Case study – UEFA Champions League Final

Enhancing the fan experience for the UEFA Champions League Final


Crowd Connected’s multi-faceted Colocator platform was successfully deployed to monitor and engage with fans of Real Madrid and Juventus for the UEFA Champions League Final – Europe’s premier club football match – which took place at the beginning of June 2017 at the National Stadium of Wales in Cardiff.

Meeting the Business Need

Steer Davies Gleave (SDG), an independent global consultancy that combines commercial, economic, technical and planning expertise, was contracted by the Football Association of Wales to engage football fans in a dynamic fashion as they travelled to and from the UEFA Champions League final. The match was played in Cardiff, a location unfamiliar to the vast majority of the travelling supporters. It was estimated that well over 170,000 Italian and Spanish fans would descend on the Welsh capital for their respective clubs’ biggest game of the season – significantly more than the stadium’s official total seating capacity of 74,500.

In an atmosphere of heightened security concerns, organisers were seeking ways to:

  • Engage with the travelling supporters of each club in a cutting-edge way, keeping them informed and up to date;
  • Monitor, log and understand in real time the movement of fans both as they travelled to the stadium pre-match and as they left after the game;
  • Showcase an enhanced digital experience which combined seamlessly with the physical; and
  • Encourage fans to see more of Cardiff thereby spreading demand.
Tapping into their experience and track record from both the London 2012 Olympics and the 2015 Rugby World Cup, SDG developed a specific event mobility app, designed to provide fans with a personalised ‘guide in their pocket’. Supporters of both teams were encouraged to download this dedicated app before they even began travelling across Europe to the game.

The Solution

SDG turned to Crowd Connected and our market-leading location intelligence to underpin the delivery of three significant component elements of their solution:

  • real-time location data harvesting, processing and visualisation to provide unrivalled situational awareness;
  • highly targeted geo-behavioural communications to fans; and
  • granular post-event analytics.
Crowd Connected’s Colocator SDK was embedded into the SDG-developed app. Without requiring any additional hardware, data from mobile phones with this app installed was transmitted to the cloud-based Colocator platform, where it was stream processed in real time to ‘digitise the physical’.

The Results

Using the Insight module within the intuitive web-based Colocator console, SDG provided control rooms in multiple location with customised visualisation of fan movement in qualitative and quantitative form via configurable heatmaps and dashboards.

This delivered never-seen-before live readouts of vital information such as journey times, fan densities and queue times. It enabled, at a glance, those who needed the information to see, for example, how fans’ actual travel patterns were deviating from the planned and/or predicted behaviour.

This awareness of aggregated travel trends began even before supporters reached the UK. And it provided a single source of truth for understanding behaviour across multiple transport modes.

SDG also extensively used the Engage module for its unbeatable geo-targeted messaging capability. Engage enabled SDG to build sophisticated communication campaigns to fans who had downloaded the app, providing real-time audience segmentation based on any combination of historic and present location.
As a result, by Integrating Crowd Connected’s Colocotor technology with Urban Airship’s push message delivery system, SDG were able to deliver a large number of highly targeted push notification messages.

Over 50 different messages were sent, composed in multiple languages (Spanish, Italian and English), engaging with fans from three weeks before the match. Examples included highly targeted logistics advisories relevant only to certain segments of fans (by club, by mode of transport, by current and historic location, etc), messages promoting specific attractions citywide in Cardiff, and advisories re match-specific arrangements.

Moreover, the effectiveness of certain push-notifications recommending a particular course of action could be evaluated by analysing the subsequent movement of app users who had been targeted with that message.

Finally, SDG relied on the app user location data provided by Crowd Connected to deliver a post-event wrap-up based on hard evidence – normally only captured through expensive survey methodologies.

Crowd Connected’s Colocator technology was instrumental to us making people think differently about how to engage fans and influence their behaviour. We’re delighted with the results and are very excited by the prospect of working closely with Crowd Connected on future projects.

Russ Yell – Head of Digital Intelligence, SDG


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