Jump to main content
Back to main page

“Drastic digitalisation” and serving changing consumer needs could mean the future of football

2021-02-10 10:33:32

The Sports Economics Research Center of Corvinus University

The Sports Economics Research Center of Corvinus University organized the Forum of Sports Economics Researchers and University Educators Conference for the fifth time this year with the participation of many well-known domestic and international experts. On the first day of the Conference, Polish, Spanish and Hungarian experts discussed the future of football in a roundtable discussion.

Budapesti Corvinus Egyetem

 
During the roundtable discussion, Jesús Pizarro Bravo, LaLiga Global Network’s Hungarian delegate, Paula de la Peña, Granada Club de Fútbol’s Director of External Relations and Development, Olivier Jaros, Managing Director of Club Affairs, an independent international football consulting firm, and Dudás Hunor, the Dual Partner of the Master of Sports Economics, The Path Sports Management President and Owner, participated, moderated by Dr. Miklós Kozma, Head of International Relations at the Research Center. Tarkan Batgün’s presentation in the English section was also related to the topic.

Olivier Jaros highlighted the pandemic has highlighted certain weaknesses in the sector. The traditional structure of clubs ’sources of revenue has collapsed, such as match-day revenues – not just from ticket sales, which typically account for a large proportion of club revenues, but also match-related consumption and spending. In this situation, the importance of broadcasting fees has increased in particular (for example, more than two-thirds of Granada CF’s revenue now comes from these fees), putting huge financial pressure on leagues and clubs to resume their championships as soon as possible after the spring closures. It is no coincidence that only ten men’s professional league have come to a complete halt, while 26 women’s championships have also suffered this fate, as the first mentioned benefit primarily from broadcasting fees.

Jesús Pizarro said the digital transformation of football clubs and LaLiga had already begun before the pandemic. The LaLiga’s OTT platform is a good example, which hosts not only Spanish football league matches but also Spanish-related events in thirty other sports. Paula de la Pena emphasized the current situation acts as a catalyst for an even more drastic development of digitalisation – that is, that spectators cannot be greeted in stadiums, which has given birth to new forms of community building, serving local and global fans.

Paula de la Pena said, however, the digital transformation is significant not only the communicating with fans, but also in terms of sponsorship connections and operational function – on the one hand to make up for the reduced personal interactions in the current situation and on the other to strengthen data in decision-making. Hunor Dudás pointed out that radical changes are taking place in the player market in the use of statistical analysis, thus changing the range of competencies that appear as success criteria in the transfer process: online analysis programs, statistical and econometric knowledge are becoming increasingly essential for club managers and players’ agents. An advanced tool for this was presented by Tarkan Batgün’s presentation.

Transfer costs have risen sharply in recent decades, with only one of the ten most expensive transfers in football history not realized in the last five years (Gareth Bale certified £ 86m in 2013 from Tottenham Hotspur to Real Madrid). According to Hunor Dudás, the economic crisis caused by the pandemic, which also hit football clubs hard, strengthens the weight of conditional payments during transfers. Dudás’s argument is supported by the fact that more than a third of the players who switched clubs in the last transfer season have joined their new team for free or as part of a swap deal. Experts agreed that the quality academic system of clubs, the quality of their youth education, will play a significant role in overcoming the current decline in revenue.

“Drastic digitalisation” and serving changing consumer needs could mean the future of football

This was the conclusion of the Roundtable Discussion of the Forum of Sports Economics Researchers and University Educators (SKEOF) Conference on the Future of Football, organized for the fifth time this year by the Research Center for Sport Economics at Corvinus University. During the conversation, Jesús Pizarro Bravo, Hungarian delegate of LaLiga Global Network, Paula de la Peña, Director of External Relations and Development of the Granada Club de Fútbol, Olivier Jarosz, Managing Director of Club Affairs, an independent international football consulting company, and Hunor Dudás, Sports Economist The dual partner of the master’s degree, The Path Sports Management, the chairman-owner, Miklós Kozma, the head of international relations of the Research Center, took part. 

Copied to clipboard
X
×
GEN.:2024.07.12. - 17:02:51