FOOTBALL’S DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION: Growth opportunities for football clubs in the digital age


I’m writing this post because I’m pretty interested in the Sport Digital Transformation and especially in Football (soccer). I was going through few reports and specialized articles and I found and exquisite report “Football’s digital transformation” from PwC Sports Business Advisory, International Football Arena and Exozet. I really recommend this analysis because it is a most real picture about what I think is going to happens in the football industry coming years.

Football is special, that much is clear. It is indeed the beautiful game, and its appeal is unrivalled and universal. Yet, in the space of only a few brief years, the extent to which football fans now engage with football has changed significantly. The most notable aspect of this evolution is the rapidly increasing use of social media. The digital transformation – and the technology that fuels it – has enabled fans to interact with their club way beyond the 90 minutes of the actual matches themselves. Indeed, digital ensures that the match never ends. While the fans’ desire for their team to win remains undimmed, digital has now taken centre stage and many fans expect their club to deliver an appealing and connected experience which meets their increasing demand for year-round engagement with the teams they support.

balon de futbolThe future is now. The underlying potential of recent digital developments has prompted us to take a closer look at the future transformation of the football business in the digital age. Since digital will continue to drive change at an unprecedented rate, this publication cannot claim to provide a comprehensive overview of the digital revolution that is transforming football. Instead, we aim to reflect on a number of distinct yet intertwined areas and highlight their potential impact on the way football operations are run today.

DIGITAL ECOSYSTEM: A digitally integrated ecosystem is the answer to growing expectations for personalised and hyper-targeted content.

  • Fans’ expectations will shift from content range to contextual relevance, delivered as and when they desire
  • A digitally integrated ecosystem across business functions is required for a holistic view of each individual fan
  • Adoption of a data culture within a club’s organisation is key to maintaining a competitive edge in the age of highly demanding digital natives

AN INTEGRATED APPROACH TO DATA ANALYSIS PROVIDES A HOLISTIC FAN VIEW WHICH WILL PERSONALISE FAN ENGAGEMENT

Football clubs have one unique attribute that places them in a league of their own. They have fans, and fans are not just consumers. The degree of loyalty implicit in being a fan is a tremendous asset to a club, as it increases the number, frequency and intensity of interactions. By leveraging this relationship, clubs have a unique opportunity to gather information on each and every fan. The potential depth and detail of the information they can gather is enormous. Top-flight clubs have incorporated centralised data-analysis solutions consolidating data across their various platforms. They have already started generating a holistic view of their fan base.

Leveraging the wealth of profile information they gather, they are in a position to analyse and cluster their fans in such a multifaceted way as to offer increasingly targeted content and increasingly relevant purchase offers and promotions. This significantly enhances the user experience as it enables fans to get what they want, when and where they want it.

In the years ahead, we believe that as the new generation of digital natives takes over, a completely personalised user experience will gradually become a natural expectation.

Fotball digital transformation_monetisation“Hyper-targeting” will become the new norm for fan engagement: fans will have customised access to the official club application with special content display on their favourite stars, merchandise wish-lists and an interest-based, categorised news section. Looking beyond sports, Netflix – the online provider of movies and shows – provides a good example: the company adapts and tailors its Web pages to each of its customers according to household characteristics, demographics and interests.

For sports, too, we expect technology to converge across all club functions to a point where the content on clubs’ platforms will be intelligently and seamlessly tailored for every fan. Digital will become the “brain” that enables clubs to cut across the growing oceans of content and commerce opportunities by bringing in a wave of “context”, thus creating content that truly resonates with fans.

Borja Burguillos

Changing the HR Game: How Gamification is disrupting Human Resources


Following my previous posts “Why Digital is radically disrupting HR?” and “Digital Will Give Power to the People” about how digital is changing the human relations today I would like to write about how gamification will change labor relations as we know until now.gamification_HR StrategySince the first Nintendo sets arrived in homes in the mid-1980s, the workforce has become increasingly populated with employees who have grown up with computer games. For many people entering the workforce now, such games are more than just an occasional pastime. Games form the very backdrop of their lives. These individuals do much of their socializing through computer games and use the vocabulary of gaming even in conversations that have nothing to do with games.

What is Gamification?

