SoftwareOne case study

Home advantage through digitalisation – How VfL Bochum 1848 enriches soccer events with digital apps and offers for its fans

A man holding up a scarf.

Since VfL Bochum 1848 started scoring goals in Germany’s 1st soccer league again, the soccer club has also been gaining points with its fans through a digital fan journey – thanks to SoftwareOne's App Services and Microsoft Azure.

Soccer is a sport that evokes many emotions with fans who are passionate about the game and the teams they support. The German soccer club VfL Bochum 1848 understands the importance of creating unforgettable moments and building strong connections with its supporters. Whether it's inside the stadium, on the way to a game, in the fan shop, or during ticket purchases, VfL Bochum 1848 strives to provide the best possible experience for its many fans.

To achieve this goal, the club, which has a rich history dating back to its establishment in 1848, partnered with SoftwareOne. The collaboration began with the rapid digitalisation and automation of season ticket sales through a newly developed web application built on Microsoft Azure. This achievement was accomplished in record time, ensuring that 15,000 fans received their new subscription cards just in time for the start of the new Bundesliga season. However, this was only the first step on VfL Bochum 1848's digital journey.

After a year of working closely with SoftwareOne, the club took further steps to enhance its digital solutions. They introduced a new, improved website and launched interactive apps, both powered by Azure which were designed to help the club interact with its fans.

  • Digitalised season ticket sales

    completely replace the manual process

  • Modernised web design

    to strengthen brand presence and improve navigation to all services such as ticket sales, online shop and social media

  • Mobile app release

    to provide interactive fan services

 VfL Bochum 1848 Netzwerkpartner logo
VfL Bochum 1848
Sports and entertainment
Azure Cloud
Application Modernisation Services

What soccer fans want

Digital transformation is revolutionising the sports sector, presenting exciting opportunities to enhance fan experiences. Smart technologies have opened up new possibilities for significantly influencing how fans engage with their favourite sports clubs. Additionally, digitalisation offers the potential to streamline internal processes within clubs, providing valuable benefits to all stakeholders.

In light of their successful promotion to the first Bundesliga, VfL Bochum 1848 recognised the importance of playing a leading role in the digitalisation of soccer clubs in Germany. To accomplish this, the club made substantial investments in transforming its own organisation digitally. The primary objective was to cater to the desires and requirements of fans by delivering personalised content tailored to their preferences.

By partnering with SoftwareOne, VfL Bochum 1848 aimed to enhance the fan experience through various digital initiatives. These initiatives encompassed a complete digitisation of season ticket sales, including the use of digital signatures. The club also wanted to overhaul its website, ensuring it meets modern accessibility and navigation standards with the introduction of additional online fan service tools that can also be accessed via a mobile application.

A soccer field with a blue and white logo.

Establishing a digital fan journey with Microsoft Azure

The first major achievement was the rapid implementation of the season ticket digitalisation. Fans now benefit from a new solution built on Microsoft Azure, completely replacing time-consuming manual processes. This means no more frustrating queues with long waiting times. Instead, fans enjoy a modern subscription-based ticketing system. The entire sales process has been fully automated within one single solution. This includes registration, seat selection, and user confirmation of ticket purchases via a digital signature using AdobeSign.

SoftwarOne executed the rehosting of Linux and Windows virtual machines in Azure, which preceded the implementation of the solution. The browser-based application is built on various Azure services, which ensure the club is provided with a highly available solution at all times:

  • Azure App Services as well as Azure NET Apps are the foundation of the solution
  • A SQL database is used at the backend for the secure administration of fan data
  • Data security is ensured by Azure Key Vault
  • Azure Monitor monitors performance to ensure that the web app is available even at peak times

The new browser-based application brings significant benefits not only to the fans but also to VfL Bochum 1848. Apart from improved customer service and significant productivity gains, the availability of data opens up entirely new opportunities for interacting and engaging with fans. Previously, it was impossible for the Bundesliga club to digitally connect with its season ticket holders, but now, sending out newsletters is just one of the new ways of keeping in touch with fans.

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In addition to season ticket sales, the Bundesliga club's online presence underwent a complete modernisation. The new homepage, designed with responsive web design, ensures easy readability and usability on mobile devices including smartphones and tablets. The website now features a clear structure, modern layout, and improved navigation, providing easy access to all services, including ticket purchases and the club’s online shop, as well as latest news via social media. A new mobile app, implemented on the scalable Azure infrastructure, complements the digital offering and allows fans to access the new online services on the go.

To ensure the continuous performance of the club’s digital solutions, SoftwareOne provides ongoing support for both the applications and the Azure infrastructure. This guarantees that the digital services of VfL Bochum 1848 are available, accessible and functional at all times.

Leading the way in digitalisation

In summary, the soccer club’s digitalisation initiative has successfully brought together tradition and innovation.

The ease and convenience with which tickets can be bought have reduced administration and also significantly improved fans’ experiences.

By adopting a modern web design, the VfL Bochum 1848 now provides a range of new digital fan services. These data-driven services not only enable the organisation to engage with fans but also to gain a better understanding of their preferences and tailor offerings accordingly.

These digital advancements have resulted in substantial productivity gains for the soccer club. Previously, the process of manually selling season tickets required extensive staff involvement and was highly time-consuming. However, with the establishment of the new digital solutions provided by SoftwareOne, the entire process now operates seamlessly and efficiently.

Published June 2023

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