Anders Dahl is the former CEO of Clubtimiser and Board Member for couple Danish companies. He holds MBA diploma from Aalborg University. Today he acts as Commercial Director for KMD Sports & Entertainment Solutions department and is head of commercial activities for all sports-related projects in KMDs portfolio.
– Let’s start from the beginning. Can you tell us more about KMD itself and where did the interest in sports industry origin from?
– KMD is a big IT company headquartered in Denmark and with a local office in Poland. KMD offers a wide range of solutions within healthcare, energy sector, finance, government, work- and payroll solutions and over the last couple of years, also sports software.
The interest in sports has its origin in our work with data in general. The sports industry has been moving towards data driven decisions and there was a huge need for solutions to support this journey. KMD started with small Datawarehouse solution for the office of Danish national football league to harvest and process data, and over the last years more unique products have been added to our sports offering.
– You’re a big player in Denmark. What’s the story behind your growth?
– It’s a well-known secret that if you provide the market with a solution covering the needs at an acceptable price point, you have the formula for success. As part of offerings to the sports clubs in Denmark, we engaged with different football clubs like FC Midtjylland, Aab and AGF to meet the increasing demand for data driven insights. To support this insight, we established an advisory board for sports with high level profiles from the industry, education, and research. By doing so, KMD Sports solutions and development has always been customer driven, meaning that the market drives our approach. We try to act as transparent as possible by sharing our ideas as well as hosting events for the industry – such as our initiative with KMD Sports conference here in Poland.
– Why did you choose to open yourself for Polish market?
– The solutions offered through our KMD Sports & Entertainment division; KMD Clubtimiser, KMD Eye4Talent and latest KMD People Success combined with our Datawarehouse solutions and work with data in general, there aren’t really any boundaries in our offerings. Our solutions are sold in several countries already, but with at local presence in Poland, our offering combined with local support and sales, makes good sense to bring our products into Poland.
– What was the positive surprise about domestic sports market?
– As the development of the sports industry is growing the need for problem solving software to make better decisions is increasing and we have seen a positive interest for all our offerings and a willingness to be transparent and open towards new way of working throughout the industry.
The use of data is evolving at an incredibly high rate, not only in talent development, but also in automation of administrative processes. So, with KMD’s offering in sport, we are now able to assist the clubs in both mental characteristics, personality and talent development on the players’ side and in addition with our tools to optimize work with sponsors, fan engagements and general business operations, the foundation is set to assist clubs to scale.
– And what was the opposite?
– In our efforts to create solutions for the market, we were often met with resistance in the organization, primarily due to uncertainty about how a new system would affect the person’s individual area of work and responsibility.
For instance, a typical process where a salesperson came home with a signed sponsorship contract would often require the salesperson to spend 40% of his time on internal processes. Turn to the person in charge of marketing, the person in charge of ticket sales, the person in charge of finance and the person in charge of hospitality to get the job done in order to deliver the sponsor deal to the client – all manual tasks that were performed in the individual „silos”.
The challenges have primarily been understanding and acceptance to securing future tasks, responsibilities and that the systems could support and optimize workflows for the benefit of all. Typically, we now see, for example, the sales departments experience an increase in new sales because internal and time-consuming processes are removed, leaving more time to address sponsors.
– You have very interesting portfolio of solution for sports, especially football. We’ve had the occasion to trial eye4talent, very intuitive scouting app. Could you please tell us a bit more about the solution and customers on PL market? What other products you want to promote in Poland?
– There are a lot of similarities across boarders in the way clubs are managed and how they are organized – even crossing areas in sports. We see lots of clubs from handball looking towards the way of working with data in a football club and vice versa. That in mind, I am sure that our current product portfolio in KMD Sport would be of interest to most professionals.
– According to the agenda, during the conference you will have speakers from People Success or Svexa. We understand that their solutions aim to support development of athletes both individually and within the clubs. Could you please explain a bit further what’s their value added?
– Overall data in sports are huge – which our current product portfolio offers lots of. However, there are areas where Svexa and KMD People Success could assist the current data feeds to the clubs, both on individual level and team level. KMD People Success is a superstructure to KMD Eye4Talent, as KMD Eye4Talent is delivering scouting and talent development data, our KMD People Success product is more focused on mental data as well as performance. They complement each other. Svexa is a high level “black box” algorithms service, crunching data, that potentially could be presented in some of other offerings. Svexa brings huge knowledge within statistics, predictive behavior etc. across a lot of different sport segments, so we look forward to expanding this partnership.
– I assume we will hear much more about them at the KMD Sports Conference (register now!). Could you please let us know why you decided to organize such event, especially in free-entry form, which is not a common approach in the PL sports industry?
– Our interest in organizing this event is to share our knowledge as an industry expert, which also needs to be as transparent and open as possible to have the best impact. The free-entry approach is to make sure that all with an interest in sportstech and data have the potential to participate and hopefully we will see a good mix of both sports clubs as well as the sports tech industry in Poland. Furthermore, we plan to offer an online participation option as well, so clubs and sport tech companies around the world could join us and share knowledge.
– What are your expectations regarding the conference? What would you like to achieve through it?
– We hope to bring focus on data and to share some of our insights from our work assisting clubs in getting the foundation for better decision-making tools, based on and around data.
Jestem absolutnie zwariowany na punkcie sportu, przede wszystkim piłki nożnej. Niby często mówię, że czas zmienić branżę, ale to czcze gadanie, gdyż jestem pracoholikiem, a taka praca sprawia mi mnóstwo radości.