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Create connections with fans and win – in sports and in business

By Alberto Pinedo, Digital Advisor, Microsoft on June 1, 2017

Filed under IT Leader

If you’ve ever met a person from Spain, you probably found out their favorite football team within the first few minutes. Football – known to Americans as “soccer” – is in the DNA of our country. I like football but in a different way, but I will keep that to myself for now.

Picture of Alberto PinedoI am Alberto Pinedo, and I work at Microsoft Spain in Digital Advisory Services. Microsoft Digital Advisory Services is a team within Microsoft Services. Digital Advisors bring their expertise, as well as Microsoft’s resources, experience and innovation, to empower organizations to reach their digital aspirations. We partner to drive a program of change to build our customers’ digital business, and our website can be found here: Microsoft Digital Advisory Services.

The football organization in Spain is known as “LaLiga”. La Liga manages the rights behind the top two divisions of Spanish football- LaLiga Santander and LaLiga 1|2|3 – which in turn are comprised of a total of 42 clubs including the female teams. In addition to managing the nearly 1,000 matches that net 1.2 billion viewers per weekend, the teams have approximately 800 players. But that’s not all. LaLiga also stays connected with nearly 1.6 billion social media followers around the globe. Even if every Spanish resident were a football fan, the in-country fans would still only represent 3% of the total fan base.

Still image of a LaLiga football match
From LaLiga – Microsoft Video

Together with LaLiga, our Microsoft team identified over 600 ideas from which we selected twenty business scenarios. The scenarios spanned everything from supporting football fans – getting to know them better, and earning and retaining their loyalty – to optimizing the performance and health of each professional player. Because of our collaboration, now:

  • Social listening and business intelligence provides LaLiga with insights on what their fans desire, and predicted attendance to sporting events.
  • Fans easily access customized content, videos and statistics about their favorite teams and players.
  • Fans earn points and virtual currency through the LaLiga app, which unlocks exclusive content and services, transforming the fan experience online.
  • Chatbots engage with fans through voice and text messages
  • Teams know more about each player’s condition and resiliency, improving performance and reducing injuries.
Still image from video of a Microsoft Surface screen
From LaLiga – Microsoft Video

Our learnings about managing a fan base are broadly applicable to other organizations, since organizations increasingly think of their current and future customers as fans. To learn more about the Microsoft-LaLiga Partnership, see our video below and check out these additional resources.

And, speaking of football, in case you were still wondering, I like football because of the values it represents: teamwork, inclusive teams, effort, and respect. Football for me represents a lot more than players or teams.

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