Dimension Data, SAP partner on sports technology venture

Software company SAP has partnered with South Africa-based IT solutions and services provider Dimension Data on a new venture that will seek to provide the sports and entertainment industry with a world-leading technology solution.

Dimension Data’s Sports Practice division has entered into a strategic partnership with SAP’s sports and entertainment subsidiary with the initial aim of providing live stadium solutions to clients.

The partnership will gradually expand to encompass fan engagement, elite-level athlete performance enhancement and digital projects for sports clubs, teams, governing bodies and the wider sports ecosystem.

Scott Gibson, Dimension Data’s group executive of digital practice, said: “We’ll see the stadium experience evolve beyond a fan sitting in a seat watching a ball game, or watching a cycling race from the top of a hill. Technologies such as virtual and augmented reality will give fans unprecedented live event experiences, whether they’re sitting at the event, or are thousands of miles away.

“This is where mobility and infrastructure technologies will be crucial, and where our evolving connected stadium solution will play a critical role in reinventing the fan experience across a broad range of sports.”

Stefan Wagner, senior vice-president and global general manager of sports and entertainment at SAP, added: “No sport can survive without fans, because that’s where sports revenue is. Fans are no longer satisfied with simply viewing sport from a distance and on the sidelines.

“They want to be close to all the action, and want to know every detail of their heroes, and participate in conversations with other fans. Dimension Data, SAP and NTT Group (Dimension Data's parent company) are well-positioned to take advantage of this fast-growing trend through our live venue technology.”

Dimension Data has provided technology solutions for major sports events such as football’s Fifa World Cup in 2010 and 2014. The company is also the title sponsor of UCI WorldTour cycling outfit Team Dimension Data and official technology partner for Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) which owns the Tour de France.