Cegeka becomes new title sponsor of Racing Genk’s stadium

27 August 2021 Consultancy.eu 2 min. read

Cegeka has become the new title sponsor of Racing Genk’s stadium, expanding a relationship that goes back to the summer of 2019. 

Two years ago, the Belgium-headquartered IT services group (over 6.000 employees in 11 countries) first forged a partnership with Belgium’s 2018/19 champions, becoming an official sponsor of the football club. Now, that relationship has been expanded to include the stadium, which has a capacity of just over 23,000 seats. 

The 10-year sponsorship deal will see the stadium rebrand from the Luminus Arena (named after the previous sponsor, energy company Luminus) to the Cegeka Arena. The IT group becomes the third stadium title sponsor since the turn of the century, following Luminus and Alken-Maes (a Belgian brewery). Previous named of the stadium (built in 1999) include the Cristal Arena and the Fenix Stadium. 

Cegeka becomes new title sponsor of Racing Genk’s stadium

As part of the deal, Cegeka will apply its technology capabilities to turn the Cegeka Arena into the country’s first 5G stadium, said Racing Genk (formally KRC Genk) president Peter Croonen in a statement. “Using this technology will provide us with wonderful opportunities across several areas,” he said. 

For one, 5G can benefit the team. Using real time data of players tracked by sensors across the pitch and stadium (known as ‘internet of things’ technology), the coach (the Dutchman John van den Brom) and his staff can gain in-depth insight into player performance. Leveraging this information, they will be able to help players improve their game, and lift the team’s overall performance. 

The internet of things landscape will also help the football club better manage how it operates its stadium (example: crowd management) and provide opportunities to enhance the fan experience. “We can provide them digital experiences based on virtual and augmented reality,” explained Croonen.

Racing Genk’s commercial director Davy Vanhaen, who replaced 20-year club veteran Stephan Poelmans at the start of this year, said: “It is an honour to be able to engage in this innovative technology partnership with Cegeka. It will provide both of us a launchpad into the future.” 

Stijn Bijnens, the CEO of Cegeka, described Racing Genk as an ideal partner for the company’s ambitions. “The Cegeka Arena will deliver a major positive impact to our brand reputation. And the stadium will provide us with a great testing ground for advancing our 5G technologies and expertise.” 

According to a recent study by Analysys Mason, the benefits of 5G to Europe’s economy could be huge, adding over €200 billion in value added in the coming years. The technology can benefit a vast range of sectors, from manufacturing and aviation to events and sports.