DXC Technology has signed a partnership deal with Manchester United, taking over development of the club’s app, media platform and technology roadmap, as well as becoming a shirt-sleeve partner on the new kits.
A DXC spokesperson said the Manchester United technology deal was not a sponsorship arrangement, but part cash and part value-in-kind, and noted: “They've never had a partner quite like this before, either. It's a novel partnership.” They declined to put a value on the deal.
Along with app development DXC will also work to improve the club’s use of data, from fan engagement to training, and will deliver a new data platform. Mark Hughes, president of security at DXC, told The Stack the Manchester United technology roadmap includes improving insights into the club’s fans around the world, to provide better content targeting.
“Manchester United have a huge fan base – 1.1 billion people globally. And driving better insight for them, to get more intimacy with their fans, and personalised content, is really important. That is all about data, how you use that data, and then drive that into the app,” said Hughes.
“By far and away, the first thing that I'm very struck by – fan first is how they call it, instantly getting that engagement with their fans and really delivering for them. So I think personalising that experience for the fans to a way in which they haven't been able to do before, is certainly one thing they’re looking for.”
On the overall Manchester United technology roadmap side, DXC will help the club with its “digital vision”. Along with the usual enterprise tech requirements, this will also involve improving the Man Utd Academy’s data analysis and sports science capabilities.
“We’re already working with the academy to get more data, both on- and off-pitch. We can use that to help specifically around those talented individuals in the academy really hone and develop their skills, but also provide more insight for the coaching staff as well,” Hughes told The Stack.
He said DXC would also be working with the club to uncover “the art of the possible”: “The teams that we already have working with Manchester United are already uncovering areas, use cases that are really great ideas – and [the question is] how do we then bring those into a technical solution based upon the data insights that we can give them?”
“DXC’s technological expertise will help put Manchester United at the forefront of digital transformation, providing effective ways of working and new and exciting opportunities to interact with fans. The possibilities are endless, and we are looking forward to working with DXC on our future digital offerings,” said Victoria Timpson, Manchester United’s CEO of Alliances and Partnerships, in a press release.
DXC will also be involved in the Manchester United Foundation as the “presenting partner” focused on “how technology can have a positive impact on people, the environment, and society” according to the press release.
The new Adidas-made home, away and third kits featuring DXC, for both Manchester United men’s and women’s teams, will be formally revealed on Friday 8 July (although images of the kit have already leaked.)