Liverpool land key new commercial partner to open up potential ‘goldmine’
Liverpool have added another commercial partner to its growing portfolio by sealing a deal with US-based technology firm Extreme Networks.
Extreme have penned a multi-year deal with the Reds having been most closely associated with their work in the US with the NFL, NHL and the MLB, with Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group owing teams in two of the latter; the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Boston Red Sox.
The link-up with the Reds comes at a time when the Anfield Road expansion will take the capacity of Anfield beyond 60,000, with Extreme to install high quality wi-fi access points around the stadium later this year, with the next generation Wi-Fi 6E technology allowing the club to provide mobile ticketing and concessions as well as enabling fans to connect to in-stadium activities through Liverpool’s numerous digital offerings, such as NFTs.
Extreme, who earlier this year partnered with Manchester United and were tasked with a similar brief, will also be the the providing the infrastructure for the club to introduce augmented reality and virtual reality offerings in the future, something that is expected to be a considerable revenue stream for football clubs in years to come, especially for a club which has the global appeal of Liverpool and has been seeking ways to better engage with their legions of fans around the world who may not have the chance to experience Anfield on a matchday.
“We’re delighted to be teaming up with Extreme to deliver outstanding in-stadium connectivity and analytics,” said Drew Crisp, Liverpool’s senior vice-president of digital marketing, media and technology.
“This deal will provide supporters with the latest generation of wireless connectivity and enable them to take full advantage of our best-in-class digital offerings while visiting Anfield. Our home stadium is renowned for its storied history and Extreme will enable us to improve the digital fan experience on the ground, while also providing the critical insights we need to keep innovating and improving digital journeys for our fans.”
The deal with Extreme will be important to Liverpool’s future commercial push, using the insights provided by the various touchpoints that Extreme will provide around Anfield to better inform their decision making when it comes to fans, whether that is identifying queueing issues, crowd management, retail opportunities as well as being more informed when it comes to how they shape their sponsorship strategy, providing more insight to potential partners.
Norman Rice, chief operating officer, Extreme Networks, said: “Connectivity is the foundation of next-generation mobile services like biometrics, interactive stadium apps and on-demand concessions at large venues. In a stadium like Anfield, which houses 54,000 fans, Extreme will provide next-generation wireless connectivity and deliver a goldmine of network insights that will help Liverpool Football Club better understand its fanbase, unlock new revenue streams and improve overall matchday operations.”
The coming months are set to be a busy time for Liverpool’s commercial department, now headed up by Ben Latty, with the club seeking a number of new partnerships from 2023 onwards, including the front of shirt sponsorship that is currently occupied by Standard Chartered. The financial firm, who have sponsored the Reds since 2010, have the option to continue and have had dialogue with the club but Liverpool are also testing the buoyancy of the market with other potential partners.