Centre of Expertise Urban Vitality

Fieldlab Reimagine Sports


Safe Event Attendance in Sustainable Facilities, Better Sport Performances and more Physical Activity and Memorable Group Experiences in Sport and Events. These are the three themes of the Fieldlab Reimagine Sports. The Johan Cruyff ArenA and the Royal Dutch Football Association offer 25 small and medium-sized enterprises the facilities and support to develop or test their innovative sport products and services. The Research Group Sportkunde/Sport Studies explores the innovations' impact on sport participation and spectator experiences.

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Why is it so great that this project exists?

Paul Huiszoon, project leader:

The project is so exciting as working with these 25 innovative enterprises gives us a glimpse into the future of sport participation and spectator services.

Project background

Like numerous other areas of social life, the sports and live entertainment industry was heavily affected by the measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. As a result, the entire industry came to a standstill in the Netherlands and elsewhere. The Johan Cruyff ArenA (JCA) and the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) joined forces in response to this crisis. Their goal is to revitalise the sports and entertainment business through innovation. Therefore, the JCA and KNVB opened their facilities and networks to small and medium-sized enterprises (hereinafter referred to as Innovation Partners). These can develop and test their innovative products and services in supportive and operational environments. In addition, the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS) joined this alliance as a research partner — the Fieldlab Reimagine Sports was born.


We aim to describe the future of sport and evaluate the innovations' creative power to shape future sport experiences, be it for participants or spectators.

Research method

We divided this project into three levels of analysis: macro, meso, and micro.

At macro level:

we explore how the 25 Innovation Partners, the JCA and the KNVB picture the future of sports consumption. Here, we follow a qualitative research method applying a survey strategy.

At meso level:

we zoom in on the fieldlab's three themes. First, we analyse the status quo of each theme. That is, what are the current developments in the respective areas? Desk research characterises the research method applied here. Further, we match this supply-side perspective with the demand-side: the consumer. Within the Memorable Group Experiences theme, we strive to update and validate the Sporting Event Experience Search (SEES) scale. Here, we follow a quantitative research method applying a survey strategy.

At micro level:

we focus on individual innovations. Per innovation, we examine one aspect, such as the reliability of a device/app or its user experience (UX). Here, we follow a mixed-method approach applying a case study strategy. In some cases, we introduce a longitudinal research design to, for example, track the UX over time. We are planning to realise four to six case studies on the micro-level.


  • A written report titled Fieldlab Reimagine Sports: Shaping the future of sport participation and spectator service that covers the three levels of analysis.
  • The research results will be published on our website valuable-experiences.eu and complemented by audio-visual material.

What is the expected social impact?

  1. Sport participants and spectators will profit from the products and services that have become market-ready or more valuable through the Fieldlab Reimagine Sports. Be it through better sporting performances and relishing more physical activity. Or by enjoying unforgettable sport events in sustainable arenas or from the comfort of your own home.

  2. Current and future sport business professionals will find inspiration and valuable insights on developments in the sport business and entertainment industry.

How the project contributes to education and research:

  1. By bringing case studies, research assignments, and the Innovation Partners into our classrooms and onto our pitches, we want students to become an integral part of the Fieldlab Reimagine Sports. For example, we will integrate cases from the micro-level analysis in the module Research Methods for Sport Management, where students learn how to write a research design.

  2. The meso-level analysis serves as an excellent case for the module Trend watching, where students examine trends in the world of sport. Also, students might test a performance tracking device and participate in longitudinal UX research. Another possibility is that students join the research group for 20 weeks for their graduation project. Then, they will support the group on the operational level and get a strategic assignment from one of the 25 Innovation Partners.

  3. We expect that all the new connections made in the Fieldlab Reimagine Sports will undoubtedly broaden the AUAS's network and eventually lead to additional internship opportunities for our students.

  4. The AUAS' Digital Society School joins this project with its trainee track for young digital transformation designers. For 20 weeks each, two cohorts of multidisciplinary, international trainees will work full-time on design challenges. The challenges result from our research insights and demands from the Innovation Partners. Ultimately, the trainees will prototype and test a digital solution that enhances the Innovation Partners' product or service.

Involved lectorates

  • Research Group Sportkunde / Sport Studies
  • Digital Society School

Subsidy provider:

European Union: European Regional Development Fund

Externe partners/stakeholders:

  • Johan Cruyff Arena
  • The Royal Dutch Football Association
  • 25 Innovation Partners



From 2017 to 2021, the AUAS was part of an earlier fieldlab called Spectacular Arena Experiences. Colleagues and students from the Faculty of Digital Media and Creative Industry (FDMCI) built the knowledge website valuable-experiences.eu . The website contains case descriptions, methods, and examples to accelerate innovation processes in the sport and entertainment ecosystem.

Published by  Urban Vitality 15 June 2022

Project Info

Start date 01 Jan 2022
End date 31 Dec 2023


Arno Hermans
Thomas Huyghe