HR StrategyWith gaming concepts and terminology gaining prominence among young employees, it’s probably not surprising that companies eager to attract, engage, incentivize and retain members of this generation have been taking games seriously. Gaming concepts have begun working their way into key HR processes in two distinct forms, often called serious games and gamification. Whereas serious games are actual games used in the workplace whose purpose is beyond merely providing entertainment, gamification is the weaving of game mechanics such as virtual currency, leaderboards (boards that display leaders in a competition), badges, or leveling up (progression to the next level in a game) into existing work activities or processes without the development of a full-fledged actual game.

You can find more information in the report Trends Reshaping the Future of HR: Digital Radically Disrupts HR by Accenture Digital.

Why now?

The idea that gaming elements can be useful in the workplace is not new. For example, sales groups have long used leaderboards and other gamification-like mechanisms to foster friendly competition. And organizations as serious as the military have used war games and their civilian equivalents to train soldiers and leaders. What is new is that more and more workers are familiar with and enjoy gaming.

In addition, the commercial platforms that have industrialized the development of games and gamification are more widely available to organizations. These factors have made it much more affordable for enterprises to create serious games and to incorporate gamification into business processes. For example, some serious games leverage general which provide graphics, game editors and artificial intelligence functions to achieve high levels of sophistication and create simulated characters.

Likewise, vendors such as Bunchball and Badgeville have created cloud-based gamification engines, which deliver key gamification functions as web services. This greatly reduces the cost and complexity of incorporating gamification into enterprise web applications. These developments have given rise to a varied set of applications that have transformed various HR processes.

badgeville-dashboard-100051744-origWhat is next? The road ahead

Gamification of HR is still in its early days. Still, games and gamification have begun to alter the way HR professionals and employees experience various HR processes. Some of the changes are incremental. Others could prove disruptive, such as use of gamification to replace occasional, private top-down feedback with real-time, public 360-degree feedback.We’re just beginning to understand which game-related transformations are most beneficial to organizations and how to estimate the degree to which workers may embrace these changes. As games and gamification—along with insights into how they can help organizations generate valuable business outcomes—continue to improve, this trend will likely become more important.gamification

We may never get to the point where the experience of going to work is as exciting and engaging as a great game. But high-performance enterprises will likely push the boundaries to see just how close they can get.

Borja Burguillos

Digital Will Give Power to the People


As I wrote in my post Why Digital is radically disrupting HR? One of the main points of digital disruption is how will give power to the people.

As Accenture Digital says in the report Trends Reshaping the Future of HR: Digital Radically Disrupts HR, as the digital technology advances, it’s helping companies embed talent management into the fabric of everyday business and into employees’ work and personal lives. Technology advances are enabling HR to put the “human” back into human resources, and helping give people management back to the people.

skills-use-this-620x385We’re not talking about the traditional notion of self-service here, or the ability for employees to perform mundane administrative HR activities themselves, like updating their address or viewing a paycheck without HR’s intervention. Instead, we’re talking about involving employees and managers in high-impact talent processes—including recruiting, hiring, succession planning, learning and shaping career paths. All this will happen thanks to an emerging class of social and market-based tools that will let employees manage almost every aspect of their professional lives digitally.

Talent management practices and data are becoming more integrated with general business practices and business data to drive strategic decisions about talent. As this development unfolds, line managers will be more likely to engage in critical talent processes like workforce planning—using data to determine gaps between workforce projections and available supply of staff, and modeling different scenarios that could be used to close any gaps. In addition, managers and employees will shoulder more talent management responsibilities.

Mobility applications designed for tablets and smart phones become ever more user-friendly, and as intuitive user interfaces finally permeate talent management software following the success of consumer-oriented technologies, employees will be more inclined to adopt IT-enabled talent processes as well.

Mobile HR and talent management applications have well permeated recruiting, time and attendance, employee relations, and learning areas, mobile applications are being developed and rapidly adopted for nearly every process to make it easier to perform these activities anywhere, anytime, and on any device—including talent analytics, performance management, and leadership development. Technology companies like Oracle or SAP are now designing apps with a “mobile first” approach, promising to make mobility far easier than ever before for nearly every talent and HR practice.

