Industry update: more on fan engagement, sustainability and esports

Read more on reusable cups at Leicester Tigers, facial recognition at AFC Ajax, the 2019 Rugby World Cup and more in ESSMA’s weekly industry update.


Fan Experience & Hospitality


  • Manchester City opened a sensory room at Etihad Stadium, which is specially designed for children with sensory processing issues that may otherwise discourage them and their families from attending a match. The sensory room offers a safe and controlled environment to watch the match, with optional, additional seating in the stadium bowl for those who want to spend time experiencing the match in the crowd.


  • The 2019-20 VBL Club Championship will kick off on 4 November 2019 as part of the Virtual Bundesliga (VBL). The competition organised by DFL and EA SPORTS FIFA for clubs of the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 was first held for the first time last season with SV Werder Bremen as defending champion.


SMART & Sustainability


  • Leicester Tigers is committed to a number of green initiatives including the implementation of reusable cups. By paying a £1 deposit, fans receive a reusable cup which can be used during matchdays. At the end of a match, fans can choose to keep the cup as a souvenir or exchange it for their £1 deposit. 



Operations & Ticketing


  • AFC Ajax will implement facial recognition to improve the online ticketing process of their fans through digital ID verification as the club wants to transform their fan experience. 



General News


  • SD Europe released an article giving a general view about the potential benefits of stadiums for the local area, its costs and the stakeholders involved in planning/financing/managing a stadium; to highlight different levels of cooperation between clubs, public and private investors and adopted solutions. Amongst other projects, you can find more information about the community-oriented structure of Malmö FF.

Read more  

  • Kobe Misaki Stadium, one of the host venues of the 2019 Rugby World Cup, is equipped with the Philips ArenaVision LEDs lighting system of ESSMA Stadium Partner Signify. The new energy-efficient LED lighting uses less electricity compared to conventional lighting, saving up to 45% in electricity costs. 


  • FC Bayern München signed a digital collectibles licensing partnership with Stryking Entertainment to distribute blockchain-based digital tokens amongst their fans. Additionally, the platform will be combined with a Fantasy Game in order to create a digital environment where the fans can build line-ups based on digital cards they have collected.