Artificial intelligence connects the Spanish soccer league to its 1.6 billion fans

 |   Equipo Microsoft Latinx

“The recent growth in digital technologies, the internet, and social networks has changed our relationship with fans. Today, fans want a lot more information.” Javier Tebas, Chairman of LaLiga.

LaLiga is the professional soccer association of Spain and one of the most popular domestic professional sports leagues in the world. The 42 soccer teams in LaLiga inspire passion beyond Spain’s borders. In addition to stadium attendances in the tens of thousands, the league, its teams, and its players attract weekend television audiences of 2.1 billion fans and 1.6 billion social media followers around the globe.

As a result, LaLiga is using Microsoft artificial intelligence and predictive analytics via Microsoft Azure to deliver the highly personalized content that fans want.

“We chose Microsoft because the company offers the best-of-breed solutions LaLiga needs to create new digital possibilities,” says Javier Tebas.

To further deepen fan engagement, the league decided to deliver more personalized digital products and services. In addition to getting closer to fans, LaLiga wanted to maintain its strong standing in global competition by helping its teams improve game performance. “We wanted to build professional character for our football teams, and we knew digital technology could help us achieve that,” Tebas says.

A digital transformation: LaLiga started working with Microsoft’s technology and services to redefine the soccer experience. 

  • The soccer league moved its data to the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.
  • LaLiga also uses Microsoft Social Engagement, part of Dynamics 365, to analyze social media data, turn information into intelligent insights, and build sophisticated apps that transform its relationship with fans.

“We consider our alliance with Microsoft Services vital,” says Javier. “Through it, we get the knowledge, social listening, and business intelligence that are critical to our future competitiveness.”

Transforming the experience for soccer enthusiasts: With Microsoft Services as its partner, LaLiga now can offer:

  • New digital products, services, and experiences to fans all over the planet—at scale.
  • Powerful interactive infographics to make it easy for fans to obtain the exact information they want.
  • Fans will be able to create their own control panels to track specific information about their favorite players—whether that includes videos of memorable moments or the exact statistics they want to see.
  • LaLiga also plans to develop online games, complete with challenges that reward fans with experience points and virtual currency that they can use to unlock new content.

Looking into the future: LaLiga also plans to take advantage of the artificial intelligence and predictive analytics capabilities of Azure to track the behavior and preferences of fans.

  • By comparing weather patterns with stadium attendance, for example, the soccer league can avoid scheduling matches on days when few people are likely to turn out.
  • By better forecasting demand for specific online content, LaLiga can evaluate new services before they’re introduced, boosting efficiency while creating new revenue streams.

“Today, the 90-minute match is not enough,” says Tebas. “If we don’t develop a comprehensive digital strategy, we won’t grow. That’s why we see Microsoft Services as key to our development.”

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