Every athlete knows the importance of a proper warm-up. The same thing applies when it comes to the world of sports event management and planning. Next March, the second SportsInnovation summit will take place in Düsseldorf, Germany. As part of the preparations, leading industry members recently travelled to Beijing, China, to give a taster of what delegates can expect in Düsseldorf in the spring. Representatives of the sports industry will also head to the US shortly for another Future Summit on October 29, where they will welcome visitors to the Bundesliga’s International Office in New York with the same aims in mind.
The SportsInnovation Future Summits are organised by the DFL partner Deltatre in conjunction with Messe Düsseldorf. In Beijing, the focus was on the fast-developing sports industry in China and how technology is playing an instrumental role in driving the growth of that sector. As one of football’s innovation leaders, the DFL was at the heart of the event, which brought together representatives from many Chinese sporting organisations – including the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) – as well as delegates from Bundesliga clubs. Also present were representatives from media outlets such as PP Sports, Tencent Sports and Sina Sports, as well as sports companies like OCEANS Sports, China Sports Media and Dengfeng Sports. In a productive atmosphere, a number of lively discussions took place on the future of sports technology in China. A round-table panel including representatives from the CBA, Deltatre and OCEANS Sports also analysed the future of the Chinese sports industry from the perspective of consumers, media, sponsorship and technological innovation.
Now leading industry members will head to New York for the next Future Summit, where similar discussions around the US market will take place. ‘I am looking forward to the upcoming Future Summit and am proud to present the visitors our recent 5G showcase to demonstrate how the DFL drives innovation,’ says Andreas Heyden, EVP Digital Innovation DFL Group. Recently, live access to the latest 5G mobile communications technology has been provided for the first time during a regular football match. The DFL and Vodafone activated the 5G infrastructure in the VOLKSWAGEN ARENA in Wolfsburg as part of a live demonstration for the Bundesliga home game of VfL Wolfsburg versus TSG Hoffenheim. For the first time, selected guests in the stadium were also able to test the prototype of the new real-time app that Vodafone and the DFL are developing for optimized use in the 5G network. With this app, spectators at the stadium receive, among other things, match statistics and the players’ individual values directly on the display of their smartphones. In the future, they will be able to see, for example, how quickly a striker runs up to the rival team’s goal and how successful his previous shots on goal were in real time on a 5G-compatible device.
The Future Summit in New York will see a keynote by Andreas Heyden followed by a discussion panel on the topic ‘Sports in the next digital decade’. The inaugural SportsInnovation summit in 2018 provided 41 exhibitors from eleven countries with a platform to showcase the latest developments and future plans to a global audience of thousands under the motto ‘Meet the Future of Sports – Media – Stadium’. The conference met with a very positive response and plans are well under way to ensure the 2020 summit is just as popular and thought-provoking. The organisers seek to give the event an increasingly international flavour through the intensified involvement of overseas partners.