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The year of Sevilla FC’s confirmation of technological leadership

The year 2022 has been the year of confirmation of Sevilla FC’s leadership in technological development within Spanish football. The Club became the first to provide LaLiga with its own technology with the launch of Transfer Tracker, the tool that will allow clubs around the world to activate important economic income through the so-called solidarity mechanism. The success story of Sevilla FC, which, thanks to this technology created and developed by its Data Department, earned more than one million euros in the last four years in transfer fees from players who passed through its teams at training age, is just the tip of the iceberg.

Sevilla FC understood many years ago that there is only one way to fight against the big budgets of its sporting rivals, both in Spain and in Europe: differentiation. Just as under Monchi, the most prestigious sporting director in the world, the Club revolutionised the world of transfers with a different scouting system that created a school of thought, today the key lies in innovation and technological development. Sevilla FC has been able to provide itself with new added value, promoting the most efficient use of data possible, not only in the sporting sphere but in all the Club’s business areas.

Thus, in the summer of 2020 an important investment was made with the creation of a Research and Development Department that started with three professionals and today has 17. This works hand in hand with the Data Department, created in February 2021 and made up of another four employees. A total of 21 professionals dedicated to the research and development of technologies that has so far resulted in the creation of proprietary applications such as ‘AiFootball’, for the work of sports management; ‘AiScouting’, to optimise scouting work; ‘AiRadar’, a tool for the early detection of talent; or ‘AiTracking’, for the registration of training rights on transfers of former players and from which the commercialisation of Transfer Tracker has been derived together with LaLiga Tech

Sevilla FC is developing identical applications for the rest of the Club’s business lines, such as ‘AiTicketing’, to optimise the profitability of seats on match days. “With these applications we achieve greater efficiency in the processes, but above all we make a difference with respect to the majority of clubs, which do not have their own infrastructure and work with suppliers. All of this provides added value in management that will give a key boost to our growth. The alliance with LaLiga Tech to launch Transfer Tracker has been a milestone, which positions Sevilla FC as a leading club in technologies associated with data and the development of its own applications and demonstrates that a firm commitment to technology is capable of generating a net return for the club”, explains Elías Zamora, Chief Data Officer of Sevilla FC.

An international bet

Technological development at Sevilla FC has only just begun. It is said that ambition has no limits, let alone borders. In this way, and also as part of its Strategic Internationalisation Plan, the Club has forged an alliance with none other than India. A country that, with more than 1.38 billion inhabitants, represents an immense market, also for sport. According to a study by the consultancy firm Nielsen, there are 92 million fans really interested in football in India and 37 million with a special interest in LaLiga. Sevilla FC understands that it has a lot to offer in terms of the development of Indian football and the result of this is the collaboration agreement it has signed with FC Bengaluru United.

Bengaluru is the capital of the Karnataka region, a region famous for its technology industry, which generated more than 52 billion euros in exports last year, according to government figures. The amount is similar to the sum of last year’s net profit of the companies in the Ibex 35, Spain’s main stock market index.

Bengaluru is a city known as the ‘Indian Silicon Valley’ for the potential of its technology companies. FC Bengaluru United shares Sevilla FC’s commitment to technology and the philosophy of ambition to achieve important sporting achievements. One of the key points of the agreement is to use Bengaluru’s vast technological expertise to jointly study and develop innovative projects in the world of football. Last summer, the two clubs organised a global hackathon on data-driven performance evaluation of football players. An online meeting point for technology scientists from around the world to exchange experiences and create predictive algorithms to help break down, understand and evaluate player performance.

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Transfer Tracker, a new tool for clubs developed by Sevilla FC and LaLiga TechTransfer Tracker, a new tool for clubs developed by Sevilla FC and LaLiga TechTransfer Tracker, a new tool for clubs developed by Sevilla FC and LaLiga Tech

LaLiga Tech and Sevilla FC have announced the launch of Transfer Tracker, a new legal and technological consultancy service for football teams, which will enable them to obtain unclaimed revenue from compensation payments derived from FIFA’s solidarity mechanism. The new solution will enable clubs around the world to claim solidarity payments for related transfers of players who have passed through their academies. The current rules recognise that when a player is transferred, the club that trained the player can claim up to 5% of the player’s value. Transfer Tracker is therefore the only solution available on the market to identify, check and claim the solidarity mechanism from transfers retroactively before the statute of limitations expires. According to latest estimates, there is more than USD 1.2 billion in unclaimed compensation that clubs are entitled to claim.

To start a complaint through Transfer Tracker, clubs only need to sign up for the service free of charge. From there, a specialised Transfer Tracker team will carefully analyse the transfer market using advanced Big Data tools to identify all transactions that could be claimed through the mechanism. Subsequently, various actions will be put in place to ensure payment, ranging from discussions between the clubs involved in the transfer to claims to FIFA bodies, if necessary. The system has been initially developed and operated over the last two years by the data and legal department of Sevilla FC in the context of its strategic innovation policy implemented transversally in both the sporting and business areas of the club. Thanks to this system, Sevilla FC has identified more than 700 movements of players trained at the club in 53 different competitions. As a result, the club has generated more than 1,000,000 euros in collections associated with the solidarity mechanism.

In recent weeks, we have worked hand in hand with entities in countries such as Argentina, Portugal, Chile and Brazil, closing the first agreements. Through these clubs, an average potential claim has been identified for 537 transfers with an average turnover of 117 million euros, which means an average potential claim of 3.4 million euros per club. According to FIFA’s current rules, clubs can claim any transfer for a period of two years after the last payment associated with it.

Marcos González Bertolín, Director of Value Proposition at LaLiga Tech, explains: “There are world-class academies that are producing and exporting incredible football talent, but they are not receiving the compensation they deserve. We created Transfer Tracker to help clubs of all sizes discover and receive this additional revenue, without the need to invest their own time and resources. Using a robust data system developed in conjunction with Sevilla FC, we offer the fastest possible way to negotiate the claims process and generate further growth to the football ecosystem”. José María Cruz, General Manager of Sevilla FC, adds: “The football industry is missing the opportunity to gain a new revenue stream that will add value to its knowledge and methodologies. It is a silent drama suffered by the vast majority of clubs and that affects to a greater extent the training clubs with fewer resources. We are proud to generate innovation together with LaLiga Tech to alleviate this competitive disadvantage that rewards buying clubs over training clubs. At Sevilla FC we firmly believe in technological development as a tool to improve both sporting and institutional competitiveness”. Any club can register their interest in Transfer Tracker through this link.

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The club, at the VII Jornadas de Emprendimiento y Deporte of the faculty of education sciences.

The VII Conference on Entrepreneurship and Sport, organised by the University of Seville, is taking place this Thursday at the Faculty of Education Sciences. Sevilla FC was represented at the event in the figure of José María Cruz Gallado, the club’s head of R+D+i, who was responsible for opening the day’s programme of conferences. Specifically, he participated in the talk entitled Innovation and entrepreneurship in sport: Challenges and current changes. Other corporations from the sports sector, in different fields, that participated were Decathlon, Snap Fitness, O2 Centro Wellness, Widitrade, BeOne Fitness & Sport and Areafit.