Enhancing the fan experience at Estádio do Dragão
Rui Lousa - Commercial CEO at FC Porto - shared insights on Estádio do Dragão, host venue of the fifth ESSMA Summit. Estádio do Dragão was inaugurated in 2003 with the aim of hosting three group stage matches, a quarterfinal and a semifinal at the UEFA Euro 2004. In addition, it has been elected to host the 2019 UEFA Nations League Finals. With a relatively low investment of €125 million, the stadium did manage to win several awards regarding construction, sustainability and good environmental practices including the ECA Best Achievement (Non-Sporting) Award for its eco-friendly stadium.
Answer to the demands of a new generation of football fans
FC Porto implemented three main projects to enhance the fan experience at Estádio do Dragão. First of all, the club improved the connectivity inside the stadium. In order to respond to the needs of a new generation of football fans, FC Porto will have a fully connected stadium by the end of 2019.
FC Porto subsequently searched for a medium to take full advantage of the opportunities that are offered by digital communication. Therefore, the second innovation was launching their official app. The main challenge is getting the fans to use the app. Hence, understanding the needs of the fans is key to develop a platform that will strengthen the relationship between you as a club and the supporters. FC Porto achieved this by increasing the features to ensure that the fans understand the added value of the app. In addition, the club implemented an innovative in-seat delivery app. The app allows fans not only to order food and beverages from their seat, but also to purchase merchandising with one single click.
Thirdly, the club restructured Estádio do Dragão with the purpose of creating a multipurpose stadium. The stadium is strategically used to organise concerts and other sporting activities on non-matchdays to increase revenue streams.
Partnerships are the key to success
Furthermore Rui Lousa highlighted the importance of the city for the club FC Porto. “We should always remember that football is a game that makes the fans proud of where they geographically belong to. That is the reason why the club and the city cooperate closely together, what results in a win-win situation for both parties. The city attracts more tourists because of FC Porto and the club benefits from the partnership in terms of the organisation of, for example, the celebrations after winning the championship. There should be an atmosphere of knowledge sharing between the boards of clubs in the interest of the sector so we can all learn from each other.”
What we can learn from Rui Lousa's presentation:
- An assessment of the needs of your supporters is crucial to satisfy the demands of today’s football fans
- Offer your fans a memorable experience both on and off the pitch
- Keep your fans connected in the stadium
- In our information society, an app provides a perfect platform to engage your supporters
- Make it as easy as possible for the fans to purchase products
- Use your stadium strategically on non-matchdays
- A good partnership with the city can lead to a win-win situation
- Knowledge sharing is caring
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