Football: The future is digital for Bayern Munich, together with software partner SAP

SAP's global general manager of sports & entertainment Stefan Wagner (left) and Bayern Munich's director of media, digital and communications Stefan Mennerich speaking about the game's digitalisation.
SAP's global general manager of sports & entertainment Stefan Wagner (left) and Bayern Munich's director of media, digital and communications Stefan Mennerich speaking about the game's digitalisation.PHOTO: SAP

SINGAPORE - Even as Bayern Munich players prepare for Tuesday's International Champions Cup opener against Chelsea, the club remain busy with off-the-pitch engagements.

The German giants paid a visit to their official intelligence and enterprise software partner SAP on Tuesday (July 25), at the company's South-east Asia headquarters in Mapletree Business City.

In an hour-long session, Bayern's director of media, digital and communications Stefan Mennerich and SAP's global general manager of sports & entertainment Stefan Wagner shared how Germany's most successful football club leverages on technology to provide an unforgettable match-day experience.

The club uses SAP Process Orchestration technology to collect data from various systems in and around the stadium.

Instantaneous streaming of real-time data via a mobile app enables club, arena staff and management to adapt to the situation on the ground in a quick and decisive manner.

Using the common problem of traffic congestion as an example, Wagner demonstrated through the app a simulated scenario which showed a live map of the number of vehicles stuck in traffic around the stadium and the projected number of fans who would miss the start of the game.

CRUCIAL FACTOR
It's very important to have a good data system. We are 10 times faster now in various areas
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STEFAN MENNERICH, Bayern's director of media, digital and communications, on the advances in operations.

By utilising the data provided, Wagner, adopting the role of a club official, proposed possible solutions the club could employ to alleviate the situation such as diverting traffic to alternative routes.

Key match-day processes such as food and beverage, facilities management, travel flow, fan engagement and merchandising can be enhanced by this technology.

"It's very important to have a good data system. We are 10 times faster now in various areas," noted Mennerich.

The duo also identified three sectors where digitalisation affects football namely: Business processes, fan engagement and player/coach performance.

Wagner and Mennerich agreed that the partnership has been successful in overhauling the club's business processes to become leaner and more efficient.

"This (business processes) is the first phase. Now we are tapping into Bayern's core business which is football and sports development… understanding what the coaches and scouts needs," said Wagner.

"Digitalisation is crucial for our future if we want to compete against big clubs such as Real Madrid, Manchester United and Manchester City," stated Mennerich.