City Football Group (CFG), which owns Manchester City, is to hold a five-day accelerator programme that will challenge start-ups to develop ideas to enhance the fan experience at stadia.
On 24th June, CFG will welcome 11 start-ups from Manchester and further afield to the workshop, which will address five big challenges identified by CFG’s global network of football clubs. The event will be held at the Etihad Campus.
CFG will be supported by Sapphire Ventures, with whom it launched a first-of-its-kind, £115m sports technology fund called Sapphire Sport earlier this year. Other partners include Manchester Metropolitan University and the Growth Company Services, which include GC Angels and GC Business Growth Hub, as well as the Department for International Trade NW and MIDAS.
CFG has received more than 200 applications from 37 countries, with 11 finalists having been selected to take part in the workshop.
One of the five key pillars outlined by CFG is ‘Sustainable Stadium’, which will address how clubs can reduce waste, improve energy efficiencies, and reduce carbon footprint. Others include ‘Easy Stadium’ which will discuss how match days can be made quicker and easier by removing queues and improving access to services, while ‘Vibrant Stadium’ will explore how clubs can leverage home advantage and engage the crowd.
‘My Stadium’ will look at how each fan can be provided with a personalised experience on match days, and ‘Global Stadium’ will discuss how all supporters can feel part of a family that is not constrained by physical location or time.
The best performing start-ups will be given an opportunity to launch a short-term pilot of their solution, which will be supported along the way by a CFG team.
Nuria Tarre, Chief Marketing Officer at CFG, said: “Innovation is a key part of City Football Group’s DNA. Unearthing the next generation of start-ups and engaging a community which will provide tangible and specific solutions to Manchester City is something we are hugely passionate about.
“Manchester was the home of the industrial revolution, so we are excited to be part of its future as a major technology and innovation hub for the 21st century. By gaining fresh ideas and rethinking the way we approach a project, we strongly believe that the City Start-up Challenge will provide a world-class platform for innovation and creativity while allowing us to shape the future of the fan experience.”