Preparing for Euro 2016
“Most things have been decided for Euro 2016 and we are in execution mode. From January to April we’ll start going into the venues, making sure everything is connected, and from April to May we will take over the stadiums to finalise the infrastructure and get ready for the matches,” says Marion.
Next year’s event will last longer and have more teams playing at more stadiums than any previous event. “Technologically speaking, we have put in place a lot more solutions for mobile and tablets than we had in 2012, as we and our industry move towards more apps.”
Marion says the foundation of the IT used for Euro 2016 is what is used for every other competition, such as the annual Uefa Champions League and Europa League. “We refresh the solutions for our competitions on a yearly basis. The challenge for the Euros, or any competition, is more often from an organisational perspective, the challenge of working in different countries, than it is the technology.”
He estimates that the European competition will use 70-80% of what was used at the most recent competitions. “The back-office functions will generally be pretty similar from a business process perspective, but then for other things we have to implement different things from scratch, like the network we put in place and the integration with the different authorities.”
Marion also has 2020 on his mind, when 13 cities in 13 different European countries will host the event, with more teams and matches than ever before.
“We are in a planning phase at the moment for Euro 2020, working on concepts and opportunities to change the way we operate, how best to source different resources from local football associations, stadiums in countries, how we move the images and footage from one place to another,” says Marion.
“The biggest challenge I see for 2020 is how we will staff and operate in the 13 different locations in different countries. We are currently working out what is the best way to build the teams to run the event.”