Sports ticketing has often been a topic of debate over the years, many have experimented with different alternatives to paper tickets. We invite two speakers that have been at the forefront of the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) to share their experiences of moving to a digital ticketing system.
Emre Alkin, PhD, General Secretary, Turkish Football Federation and Mehmet Gülez, Business Development Leader Advisory, EY Turkey (Previous E-Ticketing Project Coordinator, Turkish Football Federation), will take us through the technologies behind this immense new vision, whilst exploring the operational, economic and business impacts of such a vast project.
We caught up with Emre and Mehmet to gain an insight into their project (Turkey’s new governmental law number 6222) to digitise sports ticketing systems, their topic of presentation at Ticketing Technology Forum 2014…
Why the need for the 6222 regulation?
Emre – “To create better environment for fans in stadia”.
Mehmet – “On 31 March 2011, the law numbered 6222 on “Prevention of Violence and Disorder at Sporting Events ” (Law 6222) was enacted to prevent violence and disorder in and around sports arena, during and after the match, and in places where supporters gather in groups.”
“The purpose of the law also governs match fixing, incentives, forbidden acts and behaviours. The project covers the top two football leagues of Turkey, which means that over 30 stadiums will be implemented with new technologies.”
What does it involve?
Mehmet – “In accordance with the law, Turkish Football Federation (‘TFF’ or ‘the Federation’) intends to issue electronic smart cards to football fans. These shall be used at all times when seeking access to stadiums and buying tickets for matches.”
“The card will contain the fan’s personal information and shall be used to allow/deny access to the stadium by verifying the spectator credentials against a central system. TFF will keep a frequently updated black list of fans who have previously been found to engage in unwanted activity.”
How will it affect the fans?
Emre – “They will feel more comfortable during the match day.”
Mehmet – “The project will bring a secure and enjoyable stadium experience, coupled with initiatives like e-money and loyalty programmes to leverage social media and online platforms. This will help to improve brand image, fan loyalty and fan engagement. The focus will be back on the game, spectators and players and not the incidents.”
How will it affect the Turkish Football Federation?
Emre – “It will help to monitor fans’ activities and learn more about their demands, expectations and behaviours.”
Mehmet – “The project will reduce incidence of violence and irregularity in football across Turkey, whilst also improving the fan’s viewing experience. There will also be higher visibility in ticket sales with respect to clubs.”
What do you consider as the key challenges venues face in implementing new and emerging technologies?
Mehmet – “The main constraint here will be the timing, since according to the law, the infrastructure should be ready in April 2014.”
“For the stadiums that do not have any infrastructure for ticketing technologies, the main problem will be the change in usage habits for the fans, adopting the use of electronic cards and access control systems.”
What lessons will you be sharing at Ticketing Technology Forum 2014?
Emre – “Fans are not only ‘supporters’ but also customers/visitors, whilst the clubs are the ‘hosts’ of entertainment. The aim of a match day is to generate funds for the club and fun for the fan. Security is the key element when creating sustainability in attendance and of course revenues.”
Mehmet – “We will be sharing the five main concepts of the E-Ticketing project, covering: Ticketing, Access Control, Loyalty, E-Money and Surveillance aspects. The execution of the project and its possible outcomes will be discussed in the Forum.”