What we learned at SPOBIS 2020


by Jason Bradwell

The question is moving from the ‘what’ to the ‘how’ when it comes to monetizing the sports technology sector, according to our analysis of the must-attend European event


by Jason Bradwell

The question is moving from the ‘what’ to the ‘how’ when it comes to monetizing the sports technology sector, according to our analysis of the must-attend European event

This week, our team flew out to the Düsseldorf to attend SPOBIS, one of the largest trade shows in our (super busy) events calendar.

As delegates crowded into packed auditoriums to hear from the likes of the DFL, FIFA, DAZN, and the NBA, one question was repeatedly uttered in hushed tones over hot coffee and complimentary miniature muffins:

Just what the hell is coming next?

Which, we believe, also begs the question – how do we prepare for it?

“My general takeaway is that there is more and more interest in the ‘why’ than the ‘what,’” says Stefan Schuster, Managing Director of mm sports, GmbH. “There’s a lot of great technical innovation happening, but how do we make money with it?”

The billion-euro question, indeed.


On the data side, Christian Holzer, Managing Director of Sportec Solutions (STS), painted a positive future for the operators who choose to invest in live match data.

Capturing 3.6 million data points on each Bundesliga match alone, STS helps transform the pure quantitative information of a live football match into meaningful information that can enhance storytelling.

This delivers value up and down the chain.

For the rights owner (in this case, the DFL) an additional benefit to provide to its clubs.

For the clubs, the fuel to power to deliver richer digital experiences across their owned and operated properties.

For the rights owners, the ability to tell deeper, more meaningful stories in broadcast and digital.

For match operations, greater awareness of on-pitch activities in the form of VAR and other officiating services.

All of this, ultimately, falls on the customer in the form of added value, which, in turn, creates a ‘stickiness’ factor around a game, event, or service.

It’s a win-win-win-win.


Like VR and 5G, eSports continues to capture the imagination of sport event delegates around the world. SPOBIS was no different, with seven presentations dedicated to the topic alone.

And it’s all for a good reason – the numbers suggesting its global growth are staggering.

However, it does still somewhat resemble the Wild West, much as OTT did when it first started being adopted by the mainstream. Many brands, leagues, broadcasters all still seem unsure as to how exactly exploit the opportunity.

Here at Deltatre, we see one of the biggest challenges lying in the technology. Unlike other forms of entertainment, eSports is meant to be interactive. Community is at its core. Viewers want to engage with what’s happening on screen; in the player, on social media, in the stadium.

And, of course, they have all the same expectations from any other live event streamed over the internet, like real-time synchronization with the live event and faultless quality.

Delivering this isn’t easy, but it can pay off big time. Our research shows that operators that invest in fan-first functionality can see an uplift in subscriber acquisition of 24%.

You just need to find the right technology partner to help make it happen.

Bitesize insights

  • “SPOBIS painted a great picture of a new world with 5G and the opportunities it can bring in general. Take Bundesliga, for instance. With the lower latency and increased network capacity, they presented a case study of a live match with live AR overlays powered by 5G. They even won an award for it. All in all, this new technology is opening up all kinds of opportunities for sports production and consumption.”

Stefan-Eric Wildemann, Senior Business Development Director | LIVE Division

  • There’s a lot of volatility around the upcoming Bundesliga tender, with Sky, Amazon, DAZN, and Deutsche Telekom all in the running. This comes off the back of the former losing the 21/22 Champions League rights to the two streaming giants last year. Ultimately this is reflective of much of the Western World – new players, with deep pockets, coming in and disrupting the status quo of the rights owner/rights holder relationship.

Where you can find us next

If you’re attending Westminster Media Forum, The Future of UK Sports Broadcasting, you can catch our own Pete Burns, VP of OTT, speaking on a panel that considers the current and future developments in UK sports broadcasting.

Or, if you find yourself in Atlanta for SportsPro OTT USA in March, make sure to catch Jeff Volk, Head of Business and Revenue, Americas, waxing lyrical on the monetization of OTT.

Did you attend the show? What do you think the future of sports looks like? Join the conversation on Twitter and LinkedIn.


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