Manchester City group joins forces with SAP to further global goals

The City Football Group, which includes Manchester City, has teamed up with SAP to further its global development goals

The City Football Group, which includes Manchester City FC, is partnering with SAP to further its global goals.

The group’s clubs include New York City FC, Melbourne City FC, Yokohama F. Marinos and the Manchester City women’s team. New York City FC features Frank Lampard and Andreas Pirlo, and is in its inaugural season in the MLS in the United States.

City Football Group, which is owned by the Abu Dhabi United Group, is looking to “co-innovate with SAP on new technological enhancements in the areas of talent management, football performance and human performance for future versions of the ‘SAP Sports One Solution’”.

In 2014, SAP and the German national team developed “SAP Match Insights” to collect and analyse player data during training. This may have helped Germany win the World Cup, and has been developed into Sports One.

In a statement, Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP said: “City Football Group is one of the most innovative and technology-driven football organisations in the world. We are so proud that SAP Hana and our cloud solutions will be enabling City Football Group’s vision for supporting the players and coaches while completely re-inventing the fan experience.”

At the partnership launch event at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, Ferron Soriano, CEO of the City Football Group said that “the partnership with SAP covers all aspects of our football operation”, which extends over four continents. “We are truly global. We operate 24/7 365 days of the year, and so have the chance to lose every weekend.”

City Football Group (CFG) and its clubs will be using SAP’s technology for their business operations, to interact with fans and to improve player acquisition and performance.

It will use SuccessFactors for HR, SAP Jam for collaboration and SAP Simple Finance. It will also use SAP’s predictive analytics and business intelligence software to analyse and simulate ticketing and merchandising data.

To engage City’s fans there will be an “interactive digital insights wall” at the Etihad Stadium to bring real-time analytics and insights to fans attending matches. CFG will also use customer engagement and commerce from SAP’s hybris business unit.

Stefan Wagner, general manager for media, sports and entertainment at SAP, said City Football Group impressed with its international business model and culture of innovation.

He said: “From them we will get a world class knowledge in the area of football,” to feed future SAP sports analytics development. 

“Only SAP can offer end to end technology” to a football club, or group of clubs with global ambitions, he said, “from operations, through fan engagement, to Sports One”.

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