Pitch perfect? The football stadium enhancing their grass with IoT

Paul Shanahan 

Paul Shanahan 

Intelligent Cloud Business Group Lead

Read Time, 2 min.

Is Johan Cruijff Arena the most innovative stadium in the world? It’s certainly looking that way. Well ahead of the curve on taking an environmental stance within their business practices, this Dutch arena achieved carbon neutral status before it had even become a global corporate priority. Now this European entertainment goliath turns its sights towards curating a data-enhanced grass pitch that is turning Euro competitors green with envy, all the while roadmapping wider initiatives throughout the city of Amsterdam. By utilising Microsoft BI and IoT, changing the way the grass is grown is just the start.

Granular analysis for a future-proof pitch

The grass is always greener, except when it’s not. Keeping a stadium pitch looking picture perfect probably isn’t the first thing you would think of when it comes to the use of data analytics and the IoT, but that’s exactly the challenge that Johan Cruijff Arena and Microsoft undertook. As part of the stadium’s transformation into a sustainable, data-led ecosystem of commerce and future-proof practices, a Microsoft-centric approach was taken to measuring every grain of grass for optimal conditioning, even in a temperamental Dutch climate. The implications of this smart-city approach to on-the-field intelligence has greater implications for smart-city initiatives throughout Amsterdam and other European cities.

On-the-ground data intelligence

Going beyond a place for the Dutch team Ajax to showdown with Real Madrid on the football field, Johan Cruijff Arena together with Microsoft are paving the way for new methods of implementing data intelligence. This data rich pitch has already led to a 20% increase in grass quality―and it doesn’t stop there. As time goes on and more data is collected the effectiveness of pitch maintenance will improve exponentially. The recorded results showing reduced costs and power consumption can then be transferred across to other Arena and public projects, smashing all their environmental goals out of the park.

Grass is a very emotional thing. My dream is that you open Outlook and the grass is talking to you. It says ‘I’m okay today, but tomorrow, I’ll be even better’. It’s not me telling someone that the pitch is okay, the grass is telling people that it’s ready to host Ajax against Real Madrid.

Henk van Raan, Chief Innovation Officer, Johan Cruijff Arena

Read the full customer story.

Free AI Report: Artificial Intelligence in Ireland. How 277 major European companies benefit from AI

Discover how your Western European and Irish peers use AI to digitally transform their organisation

Discover more related articles per industry:

Education

  • a person sitting at a desk in front of a computer

    Reimagining Uninterrupted Learning at Sacred Heart School in Tullamore

    As students and teachers found themselves away from the classroom environment and learning from home, schools were again adapting to different ways of learning to ensure quality education continues. For the Sacred Heart School in Tullamore, Co Offaly, the staff and student body were well prepared to deal with this upheaval and continued to deliver […]

  • Northern Ireland moves to cloud-first education

    Northern Ireland moves to cloud-first education

    Northern Ireland moves to cloud-first education All teachers in the region now being equipped with Surface Pro laptops Transforming how education is provided in Northern Ireland over the next decade is a crucial goal for the region’s Education Authority.  To meet digital skills needs over that period and beyond, the authority is implementing a versatile […]

Finance & Insurance

Government

  • Two people inside using Surface Go in office

    How technology is transforming the work of governments

    Governments have the ultimate responsibility to their citizens. People depend on the services they provide like no other institution. Whether in healthcare, education, business, roads, railways, water – it’s essential that government institutions are always at the forefront of social and digital trends. Cloud-powered technologies are playing a critical role in helping government agencies to […]

  • a plane sitting on top of a grass covered field

    Fáilte Ireland Rapidly Adapted and Innovated with Microsoft Power Apps

    Fáilte Ireland Rapidly Adapted and Innovated with Microsoft Power Apps  When the Covid-19 pandemic closed offices globally and truly changed how every organisation functions, it created additional unanticipated challenges for many. Fáilte Ireland, the National Tourism Development Authority, was one such organisation which had migrated much of its work to the cloud. The tourism body, which employs 450 people, identified that […]

Healthcare

Manufacturing

Retail

  • A man standing in front of a truck

    Why leading Irish retailer Musgrave is ready for anything with cloud technology

    “When assessing the potential effects of major digital transformation projects on our business, we always think about three key constituents: colleagues, retailers, and consumers.” So says Paul Baguley, IT PMO for Musgrave Retail – Ireland’s leading food retail, wholesale and food service company. Together with its retail partners, who operate under leading brands including SuperValu […]

  • Big data boosts business for beverage company

    Big data boosts business for beverage company

    Contemplate, if you will, the multiple choices available every time you want something to drink. Water? Juice? Soft drink? Do you want a single-serve can or a six-pack? Or maybe you just grab a liter bottle. The fact is, we as consumers expect a lot of options and the global non-alcoholic beverage industry delivers. Arca […]

Discover more related articles per dossier:

Customer Stories

  • Vanoord ship in St Peterburg

    Van Oord eliminates manual processes to access real-time data and insight from any location

    By taking advantage of cloud-based AI solutions, one of the world’s largest dredging fleets was able to enhance its processes, free up resources, and focus on future innovation and growth. Imagine the scenario. Multiple ships in locations around the world, all with equipment documentation and certifications requested on a regular basis by internal staff, legislative […]

Digital Transformation

  • a person sitting at a table

    Innovation in Challenging Times, Our first Microsoft Talk 

    Innovation in Challenging Times, Our first Microsoft Talk   When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and some people build windmills  Chinese proverb   I had the pleasure of opening our first virtual Microsoft Talk which explored Innovation in Challenging Times. It was a great session, with some stellar speakers like Margaret Burgraff, a Venture Capitalist who talked about what opportunities may […]

Press

  • Image of a man and woman smiling

    Microsoft and Connect at Catalyst Inc

    Microsoft and Connect at Catalyst Inc It’s an exciting time to be working in the technology sector in Northern Ireland. More than ever before we’re seeing increased numbers of entrepreneurs, start-up businesses, and indeed multinationals setting up in the North. Working together and learning from each other encourages a strong technology ecosystem and ultimately yields […]

Security & Privacy

Tips

  • Group of two female and one male office workers brainstorming in informal office setting. Both women are using laptops while the man is writing. Large screen shown in background.

    2019 Modern Selling Trends in 5 webinars

    The relationship between buyers and sellers grows more complicated each day. Every potential partnership requires finding the right buyer, fully understanding their business, tracking progress through the buying cycle, and engaging them with the right content—when and how they want it. These shifting dynamics underscore the artistry of modern selling. When the time is right, […]