Elevating Asian Football Through Innovative Partnerships and New Technologies

Home Elevating Asian Football Through Innovative Partnerships and New Technologies

Amiel Walia, is a man on a mission. With an impressive track record that includes roles at Arsenal FC, FIFA and Asia Football Group, Walia brings a wealth of expertise to the table as he sets his sights on revolutionising the world of Asian football. 

In our exclusive interview, Walia shared his insights on the crucial role of partnerships and fan engagement in driving success in Asian football both on and off the pitch. 

Let’s dive in.

 

Putting Fans at the Forefront in Asian Football

Based on Walia’s past experience, he’s equipped with the perfect tools to enhance fan engagement and experiences. Arsenal is one of the best-known clubs in the British Premier League, and FIFA is the global body for football. And it all starts with fans at the forefront of experience.

“I think the main takeaway from my previous experience at Arsenal and at FIFA is, how can we ensure that we always have the fans in mind when we are constructing these partnerships,” Walia explained. When working with Arsenal and FIFA, Walia gained a deep understanding of the target demographic of football fans. Now, it’s time for him to leverage that understanding and create partnerships that resonate with fans on a profound level.

 

 

Proactive Partnership Strategy

Walia’s proactive approach to identifying potential partners is a testament to his forward-thinking mindset. Rather than simply reacting to market trends, he actively seeks out emerging industries and sectors that align with the unique positioning of Asian football. 

Here’s what Walia had to say about groundbreaking collaborations with Tidal, Jay-Z’s music streaming service, and 424, a trendsetting streetwear brand from Los Angeles:

“Now it’s a lot more challenging, obviously, because you’re starting from scratch, you’re having to kind of sell the concept to an industry or branches. Maybe you never thought of it before. But I think this is where you kind of really innovate and start to bring partnerships where people take notice.”

 

Tapping Into the Asian Football Market

As Asian football competitions continue to witness exponential growth in audience and engagement, Walia recognises the immense potential for attracting international brands to invest in the region. “Asia Football Confederation is 57% of the world’s population, it’s the biggest Confederation. When you think about the Middle East to Asia, you’ve got China, you’ve got India. So we have the biggest audience,” Walia emphasized.

Additionally, the unique selling points of Asian football, particularly its family-friendly audience, set it apart from other football markets. “If you went to the World Cup in Qatar, if you’ve been to any tournament in Asia, what you will know undeniably, it’s the most family-friendly audience that you will find in Global Football, without a shadow of a doubt. So that, for me, is our unique selling point,” Walia affirmed.

And it’s this point that Walia will tap into, expanding fan experiences with new-age technology that’s just now being considered for fan experiences — namely, decentralized, blockchain technology.

 

Embracing Technology for Enhanced Fan Experiences

Recognising the evolving consumption habits of younger generations, he emphasizes the importance of adapting content delivery to platforms like TikTok. ” TikTok has become extremely prevalent in recent years, and most clubs now will have TikTok content. It’s less about the corporate messaging and content. It’s more about the organic reach and the relatable, authentic connection you can build with fans,” Walia noted.

The potential applications of Web3, blockchain, and artificial intelligence in football are vast, and Walia sees these technologies as key drivers in three critical areas: fan engagement, backend infrastructure, and technical football analysis. 

“So whether that is in stadium apps, augmented reality, and these types of games, our fans engage with the game, that’s kind of one bucket. The second would probably be, I think, the backend technology, that is essentially the infrastructure of the clubs, of the organisations, slightly less glamorous, but it is needed, and it is important for the running of clubs in this kind of modern world. And then the third, will be a kind of technical football analysis,” Walia explained.

In reality, these technologies can completely redefine the fan experience. Even the back-end technical football analysis can be shown to spectators either on TV or the big screen. To Walia, there are no limits to what clubs can do to enhance their fan experience. All of this technology is in its infancy, and simply experimenting is the next step.

 

Redefining What It Means To Be a Fan

Asian football has been evolving, and because of the integration of technology, it will undergo a profound transformation. However, it’s not just the technology that’s changing — it’s the culture. 

Walia highlighted the shifting dynamics of fan loyalty among younger generations:

“With younger generations today, there’s no affiliation with a club. You might say you’ll meet someone and they’ll say okay, I’m a Messi fan, a Son fan, a Neymar fan. So I don’t support a team, I support these players.”

Amiel Walia’s insights align seamlessly with the mission of companies like NFT Workx, who are at the forefront of creating cutting-edge fan engagement solutions. The synergies between Walia’s vision and the transformative potential of technology herald an exciting future for Asian football — one where fans are not merely spectators, but active participants in shaping the sport they love. 

By leveraging innovative partnerships, harnessing the power of data analytics, and embracing the latest technological advancements, Asian football is poised to redefine the fan experience in today’s modern world.