Uefa, European soccer’s governing body, has signed deals with three startups – WSC Sports, Formalytics and LiveLike – while also announcing the launch of its own Open Innovation platform.
The new partnerships come as a result of Uefa’s Start-Up Challenge, which was launched in January 2019 by the body’s innovation division.
WSC Sports, which creates and distributes automated digital highlights packages; Formalytics, which has produced an app to monitor soccer development; and LiveLike, a fan engagement platform, will now work with Uefa to help develop the governing body’s strategic goals.
WSC Sports will provide technology in order to customise Uefa footage for different regions in a bid to resonate with the changing digital viewing habits of younger audiences. Formalytics will utilise its technology to aid player development from grassroots up. LiveLike, meanwhile, will integrate its user-customisable interface and chat platform across Uefa’s digital offerings, as well as providing broadcasters and other organisations the opportunity for similar access.
Uefa’s director of financial sustainability and research, Andrea Traverso, said: “At Uefa, we need to create platforms for innovation, research and development as well as supporting the use of modern technologies and use of data in order to improve our business working model and create better engagement with our fans. By doing this, we will be ensuring that the future of football stays healthy for our organisation and Uefa’s 55 national associations.”
The idea behind the creation of Uefa’s Innovation Hub is part of the soccer body’s wider strategy, unveiled at its Rome congress earlier this year, to create a culture of innovation in order to ensure that it can adapt to the constantly changing demands of fans and new technologies.
Uefa’s new Open Innovation platform is designed to cultivate ideas and knowledge-sharing by inviting startups and other organisations to pitch new concepts to the European body.
“This is the first time that we have given startups the chance to become integrated into Uefa and help our organisation explore exciting new pathways,” added Traverso.