The Invictus Games is an international sports tournament for physically and/or mentally injured soldiers and veterans. The tournament uses the power of sport to encourage recovery, support rehabilitation and to generate a wider understanding and respect for those who serve or have served their country. Approximately 500 athletes from twenty countries participate and compete with each other in ten different disciplines.
The event was first held in London in 2014 and has been organized annually since then. In 2020, the first Dutch edition would take place in The Hague: Invictus Games The Hague 2020. However, due to corona, the organization had to postpone this event twice. As a result, this edition will now take place from 16th to 22nd April 2022 in the Zuiderpark in The Hague. The event is organized by The Power of Freedom Foundation, supported by the sports events agency TIG Sports.
The organization of such a tournament is quite a challenge. In addition to all the logistical challenges associated with such large events, this tournament also has several specific challenges. “Many participants have specific wishes because of their physical or mental limitation”, explains Cees Juffermans, CMO/COO of the organizing committee. “For example, regarding their accommodation and transport. In addition, this event is a multi-sport event in which the athletes can participate in multiple competitions. That’s not something you are likely to come across in other events, and therefore there were no standard solutions available.”
In previous editions, the registration process for the athletes was done via separate forms, documents and countless Excel sheets. “The processing took a lot of time and was also prone to errors,” says Juffermans. “There was a tool available, but it was very expensive and did not eliminate the need for manual intervention.”
This new innovative solution ensures that team managers from the different participating countries can easily register participants, link them to the chosen sports and preferences and note restrictions and other details. The team managers can easily register accompanying family and friends as well. The solution collects all this information in a central database. The organizers can quickly request the desired information from the user-friendly cloud application.
The quick and easy retrieval of all the necessary information is very appreciated. According to Juffermans, it will not only save a lot of time and energy, but it also provides a solid foundation for all follow-up processes, such as creating the competition schedule, booking hotels and arranging transport. “We don’t have to consult all kinds of Excel sheets for this anymore. We retrieve all the necessary information from the system easily. That was very different in the past. I was also involved in sporting events before, but it has never been easier than it is now.”
another goal: to stimulate the fan experience and to create awareness. Visitors to the Invictus Games can easily retrieve stories about the identity and background of the participants with their mobile phone. “In this way we create awareness about their background, and the fact that peace cannot be taken for granted. We also stimulate awareness about the role of Defense in society and we add a deeper meaning to the experience of the event,” says Juffermans.
According to Juffermans, this content is not only valuable for visitors. “With this solution, we can easily share this information about the participants to the media. It also provides a good foundation for developing our own storylines. We can now more easily determine who we would like to interview for social media.”
“Together with our team, including TIG Sports, SAP and Expertum, we started developing in an agile environment. We were able to act quickly with a small team. It was mainly about selecting the functionalities we really needed. We have a lot of wishes and the tool could theoretically have endless possibilities. However, we are of course limited by the budget. Fortunately, everyone was very motivated and enthusiastic. That really helped to deliver something meaningful within the time and budget,” says Juffermans.
The app is developed on the SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP). According to Sjoerd van Middelkoop, director and partner at Expertum, a deliberate choice. “SAP BTP contains many ready-to-use building blocks, which allows us to quickly set up the basis of an application. Thanks to our broad experience in designing and developing apps, the use of visual elements in combination with the knowledge of TIG Sports, and the Invictus Games organization in the field of sports events, we were able to act quickly together and achieve concrete results in a short time. We are extremely proud of the result and the contribution we can make to this great initiative.”
At this moment the finishing touch is being made to the fan engagement functionalities in particular. Van Middelkoop: “Due to corona, this event was postponed twice. However, the app has now been further developed and offers more extensive fan engagement functionalities . We of course would like to emphasize that part well, because this is the part that the visitor will get to see.”
If it is up to Van Middelkoop, the project will not be completed after April 2022. “We are currently already in contact with the organization in Düsseldorf where the next 2023 edition of the Invictus Games will take place. Everything we do now, can also be seen as a future investment in the Invictus Games.”
More info: Invictus Games