The infusion of all things social into people management, and the infusion of principles derived from gaming as well, will further weave talent management into the very fabric of employees’ everyday work lives. Already, employees can learn together through corporate versions of Facebook or YouTube in addition to centrally mandated training curriculum. Companies can also use technology to draw on an employee’s social networks to target and recruit new hires with the right skills for an open position. Moreover, workers can use social media to advise career counselors how best to counsel them, instead of having HR provide this advice. Sites like Mixtent, GILD, and TrueOffice can also help companies transform everything from recruiting to performance appraisals to learning into a game.

lets get digitalIt’s expected more innovations to keep arising in this space, as start-ups take off and as talent management software companies continue to layer social and gaming functionality onto their existing offerings. Eventually, new social, gaming and mobile capabilities may replace traditional talent management practices, as well as time-honored HR tools such as employee surveys and e-mail communications.

Digital may even shift the locus of information and decision making from a central group like HR or a small group of top leaders to employees themselves. Social media could take HR as a middleman out of the picture, for example, by enabling the following:

  • Managers to analyze Big Data from sources like blogs, social networking sites and other online forums to determine what employees need and want and to find new employees.
  • Benefits choices to be determined by consensus through analysis of corporate social media sites revealing which benefits are important to which employee populations.
  • Employees to negotiate scheduling changes with one another on shift-swapping sites.
  • Talent exchanges where workers and hiring managers can find each other without the help of an intermediary through matching of open opportunities with an analysis of individuals’ skills or past performance and interest profiles.
  • Workers to define their own career paths by seeing each other’s customized career paths (through sites that mine transfer and promotion histories) and network with them.

analogue_digitalIn this future, the administrative burden that HR departments currently carry may lighten up considerably. Not only will technology continue to automate transactional HR processes like benefits administration, but it will continue to enable more strategic practices like many of those described above to be performed by employees. Technology could then free HR professionals so they can focus on other work such as analytics. As a result, the group primarily responsible for HR processes and transactions—whether a shared services organization, a business services group or an outsourcing partner—may shrink to a fraction of what it is today.

Employees may even manage their own data, and HR data and transactions may become the sole responsibility of the business with the support of IT. What’s more, HR may shift its mission and mandate to concentrate on building a culture where people can use talent management tools to enhance their own job performance. New roles and responsibilities for HR professionals may ensue accordingly.

Borja Burguillos

Why Digital is radically disrupting HR?


Digital technology is continuing to evolve at breakneck speed, and it permeates nearly every aspect of our working lives. In the coming years, digital will empower people to take significantly more responsibility for talent management and HR activities. As digital enables talent management to become less of a centralized HR activity and more of an activity that is embedded in the fabric of everyday business, it will fundamentally change HR as we know it.

HR StrategyDigital Advances Promise to Reshape Work as We Know It

Digital is fundamentally changing the way businesses and governments operate—from how they interact with customers, citizens and suppliers, to how they manage their employees. New digital technologies enable not only greater integration and flexibility than ever before, but also the ability for employees to have a greater share of voice and ability to participate in defining and even creating their own work experiences. Digital is thus poised to radically disrupt HR as usual and redefine the future of the human resources function in the next decade. Eventually, HR and talent processes and the technology that enables them will no longer constitute their own domain or even be primarily performed by a central HR function. Rather, many aspects of HR and talent management will become fully embedded in how work gets done throughout an organization, thereby becoming an everyday part of doing business. HR departments that ignore this transformation could face obsolescence.

In this point of view, we explore five recent digital developments that we believe will conspire to transform HR:

  • Data and integration will be king
  • Digital will give power—and people management—to the people
  • Consumer applications will find a home in the enterprise
  • Digital will enable customized talent management
  • Cloud computing will enable new flexibility and agility

Borja Burguillos

How can we measure the performance of football players?


It’s been a recurring question since the beginning of football days. It’s becoming more and more complex measure the performance of the football players. How can we really know the performance of a football player? How we can monitor it? It can look quite simple if you look the numbers of goals that a striker scores or the number of goals received by a goalkeeper but the most of cases is not as easy as it can seem.

Let’s have a look on the 99% of players around the world (don’t look only on Messi or Ronaldo). Do we really know how well the players performing? Do we expect to get the same performance of a player in a different team? How importance is the team or the league where they play to their individual performance?

As a football lover and also passionate on people I decided to start to think into detail on all these questions to try to figure out a close answer.

I would consider following variables in the equation of measuring the performance of a football player:

  • Individual performance: How the player is playing? Is he doing well in his position? Is he being useful for the team?
  • Manager performance: How is the manager performing? Is he trusting on the team or on specific individuals? Is he creating the right environment getting to leverage the level of the team?
  • Team performance: How is playing the team? Is the team meeting the expectations?
  • Environment: How is doing the team environment? Is it the right environment to get the results proposed? Is it the right environment for the player?

