Wembley Stadium (part of the UK Football Association) is one of Britain’s premier sporting venues and sits atop the original stadium site from 1923. The new venue opened in 2007 and has become the host of major events, including the FA Cup Final and headline concert acts such as Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, One Direction, Ed Sheeran and BTS to name a few.
In 2013/14, Wembley Stadium joined forces with EE, a leading mobile network operator, for a six-year period to digitally transform the fan experience. EE pledged to make Wembley “the most connected stadium in the world,” via a multi-million-pound investment in technological infrastructure.
As a leading telecommunications brand, EE naturally had plenty of expertise and experience in network connectivity. Equally, Wembley Stadium is the UK’s largest football venue.
As a result, both organisations had exciting ideas for the next generation of sports fan experiences. That being said, what they each lacked were skills in building digital fan experience apps. As such, they needed a digital product development agency to help them realise their shared vision.
After a competitive pitch process, we were tasked with building the flagship fan experience app that provided the ultimate sofa-to-seat transition. At its core, the new fan experience app had to harness the new super-fast 4G network infrastructure from EE while also adding value before and after events at Wembley.
At launch, this meant offering mobile ticketing solutions as well as relevant information as customers went from planning their journey to purchasing a ticket and locating their seats. However, the new digital fan experience app also had to have room to grow over the remaining six-year partnership, so a flexible and composable architecture was crucial.
What we delivered
In collaboration with EE and The Football Association, we started work on the official Wembley Stadium app for both iOS and Android devices. As an award-winning digital product design agency, we knew that useful, engaging content and deep social connectivity were essential parts of the Wembley experience.
So, after careful market research, we created an innovative digital fan experience app. Complete with context-driven updates and a live news feed, fans could view upcoming events, buy tickets, plan their journey by car, bus or rail, see the view from their seat, and win seat upgrades all in one platform. Users also had access to an interactive map, allowing users to navigate the stadium and check the view from their seats.
Similarly, we implemented location-based push messaging and event-specific music streaming services backed by EE’s advanced connectivity. As a result, we could deliver immersive and hyper-connected digital experiences regardless of their seat.
These flexible multimedia and omnichannel integrations also meant that Wembley Stadium could adapt to different event types and deliver next-generation fan experiences. Put together, this meant that no matter where fans came from, where they were going or why, they were guaranteed a consistent fan experience.
“We worked with Future Platforms to deliver an app that places the stadium visitor at the heart of the experience, facilitating and complementing the Wembley ‘sofa to seat’ experience. As the first touch point of EE’s exciting new partnership with Wembley, we wanted to showcase the benefits that this collaboration can bring from day one, and there is lots more to come in 2014 and beyond.” Spencer McHugh, Director of Brand at EE
Future Platforms is a leading digital product design agency that can support the entire product development lifecycle; from ideation to implementation. Using our three-pillar approach, we combined engineering excellence with a holistic design approach to deliver comprehensive digital strategies to clients.
Throughout our app design and development work, we provided a maintenance and reporting service. As a result, both EE and Wembley had access to regular project updates. This helped us flag potential issues ahead of time and ensured we maintained consistent progress against key project milestones.
Our maintenance contract also provided SLAs specifying response times and service restoration targets. Both of which were covered by service credits if we failed to respond or deliver to expectations but were never enacted by either client. Further, to ensure well-defined and well-planned work, we used our standard process of Discover, Define and Deliver. This ensured budgets could be planned and approved based on known deliverables.
Our design and development team worked on time and materials, with regular open reporting on past and forecasted burn which helped to allocate resources more efficiently. Finally, we used agile scrum boards to give EE and Wembley added visibility of project milestones along the way.
The app launched in February 2014. Over the remaining six years, we worked to add new updates, including location-based offers, digital queue management, audience participation features, and more.
In total, the app has since achieved over 2.1 million app sessions across 70k downloads by iOS and Android devices. In particular, the navigation features showed over 58k journeys to Wembley Stadium planned using the app.
EE and Wembley extended their partnership in 2019 after BT acquired the former. Equally, we’ve been hard at work strengthening our position as a digital product development agency. For example, by working with other premium brands like the Premier League and Virgin Active.