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Liverpool’s recent signing of Japanese midfielder Wataru Endo from Stuttgart is generating more interest in the football club in Japan, with traffic to its digital channels from Japanese fans surging in recent months.
To gain insight into which digital channels, content and platforms resonate better with Liverpool fans in different global markets, the club has been utilising data analytics and cloud technology as part of its digital transformation efforts.
Drew Crisp, senior vice-president of digital for Liverpool Football Club (LFC), said the club has spent the last three years revamping all of its digital platforms, collecting data from 15 to 20 digital touchpoints to better understand the online engagement of fans.
“These touchpoints include Liverpoolfc.com, news pages, ticketing, and retail to understand what fans are doing. We also maintain a data warehouse in a cloud environment with analytics capabilities, allowing us to identify what's driving the highest traffic,” he added.
Crisp further explained that this data helps the club understand fan engagement journeys and tailor promotions for the club and its partners.
With a global viewership of more than 800 million, Liverpool is the most-watched football team globally. Although it is an English club, its largest fan base resides in Asia, making it crucial for the club to engage with fans digitally as well as in-person through its retail stores.
“We have retail stores and e-commerce platforms in the region, and one of the things we’re now trying to do is to plug those into our rewards platform because it creates that physical and digital engagement,” Crisp said.
Much like other organisations that have increased their use of public cloud services during the pandemic, LFC has been working to migrate more datacentre workloads to the cloud, including storage, which is vital for the club’s media production teams.
Crisp revealed that the club previously relied on two dozen spinning disks in its Liverpool datacentre to store content. This meant that media production teams had to be physically present in the office to access content for their work: “We needed to transition to the cloud quickly so our staff could work remotely and efficiently, as everything was taking 60% longer during the pivot to digital marketing in the pandemic.”
Earlier this year, LFC struck a deal with cloud storage provider Wasabi Technologies to host most of its data and media content in the cloud. Crisp noted that this move has also sped up access to content used in the videos created for fans.
He added: “The next area we’re exploring is in post-production, where we want to streamline content creation in the most efficient and effective manner, allowing people to work from anywhere. So, instead of having multiple roles like producers, editors, and directors, one person can access content immediately, handle post-production, manage workflows, and publish it. This eliminates a significant amount of time and effort, and that's where Wasabi has been a huge value to us”.
Looking ahead, some of this work may be supported by artificial intelligence (AI), which LFC is already exploring. Crisp said AI could be used to analyse game footage and identify the best moments in a game based on fan preferences in different regions.
“Some regions prefer to focus on specific players, while others prefer to focus on the entire game or key match-changing moments and tactics. It all comes down to speed, efficiency, and relevance in how quickly we can create different lenses of a game for different regions.”
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