Innovation expert encouraged by the work done in Germany – but concerned about other major leagues

12 October 2021

Innovation fans
Photo: Alamy According to Jean-Baptiste Ailot, who established and ran UEFA’s Innovation Hub, German clubs are in pole-position when it comes to innovation. Pictures is Bochum fans.

More than half of Deloitte’s top 20 football clubs have now opened their own innovation strategies or hubs, as do Bundesliga, Serie A and LaLiga.

Jean-Baptiste Ailot established and ran UEFA’s Innovation Hub and is now chief strategy officer for LaSource. He says that clubs must embrace innovation strategies to “remain relevant”

One of the biggest leagues in Europe is falling behind in terms of innovation, according to expert.

“I think the ultimate goal for any kind of innovation initiative is to be redundant in four or five years… Ultimately you want everybody within the organisation to be an innovator.”

James Corbett, Senior Correspondent

Research by Off The Pitch shows that more than half of Deloitte’s top 20 football clubs have now opened their own innovation hubs, or have executives dedicated to incorporating innovation into their clubs’ ecosystems.

In addition, three of Europe’s Top 5 Leagues have started their own innovation labs to drive transformation forward through innovation strategy. Last month LaLiga Tech was officially launched, offering on a commercial basis technologies and expertise it has developed over the past decade.

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