28 August 2019

The mown meadow, or: behind the client, there are many, many consumers.

IOT and Digital Twin make the difference

Greenkeeper-App, Reimagine the Game and Aston Martin Red Bull Racing: Why our Sponsoring requires good partnerships and strong stories – and why we believe in emotionalization through sports.

Can you do a split? If so: Congratulations! That’s much more than most of the people are able to do. Some, though, can do more. But only if they are trained gymnasts.

Or called Jean-Claude van Damme.

So, do you see where we are heading?

„The Epic Split“

First, you see a man with crossed arms and closed eyes. He opens them and you notice that what he is standing on, is moving. On two Volvo trucks. They’re driving backwards and the guy, Jean-Claude van Damme, starts to speak. What he says is not so important. It’s where he’s standing: namely with each foot on one rearview mirror of each truck. How the two backwards driving trucks then separate, inch by inch, and therefore the legs of the action hero literally spread, is great theatre: seen millions of times. The power of the vehicles forces van Damme’s legs apart, further and further, until it seems that he effortlessly rides on both trucks in a split.

There are no more consumers

Since we sold the cellphone-branch at the beginning of the century, we at Siemens sell nothing anymore directly to consumers. We’re basically done with the B2C sector. Back then, we questioned everything and we in Sponsoring didn’t want to just copy already existing B2B strategies. Of course Siemens has them – just consider the sales of gas turbines or energy management systems. We had to ask ourselves, how sponsorship would fit to a pure B2B company, when sponsoring is mostly seen as a communication platform for consumer brands.

The loud Allianz Arena

FC Bayern, as a globally popular soccer icon, is the right partner. We bring in our expertise in stadium technology and digitalization. Soccer and Bayern Munich bring in emotionalization. One example: Under the name “Reimagine the Game“, we, with our partner “The Economist Group“, have visualized fan data since 2018. It is about the audience loudness in the Allianz Arena. The question is: how was the fan energy spread over the game and the stadium? We developed a 3D map of the volume: a “Soundscape“. You can look at the results of selected games on a microsite. Big data turns into a fascinating sound image: Which player had the most support? In which moment was the arena the loudest? And where was the arena the loudest? Which player could use some more applause as an incentive? We have also measured during which moments was the most Twitter activity: The greatest Twitter activity occurred when the video referee got involved. We then delivered these Siemens stories via social media. They are based on the data we observed.

Remember to water, please!

Our target group is not the stadium visitor. We have no products to offer them. Therefore, we can skip the advertising boards. For our target group, the buyer of our products, we would like to convey that we are a digital company with innovative products. That we are experts in the advantageous use of data. In terms of FC Bayern it means: we visualize fan-energy in the Allianz Arena, and with our “Greenkeeper App“, how good the grass is. The “Greenkeeper App“ reminds the greens keeper to water the precious green space. It memorizes when the grass was watered and skips the reminder after it gets the feedback “watered!“ a couple of times and trusts the greens keeper – man-machine communication at its best. By the way: The “Greenkeeper App“ was recently – in the middle of June – used during the lawn tennis tournament MercedesCup in Stuttgart. One could view our data during the matches – each time a “hawk-eye“ check was necessary, our data, i.e. humidity and salinity, was shown as well.


To keep the grass healthy

Meanwhile in Jacksonville, FL, the Internet of Things made by Siemens works for the NFL team, the Jaguars. Considering the weight of the players, a football field receives far more damage than a soccer field. Since May, in the TIAA Bank Field Arena the “Greenkeeper App“ measures parameters such as temperature, grass growth, humidity, weather and lighting conditions and evaluates them in an industrial cloud (“Mindsphere“). The learning algorithm can not only support the daily job but also predict problems before they even happen – for example grass diseases.

The digital backbone

This is where the Bayern fan comes back into the game. When the grass in the Allianz Arena is good and the club is satisfied, we communicate that further through our social media channels. Bayern Munich needs us as a partner who has and understands the technological possibilities of measuring and understanding data. We also work together with various Motorsport teams around the globe, i.e. Andretti Autosport (US) or Aston Martin Red Bull Racing (UK). The racing teams need all possible software tools from us. We are their digital backbone. Their car will literally be rebuilt every two weeks. It is then matched to the demands of the next racetrack. In order to react flexibly and as quickly as possible to changed track conditions, you need the optimal software. If you can do that, you can do it in less complex areas as well.

We can show the variety of our portfolio and demonstrate our capacity in the context of credible sponsoring. At the same time, the fan believes in our expertise. Therefore, the classic separation between B2C and B2B is blurred. Moreover, we don’t need traditional advertising boards anymore for that.

E-Sports? Not yet!

Being an expert in the field of data analytics, one may think we also must go where the digital natives feel at home – E-Sports. However, this is exactly not the case. Just because it’s a digital platform doesn’t mean that we, by sponsoring it, would be acknowledged as a digital and innovative company. That would race through the media once and would be gone again right away – to the disadvantage of our credibility. But if we find the right approach to position ourselves in terms of content and solutions, then E-Sports would also suit us.

Partnership engagement

We at Siemens want to be perceived as a digital and innovative brand. That takes time. We are not a Snickers bar that you impulsively buy at the cash register – the “Greenkeeper App“ is the result of a half year long ideation with FC Bayern. It´s our understanding to intensively work together with our partners to identify potential use cases to help improve their performance and become a true partner, not just a sponsor.

Sometimes our partnerships are like Jean-Claude van Damme doing a split on two trucks going backwards. Often, partners have their own agenda. Nevertheless, our goal is to work with our partners towards a result that looks like a perfectly mown meadow.

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