SAP showcased the new solution SAP Sports One at the Allianz Arena of Munich. Soccer clubs will be the first to be transformed through the cloud solution.
The 7:1 victory of Germany over Brazil in the semi finals of the FIFA Soccer World Cup was a great shock for Antonio Dutra, Jr. and his compatriots.
“But it was also a wake-up call,” says the head of IT at the Grêmio Foot-Ball Porto Alegrense football club. Since then, things have started to change in Brazilian football, and the conviction of many Brazilians that their invincible soccer heroes would surely bring home victory with their unrivaled talent – was deeply shaken.
While visiting the Allianz Arena in Munich, Dutra tells us that his club was the first to perform a strategic “bicycle kick.” His club will debut the successor to SAP Match Insights in May, the solution that helped prepare the German national team and coaches for their World Cup matches. The software will be used to effectively improve the performance of the Grêmio players. This will be followed by the acquisition of SAP Business All-in-One, to bring the business administration of the professional club “to a new level.”
Naturally, Dutra paid close attention to Executive Board members Gerd Oswald and Bernd Leukert and SAP’s General Manager of Media, Sports, and Entertainment Stefan Wagner as they gave first insights to the new sports solutions of SAP Sports One on Monday in Munich.
More than 500 representatives of sports clubs, associations, technology partners, and media from 22 different countries attended the SAP Sports & Entertainment Forum in the home stadium of freshly crowned German champion FC Bayern, hoping to learn how SAP will further digitize the world of sports.
Wagner announced that “We will present innovative solutions in one of the world’s most modern stadiums to give you a competitive edge.” Leukert pointed out that just as Big Data is a part of many aspects of society, it has now penetrated into sports as well and it was now time to “transform the incomprehensible amount of data into practical information that can benefit the sports industry.” He reiterated the importance of this data being available on a platform so that it can be saved and analyzed in real time. According to Wagner, “This allows team managers and coaches to spend more time on the pitch.”
The Importance of Technology Partners
SAP employees and partners proceeded to demonstrate with presentations and numerous demo pods exactly how teams and business operators could manage their affairs more efficiently, how they could win more fans for their team, and how the individual players could improve their performance.
SAP’s technology partners Deutscher Fußball-Bund, Bayern Munich, and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim were present as well to talk about their personal experiences. Stefan Mennerich, Director of New Media, FC Bayern Munich reports that his club will “completely reorganize their digital structure” by July 2016 with the help of SAP. The largest sports club in the world with about 260,000 members is currently modernizing its entire IT landscape based on SAP HANA. For this, the club’s electronic commerce needs to be globalized through SAP hybris solutions, and all digital platforms must be reorganized to win more fans, among other things. Furthermore, the club will install several components of SAP Sports One.
Professor Jan Mayer, sport psychologist at TSG Hoffenheim, explained how modern technology can speed up the decision-making process of the players on the field. With the SAP Helix – a 180 degree 3D projection surface – the TSG coaches can optimize the player’s perception skills, therefore “making their heads work faster.”
Dutra and his Brazilian soccer players, however, are not yet that advanced. For now, he is satisfied with the knowledge that his compatriots are taking the first steps towards becoming world champions once more. After all, he says, Germany’s World Cup victory was also a process that took several years to complete. Before Dutra leaves, I ask him who the current coach is in his club. Luiz Felipe Scolari, Dutra replies. He was coaching the Brazil national team when Germany caused them “this painful experience.”