The hype cycle of Football Digital Business in 2016 (I)

Most of you probably know about the Hype Cycle report that Gartner periodically publishes. In this report, Gartner, one of the most well-know and prestigious IT research and advisory firm, shows the maturity, adoption and social application of specific technologies. The hype cycle provides a graphical and conceptual presentation of the maturity emerging technologies through five phases:

  • Technology Trigger
  • Peak of Inflated Expectations
  • Trough of Disillusionment
  • Slope of Enlightenment
  • Plateau of Productivity

You can learn more about the original Hype Cycle in the wikipedia.

The hype cycle of Football Digital Business

It always seemed to me that this is an interesting way of looking the state-of-the-art of the new emerging technologies, especially when they are in the Peak of Inflated Expectations and everybody is talking about them and finally they fall into the Trough of Disillusionment, for (in some cases) finally rise again once reach a level of maturity.

So, I decided to publish what (in my opinion) is the Hype Cycle of Football Digital Business by the end of 2016:

Hype Cycle in Sports Digital Business
Hype Cycle in Sports Digital Business

This is two parts article. You can read the second part here.

Peak of Inflated Expectations


Clearly the buzz word everybody is talking about now is e-Sports.

Still just a few Clubs have started their e-Sports initiatives, but it seems that everybody needs to have a eSports strategy nowadays.

My thoughts on this are still the same the ones I had when I was at FC Barcelona: It only makes sense for a football club to be in e-Sports if the video games are related to football. Maybe I’m wrong but, what is the value for a Club having these e-athletes playing League of Legends or Call of Duty?

I will outline my thoughts on e-Sports in a coming post, so subscribe to newsletter if you are interested.

Meanwhile, you can read a good article on the current state-of-the-art of e-Sports in the football industry written by The New York Times.

Facebook Live

Facebook’s strategy to beat Youtube as the leading video platform is impressive.

Facebook Live is becoming a great platform in terms of gathering audiences, taking advantage of the huge fan bases clubs have in FB and the extremely easy user experience: the live stream appears in the fan’s feed and starts playing. Absolutely frictionless.

But once again with Facebook, the issue is in the monetisation side and the revenue sharing for the publishers.


Snapchat is sliding down quickly after being the rock star last year and getting the focus from major clubs searching for the new cool thing.

Trough of Disillusionment

Daily Fantasy

The shiny success of Draft Kings and Fan Duel in the US raised high expectations and other companies (read here Mondogoal, for example) rushed to apply the model to the European football.

Finally, Draft Kings and Fan Duel are struggling to merge in a single company and fight against some estates laws, and IMHO they are losing momentum.

However, Daily Fantasy will soon climb again following the “Slope of Enlightment”, so stay tuned.


Another universal remedy that was supposed to change everything and finally only a few (if any) really applied it successfully.

I’m a strong believer of gamification as fan engagement strategy (to be honest, I’m currently addicted to Clash Royale because of its exquisite gamification), but it’s really, really hard to implement it well and requires lots of work and to re-think the complete interaction with your fans.

Once again, gamification is not dead but a little bit burn because of the expectations it raised.

If you have the resources and you are brave enough, I recommend you to invest in a well designed and meaningful gamification strategy for your fans.

In the second part of this article I continue with the rest of technologies and trends in the stages of Slope of Enlightenment, Plateau of Productivity and Technology Trigger.

Read part II

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  1. Pingback: The hype cycle of Football Digital Business in 2016 (II) – joaquim cardona

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