So then we have 4 variables which can be important to explain the performance of football players, but coming back to the initial answer “How can we measure the performance of football players?” I would say just 3 words “sustainability on time”. The problem in the football as in the life is that we don’t have memory. We tend to remember some events above others and then we use to have an image of player that it could be distorted or just incomplete.

I would affirm that the key to understand the real performing of a football player is measure him match by match during the full season.

If we are able to measure the performance every match we can create a performance tracker which will allow us to analyze the performance of each player in real time and study why he is performing better or worse than expected.

Messi performanceWhy ValoraFutbol?

Ok, let’s say we are more or less agree with the previous analysis, but then we have a big problem: How do we get to measure the performance of a football player if we are so subjective? All of us see the football in a different way, you just need to watch the football discussion and realize how different we are. I’m sure what I think about some players is not the same that you think about them. There are different ways to play, different styles, different players…

Here is where “ValoraFutbol” comes in action. That’s why we decided to start to work on create a digital tool to help to measure football players. We founded ValoraDigital and we created ValoraFutbol.

We think that we can get the objectivity if we sum all the subjective opinions by creating a Ranking with the ratings of the Players.

valorafutbolWhat’s ValoraFutbol?

ValoraFutbol is a players, managers and referees rating website that holds all football fans votes creating a unique Ranking Ratings based on counting all user’s opinions along the whole season.

rankingsValoraWhat Can I Do at ValoraFutbol website?

ValoraFutbol allows you to rate the performance of players, managers, and referees during and after each game.

On the platform you can search information (present and past) about the real performance of players/managers/teams/referees on a competition and also compare them.

You can also share your ratings through the social networks and check other ValoraFutbol user’s ratings that they share. Last but not least, you will have the option of saving your favorite ratings to check them at any time.

ValoraFutbol has the intention to get quality information in order that the Rankings show the real performance of players/managers/teams and referees. When registering, we make sure that ValoraFutbol users rate just once and also provide important data for our statistics. We are trying to achieve reliable ratings rather than just anonymous votes (which can alter the results).

rankHow are the VF Rankings calculated?

The scores shown in the Rankings are the result of the ratings provided by the ValoraFutbol registered users.

To be able to achieve objective and reliable results, we work with the following checkpoints:

  • In order to vote you must be a registered ValoraFutbol user.
  • You may only rate once each- Player, Manager, and Referee- per match. In case you don’t want to rate all the players of one team you just no rate them and focus on your favorite performers.
  • The ones not rated will not be taken into account when calculating the assessments displayed in the Rankings.
  • The score of ‘The Team’ as a whole consists of the average ranking obtained by their players and manager.
  • In order for an actor (Player, Manager or Referee) to appear as rated in the results of the game week, it must have been assessed by at least 5% of the VF users that rated that particular match.
  • For an actor (Players, Managers and Referees) to appear on the Monthly results, it must have been rated in at least 50% of the games played during that month.
  • For an actor (Player, Manager or Referee) to appear on the Cumulative Results of the competition, it must have been rated at least on 33% of the games played during that competition.

Borja Burguillos

Do you want to run a digital business? Gamification is a must


Gamification has become an essential part of any digital business strategy as a way of digitally motivating people and overcoming barriers of scale, time, distance, connectedness and cost.

As Mr. Burke from Gartner Inc. said and I totally agree “Game mechanics and design have been used to engage and motivate people to achieve their goals throughout recorded history”. “Gamification is about rethinking motivation in a world where we are more often connected digitally than physically. It is about building motivation into a digitally connected world. And we are just getting started in this journey. Gamification will continue to develop for many years to come.”

Gamification_HR StrategyGamification has tremendous potential to motivate people, but right now most organizations aren’t getting it right. The road to gamification success is full of pitfalls, and many companies don’t understand how critical player motivation is to success.

What organizations need to understand?

  1. Gamification is about motivating people to achieve their own goals, not the organization’s goals.
  2. Use gamification to empower their customers, employees and communities to reach their goals.
  3. Gamification talks about share goals. If a business can identify the goals it shares with its audience or provide its audience with goals that are meaningful to them, then it can leverage gamification to motivate these players to meet those goals, and the company will achieve its business outcomes as a consequence.
  4. Business leaders must understand the opportunities to leverage gamification to digitally motivate customers, employees and communities.
  5. A digital engagement strategy challenges business leaders to go beyond interactions; it challenges IT leaders to go beyond transactions. Rather, it requires the design and delivery of digital experiences.

gamification & engagement flowThe opportunity and the future

The opportunity is to focus on engaging people at an emotional level. One way to motivate people is to present them with practical challenges, encourage them as they progress through levels, and get them emotionally engaged to achieve their very best. Gamification does just that.

