Manchester City scooped the innovation prize at the Football Business Awards while it was recognised for its partnership with a huge tech firm.
The English champions beat off competition from commerce firm Fanatics and Southampton FC to win the Innovation Award for its ‘Tunnel Club’ hospitality concept, which allows fans to watch their sporting heroes walk out onto the pitch through a 250m² glass tunnel.
City also claimed the silver award in the Best Brand Activation Involving a Club category for its partnership with SAP which saw the cloud software provider create a global social media campaign featuring a series of stats-based videos where fans’ knowledge was put to the test.
‘Who’s the Blue?’ showed four City players performing a variety of football skills while disguised in full-body morphsuits. Fans were encouraged to guess their identity for the chance to win prizes.
Manchester United’s #Alexis7 social media campaign – around the signing of Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal, which trended at number one worldwide – missed out in the same category, which was won by Barcelona and Beko for their joint anti-obesity campaign.
Catapult Sports won the Best Use of Technology in Football award for its G5 goalkeeper monitoring device which delivers eight metrics at an accuracy of 98 per cent and is now used by over 120 clubs and federations worldwide.
United’s official app, developed with HCL Technologies, was shortlisted in that category.
The Football Business Awards were established to recognise both the business units within the clubs responsible for commercial success and off-pitch activity and professional services and businesses dedicated to supporting clubs and the game itself.
United, Liverpool, Everton and Leicester City were also among the winners on the night.