how the village football team “Hoffenheim” storms the Bundesliga, and what’s the point of IT

how the village football team “Hoffenheim” storms the Bundesliga, and what’s the point of IT

The football club “Hoffenheim” was formed in 1899, and in German football they are called village teams (well, how in our country “Lokomotiv” are called stokers), because until the end of the 20th century, the club remained an amateur team of the village of the same name with a population of about 3,000 people. At the beginning of the nineties, Hoffenheim was still playing in the Bezirksliga, which is the seventh division, almost at the level of backyard teams. But after 30 years, the team is already playing in the top 10 of the Bundesliga (the highest division of the country). This is the result of the hard work of the entire team: the coach, the players, and last but not least is the special software developed for Hoffenheim.


Greeting! This is the TEAMLY team. We have developed a platform for knowledge, team and document management. We are particularly interested in cases of optimization of work with the help of software, especially if the result is actually there. Just like the Hoffenheim success story outlined in this article.

Parallel to the growth of Hoffenheim’s success, SAP is also actively developing, a software development company that later took third place in the world after Microsoft and Oracle. One of the founders, Dietmar Hopp, played for Hoffenheim himself in his youth. He did not forget his native team and in 1990 became its owner. This was the beginning of the close cooperation between SAP and Hoffenheim, which continues to this day. As a result, the team is now known as the most innovative club in the Bundesliga, setting the standard for the training and development of young players.

According to Jan Mayer, managing director of TSG Hoffenheim, young talents from his club reach the top league 23% of the time, compared to the national average of just 3%. For this, the SAP Sports One platform was developed, which includes monitoring the health and performance of players, personalizing interaction with fans to increase engagement and loyalty, and all business processes have also been transferred to the platform. Based on the data, the coaching staff builds a strategy with an eye on the season or the next game, historical data and a unique base of accumulated knowledge are used – all this is included in the overall architecture of the program.

As a result, the entire management of the football club is concentrated within the framework of one decision.

Physical objects that support SAP Sports One

Of course, the results of a football team depend on training. And technological solutions were created for them:

  • Footbonaut – a box measuring 14×14 meters. 72 empty cubes are mounted in the walls, illuminated in different sectors, where the players have to send the ball with different speed and rotation. All results are, of course, recorded for analysis and improvement of training techniques.


  • Helix Arena is a virtual reality scenario for training cognitive skills. All boys (and girls too) dream of such a game, in which the player is offered to solve simulated situations in real time, both individually and in pairs.

Helix Arena

What knowledge is used in SAP Sports One

The programs are powered by SAP Interactive Data Science, an interactive room and co-working space. Collected data and unique experience accumulates in a common knowledge base that cannot be obtained without physical training. After processing knowledge, other, more complex situations on the field can be simulated to maximize skills and decision-making speed.

What accumulates in the knowledge base:

  • plans and results from each training session based on the characteristics of the player (here integrated wearable devices, physical and psychological tests, etc.);

  • performance test results;

  • historical data of the team’s game experience;

  • observation of medical indicators, specialized scientific research and news;

  • digitized progress of each player and the entire team.

Based on this, training programs, development routes and training of neophytes are created.

Work with talents should be mentioned separately. To achieve a high level of development from a rookie to a major league player, SAP has developed its own neural network. She compiles consolidated scouting reports and updates recommendations.

What accumulates in the database:

  • game results;

  • data on the schedule of examinations, training, games, etc.;

  • health information

Based on this data, a strategy is developed, matches are planned, and interaction with fans is carried out – updating information on the website, selling tickets, questions and answers.

Thus, in SAP there are separate mobile applications with access for team management, players and coaches. Each user has his own personal account, where relevant information for him is displayed.

SAP Sports One is available to other clubs

Of course, other sports clubs could not fail to be interested in the program. Currently, SAP Sports One is used by 80 clubs and federations of various disciplines in 18 countries (football, hockey, basketball, handball and rugby). Among the large business partners of the ecosystem is a full-fledged competitor of Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga – the football club “Bavaria” from Munich. By the way, on January 12, “Hoffenheim” lost to “Bavaria” 3:0.

In addition to monitoring health and training, “Bayern” uses other SAP plushies designed specifically for them. First of all, it concerns the fan community. “Bavaria” is a club known all over the world, incomparably (so far?) with “Hoffenheim”.

What was invented for them:

  • an application for use at the stadium: in it you can order food and find out about the status of the order, as well as arrange delivery directly to the seat, so as not to be distracted from the game;

  • a fan program that combines data from 52 systems, including needs and interests, to help personalize offers.

In the history of the Hoffenheim club, the most important thing for us is the skillful handling of knowledge management. SAP managed not only to create an ecosystem that unites the management, players and fans of the club, but also to competently integrate into it the processes of training, analysis of past experience and talent management. This was the most important step on the way from an amateur town team to the status of one of the leading clubs in the country.

Commercial break

Come to our webinar on February 20 at 12.00. Let’s talk about how to manage the tasks of the development team in smart tables that are available in TEAMLY. The webinar is strictly applied – take it and do what it says. The event will be held online, in general, and there is no need to go far.

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