With all eyes in the United States centered squarely on the Big Game coming up in a few weeks – the first time ever that it will be played in a cold weather environment – we have turned our attention to another type of football, one played the world over.
On Tuesday, the Norwegian Professional Football League, through a framework agreement with Datametrix, will become the first league in the world to implement Cisco Connected Stadium Wi-Fi and Cisco StadiumVision Mobile. This league-wide initiative, which will begin with four teams (Viking, Rosenborg, Vålerenga (Ullevaal stadium) and Haugesund) will give fans in Norway the most connected experience possible and place them at the center of the action.
This is incredibly exciting news for the Cisco Sports & Entertainment Solutions Group. As the worldwide leader in this industry, venues and teams continue to embrace our solutions in close to 200 venues around the globe. This ground-breaking agreement clearly shows that the fan experience will be transformed by and through investment in technology. When an entire league has the foresight and vision to embrace this, the change will not be piecemeal, but pervasive and extend to all fans, thereby resetting the playing field by which all others should and will be evaluated.
This is a great example of how the Internet of Things and Everything are transpiring today. As our networks power fan consumption, and more and more things are added to that offering, it is clear how that live in-venue experience becomes vastly more valuable.
In the coming months, we are going to see more premier sports venues adopting our solutions, and we can’t wait to share the news with you. They will join the likes of football venues like AT&T Stadium where the Dallas Cowboys play (more than 19,000 fans, or 20% of the venue connected at once over our Connected Stadium Wi-Fi network at a game at the end of Nov.), MetLife Stadium where the New York Jets and New York Giants play (see my previous comments about a pretty important event there coming up in a couple weeks!), Santiago Bernabeu the home of Real Madrid, and Etihad Stadium home of Manchester City.
The word “football” might have different meaning to people, but ultimately the fans of each sport want to be connected, engaged and placed at the center of the action. The good news is that we are doing just that, evidenced by the Norwegian Professional Football league providing a model for the sports world to follow.