The fan experience is always at the heart of German football.

The atmosphere at Euphoric Stadium, the affordable ticket prices and the ownership of the club’s fans are among the few sports leagues that match the Bundesliga’s reputation.

The fan experience inspires creativity in the German Football League (DFL), the body responsible for the best two levels in German football. DFL’s sub-division DFL develops its own in-house media content with a ‘glass to glass’ strategy, ensuring that the Bundesliga remains at the forefront of the sport’s technological advancement. Recent innovations include next-generation stats during the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 coverage, the newly launched Bundesliga app and additional reality (AR) experiences.

Andreas Heiden, CEO of DFL Digital Sports and CEO of DFL Digital Innovation, aims to reach new audiences by creating new content experiences for modern football fans.

He explains: “If you don’t offer them something new and unique, if they feel like enriching their fans’ experience, you will have many challenges.” Showing good football and exciting stadiums is not enough for this generation.

Giving some insight into how modern fan behavior and taste change has affected DFL’s new products, Heiden added: “Fan behavior is a complex process. For example, the average football fan wants four clubs. We believe that if we do not involve the young target team in our content, our competition in the world of forums and pure digital players will only be one click away. After these children have decided [on] Club, and later league, not just a player, it’s too late then. So we have to start first.

The CEO of DFL Digital Sports is part of a briefing by Andreas Heiden that is helping the Bundesliga’s young audience reach out.

A.D. On August 17, the DFL Super Cup match between rivals FC Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund was full of tradition. Signal Eduna Park received 25,000 fans, the latest addition to the Der Classic in Germany, which has been reduced to capacity in accordance with Kovid rules.

For techno-savvy fans in selected regions around the world, the game was released in a vertical screen format and was a new way to practice the game on stage. He defeated Bayern 3-1 and used 9 ፡ 16 camera lenses to show the game to the editorial team.

DFL tested the Bundesliga match in December 2019 between VFL Wolfsburg and SV Werder Bremen for the first time. For August Supercap, the two Bundesliga broadcast partners, German Network Ransport and Digital Platform on Football, both shared live coverage of the game on their Tick Talk channels, while UK Pay-TV Broadcasting Sky Sports broadcasts the game via mobile app. The results were encouraging for DFL and its partners on the board; RanSport has more than 450,000 subscribers, and OneFootball has added more than 500,000 subscribers to Tikitok, gaining an additional 54,000 followers in the process.

Explaining the thinking behind this new concept, Hayden recalls, “In 2019, pre-Covid, we had an interesting point.” “At that time, more than 50 percent of our video usage was done vertically – so go to your Instagram app or mobile feed on your mobile app or mobile browser. From the analysis we can see how far down it is.

What we have seen is growing more and more in a star-studded world. [people] They want to see heroes. When [Robert] Lewandowski runs towards you, it looks very different vertically.

“So, around September / October 2019, we validated our concept. We took horizontal and wide-angle lenses of plastic cameras, worked the entire set, and trained a director to direct the distribution of football matches in this way.

This latest technology is the logo of the DFL ‘Glass for Glass’ content strategy, the model consists of three subdivisions. The first of these, Sportcast, provides a television base signal for all Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 matches, and is responsible for broadcasting live TV signals to more than 200 countries around the world. In addition to the app, DFL Digital Sports Branch controls the Bundesliga content production on the league’s online and social media platforms. Meanwhile, the third part, Sportec Solutions, instantly generates integrated data and statistics in live match coverage.

With this method, DFL offers a unique viewing experience directly to the user – from camera lens glass, to viewer screen glass. Since the Bundesliga is the first football league to experiment with 9 16 16 screen resolution, Hayden hopes to give the DFL a new look.

“Yes, football is a horizontal game – you want to see the overall scope and the gameplay,” Heiden said. But if our customers show the behavior of the individual player they want to feed the content in a different way – that created the idea, we have to be doing something different.
Hayden believes that DFL’s in-house product is one of the main benefits of increasing the popularity of platforms such as Tick Talk. He said the “ownership of the entire product media value chain” allows the league to “have a well-defined and even better implemented content strategy that meets the needs of a particular platform over a period of time.”

