The innovation challenges of Johan Cruijff ArenA: Change the Game initiative

Sander van Stiphout – Director International and Program Manager Amsterdam Innovation Arena – discussed more about the innovation challenges at Johan Cruijff ArenA during the ESSMA Summit in Porto.

The innovation programme started almost 4 years ago when the ArenA was granted the rights for EURO 2020. They set ambitious goals - on topics such as safety & security, fan experience and the customer journey among others - which were pragmatic and straight forward. The innovation centre acts as a field lab for partners to test drive new commercial propositions. One of their main goals is to become a data-driven operator, while working together with their stakeholders.

Safety & Security

Sander highlighted the example of their 5G test frequency and the first experiments they have launched. 

As you step away from the stadium’s façade, the property belongs to the government. To safeguard the security, they are working closely together with national police and the City of Amsterdam.

In terms of a security perimeter, they lack space, so the vision is to establish a digital perimeter and use new technologies to know more about the people out there, taking into account the GDPR legislation and under control of the police and the city. As a stadium operator, they want to take the security standards to the next level.

Fan experience and the customer journey

To enhance the fan experience at Johan Cruijff ArenA, they developed Change the Game. An open innovation platform, calling for proposals to improve the stadium’s visitor experience. It is a close cooperation between Johan Cruijff ArenA, Ajax, KNVB (Dutch FA) and partners. Change the Game is about inspiration, to go for a different approach and about products not ideas. 

Their five main visitor experience-focused challenges focus on: 

  • More Quality Time: how to make sure fans stay longer in the stadium; next to the extra catering revenue, you want to minimalise the pressure on entrances/exits and parking garages. People might be interested to stay a bit longer when they have data and information on waiting times.
  • A Ticket in a Minute: how to lower the no show of fans; what if fans could give a digital ticket to a friend and get rewarded.
  • Excellent Experiences: what technology is the best option in terms of wayfinding, how to make the journey from the parking spot to your seat as easy and efficient as possible.
  • Seize the Moment: how to offer a more intense experience sitting on the stands; already a lot of information about players is available, how can they feed that to the fans and in which ways, for instance augmented reality solutions.
  • Distance doesn’t matter: how to offer new experiences not only at the stadium, but also at home.

Besides benefiting visitors, these enhancements could also provide more efficient and profitable business management, such as optimum seat occupancy, and faster customer service and crowd management support. The selected solutions will be implemented in a field lab with the various partners in 2019 and 2020 and further developed in the ArenA. Innovation parties are invited to register at until 31 March 2019. 


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Posted on 31/01/2019 in: