05.11.2019 – With the Elephants Club at the DFB (German Football Association):

Digitalization in Sports – what Connects Sports and Business

– this was the subject of the event, to which the Elephants Club had invited to DFB GmbH in Frankfurt on 5th of November 2019. This time, Katja Hartert (pictured above at the lectern during the address of welcome), also a member of the Elephants Club, had been highly engaged in the organization of the event in addition to Ulrich Dietz. In particular, she had established the contacts to the impressive speakers. A special THANK YOU for this!

At the beginning of the event, the Elephants Club was presented again: As a non-profit association and network of personalities from the IT management sector, the Elephants Club combines industry-independent networking with strong social commitment.

The members of the Elephants Club are connected by common values and are jointly committed to the goals of the club. The guiding principle is international understanding with the aim of promoting international attitudes and tolerance. With this goal, measures for youth welfare as well as for education and training are particularly promoted.

The technical part of the event started with a lecture by Rolf Schumann on “The digitalisation of the sportive human being” and showed how digitalisation changes everything: from sports to human beings.

The Digitalisation of the Sportive Human Being

Rolf Schumann talks about Digitalization

In his impressive presentation, Rolf Schumann also reported with a great deal of apt humour on his personal experiences with digitalisation: with great opportunities where it is already well advanced, but also with conflicts in established business models when the opportunities are not recognised and the challenges are not mastered. The challenges of the Digital Transformation range from the “Analog Ego” to the “Digital Ego” and the “Digital Possibilities” to the living environment with a digitalised environment.

The participants of the event will certainly remember for a long time the video he showed with an example where paper cannot be replaced by IT equipment in the foreseeable future ;-).

All in all, it was an extraordinary lecture that will be remembered.

What Connects Sports and Business

The second technical lecture was given by Dr. Frank Biendara, Managing Director of the DFB GmbH and in this role CIO of the DFB.. 

Dr. Biendara gave an impressive presentation of the requirements which the DFB’s structure and size put on IT. With DFBnet, for example, the DFB supports 25,000 clubs, 160,000 teams and 1.9 million matches per season.

Frank Biendara explains the structure of the DFB
Central IT Platforms of DFB

The IT applications should support the football players in all their roles and tasks, before the game, on the day of the game and after the game. This should allow the athletes to concentrate on what is important – the sport and not the administration. Amateur athletes also increasingly want to understand and compare their performance data. And fans and parents also want to be informed about and experience the activities and successes. So the requirements for IT now go far beyond the “classic” processes involved in administration, ticketing and merchandising and are in fact – as the title of the event suggests – comparable with the requirements in non-sport business.

Mexico Aid of the DFB Foundation Egidius Braun

As a further highlight of the event, Oliver Bierhoff, member of the DFB Presidential Board and Managing Director of the DFB National Teams and Football Development, gave an insight into current topics concerning the DFB and the German national team.

Oliver Bierhoff is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the DFB Foundation Egidius Braun. Fully in accordance with the charitable aims of the Elephants Club, the DFB Foundation Egidius Braun supports educational projects for children and young people in Mexico through its Mexico Aid (Mexico-Hilfe).

Since all members of the Elephants Club’s board of directors and advisory councils work on a purely voluntary basis and without any remuneration, all income and donations on the occasion of the event could be allocated to this charity project. As treasurer of the Elephants Club, Dr. Dietz was therefore able to surprise Oliver Bierhoff with a donation cheque for 10,000 EUR in favour of the Mexico Aid!

Dr. Dietz hands over a donation cheque to Oliver Bierhoff in favour of the DFB’s Mexico Aid

A Great Event

The following picture gives an impression of the final networking:

Thrilled with a successful event (f.l.t.r.: Dr. Ulrich Dietz, Swen Theissen, Dr. Frank Biendara, Daniel Hartert, Ralf Schulten)