One-Stop Hub for Soccer Fans

The Bundesliga soccer club SV Darmstadt 98 is revolutionizing fan experience with its innovative new app, “Wir Lilien,” which is German for “Us Lilies” (the team’s nickname stemming from the club logo). Developed in collaboration with Software AG, the app seamlessly integrates the club’s diverse data sources, providing fans with a convenient platform to enhance their engagement with the team.
It’s the afternoon of February 17, 2024, in Darmstadt. Roy Reinelt-Peter, a 43-year-old marketing agency owner and devoted SV Darmstadt 98 fan, steps out of his home. Clad in sneakers with phone in hand, he checks his messages. His soccer buddies are en route as well. Roy opens his “Wir Lilien” app in anticipation of today’s home match against Stuttgart. Aware of the tough challenge ahead because Stuttgart is in fine form, he mutters, “unfortunately.” But a match lasts 90 minutes and unwavering allegiance to your favorite team lasts a lifetime.
In addition to his role as a fan, Roy also volunteers coordinating the club’s fan and promotion department, while also supporting the marketing director, Martin Kowalewski, in digitalization projects. He describes the Lilies app as a flagship project for the club. “Our goal is to make the entire Lilies universe available as a one-stop hub,” Roy elaborates. “We want our fans to have an app that is well crafted, user-friendly, and dependable, offering every piece of information a fan or club member could desire.”

Software AG, a longstanding sponsor of the club, contributed invaluable IT expertise when it came to developing the app. The journey between the Lilies, who were struggling financially at the time, and Software AG dates back to 2008. Despite those challenging circumstances, the partners let nothing stand in the way of their team spirit, enabling them to lay a solid foundation for a successful future. Thanks in part to Software AG’s unwavering support through its primary sponsorship, the Lilies advanced from the third league to the Bundesliga. The partnership has evolved into an exciting new phase as Software AG transitioned into a premium digital partner as of July 1, 2023, ensuring that the Lilies are well-equipped for their digital transformation.

Martin Kowalewski adds, "Our close collaboration with Software AG has not only propelled us to a new level athletically and financially but has also been instrumental for various other aspects of our club, including its societal impact. Embarking on digital transformation with Software AG as our digital partner exemplifies our enduring and mutually trusting relationship forged over many years. Continuing this partnership and the assurance of support from such a steadfast and reliable partner is both a pleasure and an honor for us. Together, we are poised to set new standards in digitalization, generating value for our fans and members alike."

The club successfully mastered the next challenging stage of digitalization by seamlessly and robustly integrating the club’s various data sources into a single app. Delighted with the achievement, Roy comments, “Software AG delivered exceptional work.”

Single Sign-On for Loyal Lilies

A single sign-on feature enables fans to log in once and then freely access other areas of the app such as purchasing tickets or visiting the fan shop. Ten days before every home match, tickets are automatically deposited into the user’s account, so fans always have their tickets handy without the worry of loss or printing. The app’s transfer option allows fans to effortlessly share digital tickets with friends or family members. Furthermore, the app offers a wide range of editorial content such as team news, podcasts, and videos, while also integrating multiple social media channels.

“We have finished the first phase of app development, and the response has been very positive,” remarks Roy, who has meanwhile arrived at the stadium by tram, the traditional mode of transportation. Fans are flocking into the stadium from all directions with disco beats and the aroma of sizzling bratwurst filling the air. With some time before kickoff, there’s the chance to catch up with friends and enjoy a pre-game drink or two. Roy adds cheerfully, “Soon the club card will be accessible within the app, followed by direct integration of the online store to make it even easier for fans to buy team merch.”

One thing is especially important to Roy: “The app must reflect our club and its members. We pride ourselves on being approachable and embodying values such as tolerance and diversity.” SV98 is one of the last registered associations in professional soccer in Germany. Roy adds with a smile, “Whether we win or we lose, we are proud to be Lilies.”

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