Industry update: more on sustainability, fan experience and eSports

Read more on the FAN of the Match initiative at PSV Eindhoven, RCD Espanyol’s new eSports team, LaLiga Genuine Santander and more in ESSMA’s weekly industry update.

Fan Experience & Hospitality

  • During PSV Eindhoven - PEC Zwolle, a fan could follow the match from his sickbed through an AV1 Robot as part of the club’s FAN of the Match programme. A PSV player takes the robot to the pitch to join the line-up, watch the game from the sidelines and interact with the players after the game. The robot is equipped with software that allows real time interaction. The robot represents the club’s and the PSV Foundation’s efforts to make a positive contribution to society. Since 1988, the FAN of the Match programme has provided over 400 fans a unique matchday experience. 
  • RCD Espanyol announced a new eSports team in the Rocket League, in addition to the existing FIFA19 teams of the club. The team will compete both in VFO 11 vs 11 modality and in 1 vs 1. consisting of a coach and four players. The team is part of the club’s digital strategy to boost its presence in eSports and a commitment to contribute to the sector’s growth.

Sustainability & SMART 

  • Stadtwerke AG will invest €2.5 million in heat supply at Voith Arena, home of 1. FC Heidenheim 1846. In the future, both the stadium and the surrounding training areas will be supplied with environmentally friendly heat via a heat pipe from the new heating center. In addition, the existing heating center of 1. FC Heidenheim 1846 will be integrated into the overall concept for the new environmentally friendly heat supply.

General News 

  • Queens Park Rangers will gift the naming rights of Loftus Road, their home stadium, to a local charity from the 2019/20 season. The club gives fans the chance to choose and submit a local charity if it is linked to the following criteria:
    • Local in nature
    • Has a strong impact on the community
    • Would benefit from broader recognition to increase the awareness of their work
    • Has the appropriate internal infrastructure in place to take advantage of the increased awareness and grow the impact of the charity


  • In 2017, LaLiga has created LaLiga Genuine Santander, a competition for players with intellectual disabilities. Currently, 30 clubs from the top two divisions have created teams. The competition, designed for players with an intellectual disability of 33% or above, takes place in four stages across Spain. The clubs ensure significant funding, top quality facilities and high profile coverage for their teams in this competition.