EuroLeague opts for digital upgrade in the times of the pandemic

2020-08-11T15:27:34+00:00 2020-08-11T15:27:34+00:00.


11/Aug/20 15:27

EuroLeague’s strategic moves towards digitalizing its product could turn to be the future of the competition in the times of the pandemic.

By Eurohoops team /

The coronavirus pandemic crisis has resulted in rapid changes in the world of sports, with the EuroLeague organization being no exception to that. When the season was ultimately canceled in late May, both clubs and the organization itself were left to navigate in previously unknown territories, financially and in regards to the product itself with all live action being halted.

Sports Pro Media takes a look at EuroLeague’s digital transformation and the initiatives taken to optimize the fans’ experience, while at the same time securing its clubs financially.

The EuroLeague executives’ decision to set up a collective digital transformation fund (DTF) in early July to support the clubs, along with a “possibility for new player salary regulations based on net basketball-related revenues” could help the future of the league, that is now putting its focus towards analyzing digital data, to provide the best experience for the fans.

“We’ve always been looking at what we can do for our fans and gaining as much information about the fans as we can,” Roser Queraltó, EuroLeague Basketball’s chief business development officer told Sports Pro. “By adopting the latest innovations on the market – including data analysis, technology capabilities, and monetization – this is what will guarantee that the clubs have the best tools to do that.”

“We have a pot [of money] that was decided on and will be distributed to the teams for a particular project. We wanted the clubs to focus specifically on that [digital] piece of their business and ensure that the fans had a destination [to engage with the teams] across the league.” 

With the funding in place for the next two seasons, EuroLeague also made a key partnership move by pairing up with data consultancy firm N3XT Sports to help guide and inform its clubs’ digital upgrades. Each of the 12 teams involved in the DTF will be allocated an equal share of the funding, which will be distributed in two installments.

“It’s not going to present an immediate financial impact for our clubs,” Queraltó added. “We’re looking at it more as a way to support the clubs to modernize and improve their digital systems so that they are better prepared to make decisions.

“Covid-19 happened in a critical moment for our development, and at the same time we’re looking at how this ‘new normal’ can help us. For example, how do we make sure we offer the fans – whenever they are ready to return to the arenas – new opportunities to enjoy the games? How do we adapt our offering to the new realities, and to transform not only the league itself, but also the clubs?”

Mounir Zok, N3XT Sports’ chief executive, first brought up the idea of creating a DTF during the annual EuroLeague Business Summit in Barcelona this July, also shared his views on this transformation.

“We’re looking at different areas within the clubs, from customer relationship management (CRM) to venue management, to data collection, innovation, ticketing, and so on. We have also worked very closely with EuroLeague Basketball to fine-tune some of the details around the fund and developed some of the criteria that the clubs will take into account and keep in mind when they put forward their applications”, he commented.