Arsenal Football Club is one of the most famous football teams in the world. It has over 100 million fans worldwide and sees its international fans as key to its further success, and wants to create amazing experiences for the fans when they come to Arsenal’s home stadium in London.
In a recent ComputerWeekly article, Arsenal’s CIO, Hywel Sloman, points out that when it comes to the intersection of sports and technology, there is very little value in putting Wi-Fi in a stadium. Rather, said Sloman, speaking at MuleSoft’s recent London Summit, what’s valuable is providing real services to fans, whether it’s helping them order beer more quickly or locating the shortest line to the toilet.
One initiative Sloman spearheaded to create a great experience for fans is speeding up transactions for international customers in the Armoury, Arsenal’s store for club merchandise at Emirates Stadium. ““In its busiest weekend, in the first weekend of August, the store does more international card transactions than the whole of Marks & Spencer, the whole of Gap and the whole of Argos,” Sloman said. “For many of the fans, this trip is a one-off visit, so we need to get it right.” The club has reduced the average transaction time by 50% to 30 seconds.”
For a football team interested in further cementing its relationship with its fans outside the UK, creating a great experience for them through technology will engender brand loyalty, which could translate into more sales.
With this and other initiatives, Sloman has been able to become what we like to call the Chief Innovation Officer – a CIO who uses technology to make their companies extraordinary. What could it do for your company? Take a look at our resources on the CIO’s new role in the modern business.