essence is about knowing and understanding who these fans are, no matter where they live, and to make the experience of being a follower, richer and more interactive.
“Clubs are looking for bringing closer the excitement of the games to those that can’t attend to the stadium but are willing to receive a most immersive experience than what they would receive through the TV. Mobile devices, cloud computing and the most advanced technology make possible that sport orgs and professional teams explore this way. The Real Madrid app that the club launched before summer allow fans out of the stadium to feel like if they were there accessing to special content, real time personalized stats, images of training sessions or taking advantage of special offers to purchase online a t-shirt in e-store,” Microsoft told us.
— Microsoft Nigeria (@MicrosoftNG) January 17, 2016
“This experience become even richer if the fan is at the stadium having the availability of enjoying different views of the match through a number of different cameras located at the stadium and completing their experience having different angles of view of every game. Microsoft Sports is excited to work with such an enormous and mythic organization and to have such a brand as a flagship to show to the world how we can change the game and make it more close to the followers, bringing innovation and new revenue streams to the Sport organizations. The Microsoft Cloud is enabling millions of fans from teams, clubs and other organizations to get closer to the game, not only in match day but before and after, offering content and personalised experiences. From training ground to the stadium, we deliver access to in-depth, real time player and team performance data as an essential tool for coaching staff focused on maximising performance and player welfare. Also, connectivity and access to real time business data enhances effectiveness, creates new opportunities for sport organisations and drives revenue across all business units.”
Those opportunities are already being realised. For the most recent edition of the Clasico, viewed by approximately 400 million people worldwide, Real teamed with Predictabl to engage fans to make predictions on in-game events throughout the contest.
— Real Madrid C.F.🇬🇧 (@realmadriden) January 13, 2016
As Real’s data gathering through the app increases, benefitting from fans logging in to check videos from multiple replay angles, their ability to translate this information into assets that appeal to sponsors is only going to grow.
Most recently the club has announced a further upgrade to their market leading Mobile App in partnership with Israeli Tech firm Interacting Technology. The partnership will mean that Real Madrid will have a more efficient and effective way of reaching out and interacting with fans. From here on out the club hopes to offer a range of new perks to the loyal fans including, online games and a social hub for fans to interact with other fans and perhaps even club officials.
Guest Post By Emmet Ryan
Emmet Ryan is Tech, Beer and Betting Journalist for the Sunday Business Post. Emmet is also editor of BallinEurope.com, Europe’s biggest English language basketball site. Follow him on Twitter @action81
TEAM AND EVENT APP REVIEWS
This article is part of our series of Live Event App reviews where we look to understand best practice and current industry standards with a series investigating the potential of market leading Team or Live Event apps. Check out the other team/event app reviews that we’ve done here:
- Official Rugby World Cup App: A Review of how Fans made the Rugby World Cup a Digital Business
- San Francisco 49ers App: Examining how VenueNext re-invented the 49ers Fan Experience
- Real Madrid App: Real Madrid Keep Fans and Sponsors Happy With Unique Mobile App
- Barclays Center App: Barclays Center Creates a Digital Fan Experience via Interactive App
Check back soon for the latest in our series or sign up to our Monthly Sports Tech Review to get informed as soon as it’s available.