Using Big Data and Analytics for Match Day Insights

Nick Orme, November 19, 2019

Technology can help sports teams gain more information on the fans watching the game, writes ITEC CEO Nick Orme...

It has been quite a year for sport in the UK. Winning the Cricket World Cup, reaching the semi-finals of the Women’s Football World Cup and finishing second at the Rugby World Cup. Sport has dominated our TV screens.

Live sport is an increasingly profitable area for the technology world, and we’ve seen it transformed both on and off the pitch in the last decade. The evolution of sportswear and cable-suspended camera systems for closer to the action perspectives. Digital pitch-side media and giant screens.

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Big Data is playing a huge role in training and coaching as well as delivering a wealth of stats to spectators to enrich their viewing experience.

Spectators are more connected than ever before. Match-day apps supply information on demand, and a greater number of fans share experiences on social media. This new dynamic presents some unique challenges for venues or event spaces dealing with big crowds. Not only do they need to manage footfall and ensure health & safety remains a top priority; they must facilitate high speed, uninterrupted internet access for the ultimate event.

How can sporting arenas best meet those challenges, and provide the best possible customer experience? Intelligent data analytics underpinned by high-quality WiFi and 4G/5G can provide the answer.


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Multiple Challenges

First, let’s delve a little deeper into the customer experience requirements of sporting arenas.

Numerous different operational teams sit behind the scenes of the average sporting venue. They need to communicate seamlessly, particularly when it comes to crowd control and emergency services. Managing the smooth flow of tens of thousands of visitors around the arena is critical for health & safety, and the overall visitor experience and reputation of the venue. Long queues and bottlenecks can present a safety hazard and become frustrating for visitors.

Attendees want guaranteed high-speed, high-bandwidth internet connectivity. They want to be able to check the news, post social media updates, maybe even watch online replays. They also want to be able to contact friends and family at the venue and arrange times and places to meet.

Sporting arenas need to work hard to offer a better experience than their rivals. Sports is a competitive landscape off the field, as well as on it. The right investment in the right technology can significantly increase fan engagement and that drives up on-spend at the stadium in retail outlets, drives up advertising value and increases customer loyalty.

Sports venues that treat technology as an investment, rather than a cost, are seeing much better outcomes.


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A Multifaceted Solution

Face these challenges with high-speed, high-bandwidth wireless connectivity throughout the arena – both for operational teams behind the scenes and for the visitors themselves. Ground-level WiFi that can reliably deal with the massive capacity of sporting venues is becoming increasingly expected in stadiums and arenas, enabling attendees to access the internet throughout their visit, and operational teams to make intelligent decisions in conjunction with each other.

From there, sporting arenas can develop revenue generation tools such as rewards and promotions and gamification experiences, as well as exclusive social media content and replays which enhance the ground experience and the venue's brand positioning.

But WiFi also underpins an even more proactive approach to managing sporting arenas - generating big data analytics and tangible business intelligence. By implementing sensors that can track information pertaining to visitor behaviour, location and movement and analysing this raw data and translating it into tangible insights, sporting arenas can make far more informed and intelligent decisions. Such decisions might relate to the locations of amenities and signage, ensuring a smoother flow of visitors around the arena. They might relate to the types of refreshments and merchandise on offer, based on the popularity of offerings at previous events, at different times. They might involve targeting visitors with promotions and social media content depending on where they are in the arena.


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Going to Gold

In short, can enable sporting arenas to improve user experiences by understanding human behaviour better – and it can enable them to access and respond to these insights in real-time.




The nation’s interest in a diverse array of sports and sporting competitions shows no signs of slowing down. So the nation’s sporting arenas will be under pressure to offer the most innovative, exciting, safe and seamless experience possible to their visitors. Big data analytics can provide a platform for innovation and creativity, efficiency and cost-effectiveness – all by harnessing the intelligence already within the venue. Truly, a winning formula.


If you're interested in transforming your sport clubs technology, get in touch with ITEC today...

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