Preliminary results show that DFL experiments are still successful in vertical video formats. According to Heiden, “everyone can see the numbers, but 1.1 million people watched the video on Tikitok in 90 minutes, which killed us.”

Similarly, the newly launched Bundesliga Next app aims to capture the demographics of young people. The new app provides users with a customized experience by providing live updates, in-depth stats and videos featuring Bundesliga star players on a daily basis.

“We’ve got our own Bundesliga application, which I think is a very well-designed, service-oriented and stable product. “You get the information with the least amount of clicks you need, you have the fastest push notification service, you have engaging and entertaining animation, Bundesliga related facts powered by AWS and in-depth match analysis. You have highlights on Monday after game day. it is.

Encouraged by the new app, Heiden added: “Currently, the user and video viewing ratio is 40 times higher than the next Bundesliga app, which shows that we are moving in the right direction. ”

The German language may limit our participation, so we need to find a competitive edge to overcome this.

Andreas Heiden, CEO, DFL Digital Sports

With offices in New York, Beijing, and Singapore, DFL seeks to build broadcast partnerships around the world to create local content in various international markets. Heiden believes the Bundesliga is already “well-structured” to create similar applications to Bundesliga live in the near future.

In fact, the foundations of the Bundesliga’s content strategy were first laid ten years ago. At the time, Christian Seifert, CEO of DFL, developed a product that had an international appeal; A product of digital innovation that respects the fan base of German football.

“German language can be a barrier to participation, so we need to find a competitive edge to overcome this. In this regard, we, as a league, have embraced the unique way in which we treat our fans and our clubs and how clubs are structured as the focus of their communities, ”Hayden said.

“When you can’t get the big one [amount of] Money on star names, you need to develop more competitive edges. The first was efficiency – the ability to produce media on our own. Only when we work as a media company. [can] We fully understand media companies and deliver the best product.

The Bundesliga interactive feed allows broadcast partners to offer personalized streams

The DFL Interactive Feed product rolled out to its global broadcast partners

Also, with Supercap, DFL has “interactive feed” by allowing viewers to take full control of their broadcasting experience. You can also view custom highlights from various matches in the afternoon, and users will be able to choose to watch live Bundesliga match coverage on the screen during the match.

Users can customize this content to meet their needs. Japanese broadcaster SPTV has already planned to include this in its own Bundesliga live app, drawing on the popularity of the league in Japan. “With the click of a button, you can see all the Japanese players playing again on the day of the match,” Heiden said. “You can get fast results, you can get fast replays, you can find new ways to enjoy the game. This sets us apart from other leagues and creates value for the broadcaster.

Looking ahead, DFL will look at many creative ways in the future. Heiden identifies two major issues for any new project, the first is the ownership of the Bundesliga and the second is the dissatisfaction of the league’s partners.

Meanwhile, after a two-year delay due to the CVD-19 epidemic, DFL Sports Innovation has set a date for the event, which will be held in Duseldorf on May 11 and 12, 2022. The trade fair is originally scheduled for March 2020. It showcases countless technologies from the global sports and technology sectors, enabling attendees to experience some innovations.

Although Sporting Innovation was initially delayed, Heiden is optimistic about the event.

“What the league has built in this event is the same,” he says. “It’s a trade show we offer our visitors. The latest and best companies are exploring their sports technologies. Technology itself is not for sale, it’s always a technology application. So we’re adding four creative games, where teams play each other, it’s happening in the stadium.”

“Each exhibition will have access to feeders, media feeds and audio feeds, and will be able to showcase their technology at the venue or at the event itself. And thirdly, we have added a conference on it. And we try to bring business together.

Asked how important it will be for Sports Innovation 2022 for DFL and companies that showcase their technologies, Heiden replied: “Americans have a wonderful saying: And I say put your creativity where it belongs.

Heiden described similar initiatives that differentiate the much-anticipated format and DFL from sports leagues. He believes the event will provide a unique experience for the visitor. You look at the field and you see it happening in real time.

Heiden is very confident in DFL Digital Sports, and in fact, he has no problem extending invitations to other sports leagues around the world.

“If he wants to come to La Liga, if he wants to come to the Premier League or the representatives of other sports leagues – they are all invited, we are open,” he said. “We are not afraid to share the result. We believe in the creative race and we will take it one step further.