UEFA’s Innovation Challenge invited MBA students to find innovative ways to improve fans’ match-day experience, with some of the best ideas to be considered for implementation during UEFA EURO 2024.
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Enhancing spectator experience at future UEFA EUROs was the objective as 120 students joined forces as part of UEFA’S 2019 Innovation Challenge. The aim was to innovate and generate new ideas which will benefit UEFA’s competitions.
“The 2019 UEFA Innovation Challenge has been a unique opportunity to leverage the skills, insights and knowledge of these students while supporting them on their educational journey,” said Andrea Traverso, UEFA’s managing director of financial sustainability and research.
“As consumer and fan trends are changing more rapidly than ever before,” Traverso added, “it is key for UEFA to gain insights from outside of our core business to help us in staying at the cutting edge.”
UEFA, ThinkSport, as well as MBA students from the IMD Business School, and design students from ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne were involved in the challenge. The winning project created a bracelet to improve the fan experience for future UEFA events, while other innovative ideas delivered by the students will also be considered for implementation during the tournament in Germany in five years’ time.
The winner of the Innovation Challenge – Euroband – is a wristband using radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology, in which electromagnetic fields are used to automatically identify and track tags attached to objects around a UEFA EURO event.
In addition to using the wristband as a match ticket, fans would be able to track their families’ whereabouts as well as purchasing refreshments and other items during UEFA EURO matches being staged in stadiums or shown live in official fan zones.
UEFA hopes to leverage the students’ insights to implement improved experiences during EURO 2024, in addition to supporting their education and professional development.
Eighteen teams in total took part in the challenge over the course of the week. Each team was comprised of business and design experts to simulate the composition of multidisciplinary teams in the real world of innovation. They created ideas, identified business models and held discussions with UEFA specialists, before pitching their final proposals to a jury comprising UEFA experts.
In determining the winners, the jury considered criteria such as utility to fans, business value (including feasibility), originality, quality of evidence and effectiveness of the presentation.