At its core, gamification is about engaging people on an emotional level and motivating them to achieve their goals. However, most organizations rely primarily on transactional engagement strategies in their interactions, for example by focusing on employees’ concern to earn a living and to meet the minimal expectations of the employer.

Organizations need to shift focus to emotional engagement if they want to truly motivate people.

Those organizations that are more aggressively adopting gamification already have multiple gamified solutions in place that support different business areas, address different target audiences, and achieve a wide range of business objectives.

Borja Burguillos

Why gamification will change the workplace and work relations?


We can define gamification as the use of game mechanics and game design techniques in non-game contexts to design behaviors, develop skills or to engage people in innovation. Strategic planners, HR, business managers and IT leaders must begin to understand the long-term impact of gamification and identify opportunities to leverage gamification in their organizations today.

Gamification Blog P8Gamification started as a trend about just few years ago, first appearing on Google Trends in September 2010. Mobile, cloud, social and location-based services have played a huge part in the rise of gamification to date. By 2020, the maturation of additional emerging technologies, including gesture control, head-mounted displays and augmented reality, will further enable the use of gamification in many domains by seamlessly integrating technology into our daily lives (see Hype Cycle for Human-Computer Interaction, 2012).

What are the key Challenges?

Employee engagement is the key paradigm of the XXI century organizations.

  • Organizations are challenged to increase engagement with employees and improve performance.
  • Human potential is unrealized, because higher education is limited to those people with geographic and/or economic advantages.
  • Organizations are challenged to effectively engage employees and customers in innovation.
  • Consumers are overwhelmed by many disconnected loyalty programs that leverage uninspiring extrinsic rewards.

enterprise_gamificationFuture scenarios

Based on the Gartner research we can project future scenarios where gamification, combined with other emerging trends and technologies, may result in significant change on different areas of business and society, including:

  1. An explosion of innovation
  2. The design of employee performance
  3. The globalization of advanced education
  4. The gamification of personal development
  5. The emergence of customer engagement platforms

Let me pay attention on the first 2 points exposed.

  • An Explosion of Innovation. In the future, gamification will play a key role in innovation management, both internal and external to organizations, by engaging a target audience and leveraging the collective intelligence of the crowd to solicit ideas, develop those ideas and predict success using prediction market mechanisms. Innovation management is a natural domain for gamification, and the increasing sophistication of innovation game design, along with broader target audience participation and a greater number of organizations using this approach, will result in an explosion of gamified, crowdsourced innovations by 2020.
  • The Design of Employee Performance. Gamification uses the currencies of social capital, self-esteem and fun overtaking extrinsic rewards as motivations for improved performance. Also, competitive games will play less of a role in employee performance being displaced by collaborative games that are designed to maximize business outcomes, rather than rewarding a few top performers. Employee performance feedback will move from being top-down and periodic (often annual) to being social, peer-based and real-time. Game mechanics are being applied differently to different types of work to drive different types of behaviors:

Current top-down, command and control management approaches are being replaced by game design skills. Successful managers in the future will be great designers of games that engage employees through either scripted or emergent games that are designed to achieve specific business outcomes.

Best Practice: While employee behavior design is an attractive idea, organizations must approach employee-facing gamification applications with caution. Employees must not feel manipulated or intimidated, but enabled to achieve their goals. Organizations should seek to clearly define the organizational objectives of employee-facing applications, understand employee objectives and focus on where the two overlap. Applications should be people-centric and enable employees to be successful in achieving their objectives — where they are aligned with organizational objectives.

Gamification-in-the-Workplace-01So what?

  • Organizations must understand the potential of gamification to design behaviors, develop skills, enable innovation and begin to deploy low-risk applications.
  • Gamification project managers must engage game designers or organizations with experience in gamification in early implementations.
  • Strategic planners must learn how gamification is being applied in their industries and how their organizations can leverage gamification to engage employees or customers.
  • Business managers must assess the impact of the longer-term discontinuities that gamification will cause and begin to position their organizations to capitalize on the trend.

Borja Burguillos