January 4, 2023 3 min read


Southampton FC Looks for Sportstech Disruptors with “Future of Football” Program

The pioneer accelerator competition will be hosted by the Premier League soccer club from the south of England

The Saints have invited “early-stage sportstech” to test their unique solutions aimed at innovating football and generating new experiences for sports aficionados. 

Together for the Future of Soccer

Alongside Yolo, the group that introduced next-level innovation to the worlds of gaming, fintech, and blockchain, and Sport Republic, the London-based investment company with a focus on sports and entertainment, the soccer club has launched a four-week virtual program. 

“The Future of Football” program will revolve around sportstech and Web3 developments. The campaign is meant to discover and harness fresh solutions that will help the king of sports grow in the upcoming years. The list of solutions that three parties are looking for with the help of the new program covers a series of disciplines related to loyalty programs, gamification, fan engagement at a worldwide level, and matchday experiences. 

Sportstech startups are welcome to bring their new ideas regarding scouting, recovery, training, and game analytics to the table. Southampton’s director of marketing and partnerships Sarah Batters spoke about the club’s ​commitment to promoting innovation and creating a “positive impact”. She called these goals a central piece of their operations and decision-making process. Batters also expressed excitement about seeing all participating startups bring their own contribution toward the future of the popular sport.

Customized Workshops for Qualifying Participants

All startups that will fully comply with the program’s qualification requirements will be invited to take part in a series of “tailored workshops” organized with the help of the Yolo Group. The group, which is the operating company of the blockchain betting brand Sportsbet.io, Southampton’s main sponsor in the past two years, will help the best startups test their pilot solutions.

At the end of the trials, the grand finale will be held at St. Mary’s stadium. The start-ups will have the opportunity to present their ideas in relation to a commercial partnership with the soccer club and potentially win a share of the £100,000 discretionary prize pool for solution development at the end of the program.

Yolo’s founder Tim Heath described the program as one that has been “designed to push boundaries” and reunite a plethora of solutions from startups located in all parts of the world. Heath called the “Future of Football” an opportunity to create one-of-a-kind approaches and also assess them. In December 2022, Yolo named Joe McCallum as its new director of gaming for Business-to-Consumer.

Sport Republic’s and Southampton’s chairman Henrik Kraft expressed eagerness to be part of the challenge that would help infuse sports tech with innovation. At the end of 2020, Southampton announced it would support RecoverMe, a new mobile app looking to offer discrete support for at-risk gamblers. The app would use cognitive behavioral therapy for treating problem gambling.

After finishing her master's in publishing and writing, Melanie began her career as an online editor for a large gaming blog and has now transitioned over towards the iGaming industry. She helps to ensure that our news pieces are written to the highest standard possible under the guidance of senior management.

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