EFL Digital (formerly Football League Interactive FLi) is today delighted to announce the dual appointment of Realise and NeuLion as its new long-term digital partners.Following one of the most comprehensive procurement processes in the history of the EFL, in which over 175 of the world’s leading digital agencies expressed an interest, the final two have now been selected for a contract that runs until the end of the 2022/23 season.
Realise, a leading UK based digital agency, will be tasked with the design and development of EFL Digital’s club web and mobile sites as well as implementing the highly intuitive Episerver content management system (CMS). The new system will provide a robust, leading-edge digital platform that serves the needs of both fans and clubs effectively across all devices in real time.
The streaming, merchandising, and payment services will be provided by US company NeuLion, which is a market leader in online video delivery and boasts international sporting clients such as the NFL, Euroleague, NBA and UFC. NeuLion also has significant experience working in the football industry with the Premier League and Major League Soccer (MLS).
Together they will provide one of the most flexible and powerful integrated solutions across what is the largest sporting digital network in the world.
Highlights of the deal include:
• 7-year term, including one-year build;
• New sites go live in July 2017;
• All sites built responsively and optimised for desktop, tablet and mobile;
• Flexible approach to design and site layout;
• Video on demand (VOD) of all EFL fixtures;
• Video streaming to be delivered in HD;
• New commercial opportunities via the latest in video advertising;
• Subscription management and e-billing payments;
• Secure, future proofed platforms including foreign language capabilities.
EFL Chief Executive Shaun Harvey said: “In Realise and NeuLion we have two of the world’s leading digital companies with whom we can form a productive partnership to drive additional value for our clubs and produce a series of digital products we can all be proud of.
“Both companies understand the unique and varied challenges we continue to be faced with and throughout this extensive RFP process they have consistently demonstrated they have the skills, expertise and knowledge to deliver against EFL Digital’s objectives.
“The end user, the fans of our clubs are very much where their collective focus lies and a proven track record, a flexible approach to platform delivery and significant experience in video streaming means we are not only confident in the proposed technical solution but also how it will perform commercially .”
Roy Reichbach, President and CEO of NeuLion added: “NeuLion has become the market leader specialising in the broadcasting, distribution and monetisation of live and on-demand digital video content to Internet-enabled devices.
“We are delighted to partner with the English Football League (EFL) so that we can bring to their clubs and fans, the same level of experience we provide fans of the NFL, NBA, UFC, and others.”
“The EFL is one of the oldest competitions in the world of football and NeuLion is excited to be the technology that will enable this next generation fan experience.”
Fiona Proudler, Managing Director of Realise said: “The EFL is an organisation we are fiercely proud to now be supporting. As one of its new long term digital agency partners, we share a common goal with the EFL – to support the needs of the clubs, the fans and the football community effectively and to take that responsibility seriously.
“Football ignites passion and we feel privileged and delighted at the prospect of working together to deliver digital best of breed solutions with the EFL, its member clubs, sponsors and key partners.“