14 February 2023 - 3:58 PM


Alamy | Young Real Sociedad fans cheering during a home match last year.

Interview: They grew the number of season-ticket holders from 25,000 to 38,000 - innovation continues to be the anchor in Sociedad’s growth journey

  • Real Sociedad, currently number three in LaLiga, are constantly pushing to digitalise all parts of their business. They want to ensure Generation-Z fans feel embraced by the club.
  • Jon Ercilla, head of IT and digital at the club, feels the San Sebastian-based club have to innovate swiftly to adjust offerings to young fans, because the game of football hasn’t really changed fundamentally since 1992.
  • Why it matters: Real Sociedad caught the eye of the football industry when they increased their number of season-ticket holders. They continue to invest in digital projects – but have no hesitation in closing them down if things don’t work out as planned.
  • The perspective: Don’t be afraid to make mistakes – failures are a crucial part of innovation, says Ercilla. The key is a president who’s been in power for 14 years with a long-term mindset.

The number of digital projects is breathtaking, and you get the feeling that Real Sociedad may want to do too many new things in a very short period.

Jon Ercilla is laughing and acknowledges that the club are always working on something new in terms of making the club more digital.

“I know that, maybe, it can seem a bit hectic,” he says.

“But from a personal point of view I have always looked at football as a rather conservative industry. My point

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