How the Most Innovative Sports Team in the World Won a Third Title in Four Seasons -

How the Most Innovative Sports Team in the World Won a Third Title in Four Seasons

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  • City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan credits “amazing people working behind the scenes” as integral to the Club’s success
  • Named the most innovative sports team in the world by the Sports Innovation Lab earlier this year, Manchester City is leading the way on and off the pitch.
  • The Club remains committed to building a sustainable model, which is future-proofed and competitive

Khel Today Bureau

NEW DELHI: As Pep Guardiola yesterday held aloft the Premier League trophy that marked the 10th piece of silverware since his arrival at Manchester City, the moment highlighted another year of innovation driving the Club forward, both on and off the pitch.

While the unique City Football Group business model is an innovation that helps drive and shape the entire approach of the Club, supporters have been the driving force behind the goal to deliver beautiful football, great experiences and truly authentic engagement.

The Club’s extensive and innovative digital offering helped to bring fans behind-the-scenes on a daily basis this season, with more than 96million users across global channels reached including 13 dedicated local language and regional platforms.

The dedicated City+ OTT platform has offered exclusive long-form content and match highlights, while the Club has invested in innovative digital technology to deliver breath-taking new experiences to fans. As Manchester City’s latest Premier League title was confirmed, the Club released an epic ‘one-take’ drone fly-through of the Etihad Stadium for fans around the world, while the Premier League trophy lift yesterday was marked by 360° camera technology – the first time the cutting-edge technology has been used for a Premier League trophy lift.

The Club has remained committed to evolving its physical infrastructure to provide the best possible facilities to players, fans and staff. Rail seating is to be installed in the Etihad Stadium over the coming summer to allow the Club to be ready to offer safe standing as and when legislation changes. World-leading double-height LED perimeter boards recently went on display before the end of the season, and now offer the most lucrative commercial pitchside media space in the Premier League.

City midfielder, Ilkay Gundogan said, “As players we’re always looking for ways to get an advantage. We’ve seen more and more technology come into the game through performance analysis, data and sports science. It’s something we’re really interested in and supportive of. We’ve got some amazing people working behind the scenes and there’s no way we could perform at this level without them.”

During the past year, Manchester City has looked outside City Football Group to invest in other related ventures, from sports technology investment funds, to esports and more recently Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). City marked their title-winning campaign with the launch of the ‘1’ collection, a series of commemorative digital artwork with a portion of Manchester City’s profits earmarked for the ‘Cityzens Giving for Recovery’ project.

The merging of football and gaming cultures has allowed fans to engage across different platforms, with eight professional FIFA players representing City Football Group clubs in all the major FIFA tournaments across the world. The FIFA players have collectively won four trophies this season, comprising the ePremier League title, eMLS Series 1 and eMLS League Series 2 and a first ever trophy for winning OCE Qualifier #2.

From a commercial perspective, the Club has continued to focus on creating truly innovative partnerships that drive mutual value and engage supporters around the world. Manchester City provides more partner-led branded content on its media platforms than any other Premier League club, while there has been a strong focus in the technology sector to develop a portfolio featuring Acronis, Cisco, Intel, SAP, Tecno, UBTEech, Verizon and Wix.

Unique collaborations with partners have also included PUMA and FaZeClan combining to launch innovative bespoke esports merchandise and host events such as the FaZeCity Cup, which drew more than 300,000 registrations.


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