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The Future of Football challenge is open to innovative companies ready to shape and test their solutions for updated football experiences in either the football development or fan engagement space. In spirit with its values of innovation and doing things differently, Southampton FC will offer a 4-week virtual programme — powered by Sport Republic and Yolo Group — to create opportunities and break away from conventional methods.

The challenge welcomes Web3 and sports tech startups and scaleups with novel solutions to:

  • Football development (scouting, training, recovery, game analytics etc.)
  • Fan engagement (gamification, loyalty programmes, matchday experiences, global fan engagement etc.)

Selected teams will rapidly test and pilot their solutions, participate in tailored workshops, and have regular and direct access to Southampton FC, Sport Republic, and Yolo Group decision-makers. At the St. Mary’s finale, teams will pitch for a commercial relationship with SFC and a £100k discretionary prize pool for post-programme solution development.

“Southampton FC’s commitment to innovating and creating a positive impact is central to the way we operate and make decisions. We’re excited to see programme participants create the future of football” said Sarah Batters, Director of Marketing and Partnerships as SFC.

Sport Republic, the owner of Southampton Football Club is a London-based investment firm in the sports and entertainment industry. Founded by Henrik Kraft and Rasmus Ankersen and backed by Lead Investor Dragan Šolak, Sport Republic’s vision is to grow high potential sports businesses and sports tech companies.

“Sport Republic are really looking forward to being part of the Future of Football challenge to power innovation in sports tech. We are continuously seeking the most innovative sports tech companies to join our portfolio and leveraging our clubs to drive growth and achieve digital transformation. ” said Henrik Kraft, Sport Republic and SFC Chairman.

Yolo Group is the managing partner for the Future of Football challenge. Yolo Group is a leader at the cross section of gaming, fintech, and blockchain, and operates the Sportsbet.io brand. Sportsbet.io is Southampton FC’s Main Club Partner.

“This programme is designed to push boundaries, to bring together a spectrum of solutions from startups around the globe. It’s a chance to create truly unique approaches — and test them. We’re driven by innovation; so, we’re looking forward to seeing the results,” said Tim Heath, GP at Yolo Investments, and founder of Yolo Group. The application deadline is 23 February 2023. Find more information and apply here: https://www.southamptonfc.com/saints-partners/future-of-football-challenge