Microsoft Sports, GSIC and Real Sociedad collaborate to bring Anoeta closer to the Smart Stadium concept

Microsoft Sports, GSIC and Real Sociedad collaborate to bring Anoeta closer to the Smart Stadium concept

Microsoft Sports and the Global Sports Innovation Center powered by Microsoft (GSIC) have reached an agreement with Real Sociedad de Fútbol S.A.D to launch a technology based startup acceleration program that will help the club that plays in the Spanish First Division, to improve the facilities of the stadium through a program that enhances innovation through solutions with remarkable solutions to transform their fan’s experience.

The Sport Thinkers Smart Stadium program, designed by GSIC, will help the Real Sociedad, a partner of the Center, to work on the main aspects that Microsoft Sports takes into account when developing Smart Venues projects. Regarding this, there are four dimensions from which these projects are covered:

  1. The design should revolve around the safety and comfort of the users, who should be located in the center of the transformation process, providing the best experience to the fans.

2. The stadium should become an architectural and touristic icon for the region where it’s located.

3. The stadium should also serve the community as a meeting point not only for sporting events, but also to accommodate other types of entertainment activities of citizen’s interest.

4. The developed actions should also be able to maximize the business potential that sporting events imply.


Microsoft’s goal is to provide fans with unforgettable experiences on every occasion, regardless if they are enjoying a game day or any other. Sebastián Lancestremère, General Manager of Microsoft Sports, indicates “That’s why we work as a team with the GSIC and expert partners in the industry, taking advantage of the Microsoft Sports platform to develop new services and experiences for fans, before, during, and after each sports event.”

Jokin Aperribay, President of the Real Sociedad, said that ” for the Real to turn Anoeta into a Smart Stadium is an opportunity that we should not miss as it is perfectly aligned with our goal of offering our fans the best possible experience at our Stadium, besides turning it into a meeting point for San Sebastian and Gipuzkoa.”

The program begin on July 13 with the presentation event that will be held at the Real Sociedad’s facilities. During the summer months the selection among all registered companies will be done; in October the 10 startups that will participate in the program will be decided; on November there will be a week of immersion with the club, to know the strategy, use cases and challenges that will be proposed to the participants; from November till February 2019, the startups will develop solutions that would cover club´s challenges; finally, the Real Sociedad will have an opportunity to decide whether to implement or not, one or more technological solutions that could allow Anoeta to become a smart stadium.


Iris Córdoba, the General Manager of the GSIC, highlights that “this initiative seeks to identify the best innovative startups that can provide technological solutions regarding the smart stadium concept and thereby help to bring the future of the improved experience of soccer fans, putting at the disposal of a club like Real Sociedad, the latest solutions in the sector. “

Also, the 10 companies chosen for the final of the competition will enjoy membership at no cost in GSIC, they will also benefit from all the services and advantages provided by the Center to its ecosystem: networking, participation in activities aimed at innovation and applied research, B2B contacts, visibility in media and international events, among others.

Don’t miss the opportunity to attend the presentation event that will take place in San Sebastian on July 13 at 09:30 am! If you are a startup interested in participating, an institution willing to support the program or a sports entity looking to explore collaboration possibilities, register for the event on the following link:

Registration for the competition will be open soon.

For more information about Sport Thinkers you can contact: [email protected]

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