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Open Call: Apply now for participation in the NTN Innovation Booster on Data & Fan Engagement

“What new ways could sport use to best reflect its attractive features in digital content that spurs emotions, creates awareness, and stimulates engagement using data?”

Experts and interested parties in various fields such as broadcasting, gaming and e-sports, as well as representatives from federations, fan communities and the private, public and academic sectors are invited to address this pressing question during two dedicated ideation sessions, which will be organised on 16 and 21 September in Lausanne.

Apply here until 10 September 2021 to become part of this important innovation challenge, which is led by the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU) and will look at the following aspects:

  • Which content is interesting for fans as well as new audiences and how can we make it more attractive?
  • How to create innovative, digital content which stimulates emotions, interaction and engagement using data? 
  • Which knowledge could be shared by other sport-related industries such as e-sports and gaming, which are already successful in engaging their online communities?


In 2016, PwC concluded in their first survey on sport, that “the future of sport is being defined by how aptly sports leaders are able to use technology”. More specifically, 86% of the participants surveyed and representing International Olympic Federations believed that “leveraging new technologies represents the most significant change to their business models”. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the sport industry has become highly disrupted due to technologies that allow sports to be marketed in new ways.

In sport, traditional business models rely on people flocking physically to stadiums for intense emotional moments, not to mention significant supplies of food and beverage. During the pandemic, the incompatibility of those business models with the new reality of social distancing has become most obvious. 

As a result, traditional sports need to find new ways of building fan communities, a skill the gaming and e-sports industries have mastered with ease. Traditional sports seem to be lagging and there is still a lot of room for innovation in this area. During Tokyo 2020, the Olympic digital platforms experienced record traffic numbers, with the number of daily users doubled compared to Rio 2016. Digital platforms are the hubs where content is delivered, and communities are created. To enrich those digital platforms with content that will attract existing and new fans is THE challenge sport organisations are facing today.

Want to learn more about the nature and aim of the NTN Innovation Booster? Click here!