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Supporting Saudi Arabia's Fan Engagement Revolution

Supporting Saudi Arabia's Fan Engagement Revolution

We are delighted to announce that Green 4 have been selected as part of a consortium to deliver an integrated mobile ticketing and access control solution to state of the art Sports stadia in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The GSA is Saudi Arabia’s Government Department responsible for improving sports and leisure participation and spectating and for promoting the health and wellbeing of citizens of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The GSA is heavily supported by the Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, who recently reignited a project to promote Social Liberalisation. As well as improving social conditions for citizens, the Vision 2030 project is designed to expand Saudi Arabia’s entertainment and tourism markets.

Due to the complexity of the project, several businesses are involved, delivering a joined-up solution for eTicketing, Stadium Access and Fan Engagement with Green 4’s Go Ticketing system playing a core role.

Sela Sports have been appointed as the strategic partners to the GSA, taking overall responsibility for the management of the stadia, whilst Al Falak Middle East (AFME) have been selected as the local partner to implement alongside Green 4.

The overall objective of the project is to provide a single Registration and Booking portal for all sporting events within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, making it easy for all fans to buy tickets online for any game at any stadium, receiving an eTicket directly to their mobile phone. The objective of the project being to encourage greater participation in Sporting Events and to prevent fraudulent use tickets.

The system will integrate with the Saudi National ID system to ensure that “black listed” fans cannot obtain tickets for matches nor enter stadiums, this is achieved through integration with Skidata’s Access Control system which will be deployed at all stadia.

Given the extremely high usage levels of mobile phones within the Kingdom, eTickets will be the focus for ticket delivery, emphasising the importance of a smooth mobile booking journey, visualisation of the stadium and the receipt of the eTicket directly into a GSA App on the fans phone.

During the first “trial” event at the brand new KSU stadium, over 16,000 of the 22,000 tickets sold (72%) were purchased online within a 48-hour period, a national record for sporting events in the Kingdom.

The trial matches were hosted by home team and current champions, Al Hilal FC, which marked their move into their new home, the King Saud University stadium.

Al Hilal

Following a successful trial, the system will now be refined and implemented throughout Football Stadia within the region. These will include the King Fahad International Stadium in Riyadh, the Prince Mohammed bin Fahad Stadium in Dammam, the Prince Abdullah Bin Ialawi Sports City Stadium in AI Ahsaa, and the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in Buraidah.

In order to simplify the system deployment and reduce dependence on internet access from within the Stadium, the entire solution shall be deployed within the Saudi Telecom Hosting environment known as the STC Cloud. Not only is this approach well aligned to a strategy based on online ticket sales, but it will also allow the GSA to easily extend the use of the system for other Sports, Events and participant activities. 

An overarching benefit to design of the solution is that Fan data will be gathered into a single CRM database as a by-product of ticket purchases. This will allow the GSA to build an extensive Fan Engagement solution which will allow the clubs, the Saudi Football League and the GSA to communicate with all fans.

Not only will this be valuable from a sponsorship perspective, but as the number of events and participatory activities increases, the GSA will have a highly profiled and personalised database from which to communicate future events, targeted at the specific interests of each fan or visitor.

In other countries this has proven difficult to achieve because obtaining fans contact data and consent is difficult, as many fans match day behaviour still involves “walk up” ticket sales where no data is collected. With a solution based on eTickets, a fans transaction history and contact data will simply be a by-product of ticket buying.

Furthermore, in many European countries where electronic data is captured, this is only held on a club by club basis, and therefore it is not possible to gather national insight into the interests and participation of fans.

The centralised approach advocated by the GSA is visionary, not only improving the fans experience at football matches, but also paving the way to a more active lifestyle for the citizens of Saudi Arabia.

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