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Big Results at the Biggest Events

It is only a matter of time before all the major sports venues throughout the world will be connected. Consider this – five years ago, Cisco Connected Stadium Wi-Fi, the only high-density solution of its kind, was in the development stage. The pace of innovation has been exponential, and this past month, AT&T Stadium, host of the NCAA National Championship Game, saw nearly five terabytes of data come across the network. To put that in perspective, the entire printed works of the US Library of Congress is 10 terabytes, so half of that amount crossed the network in just a few hours!

Or, look at this past weekend in Arizona as American football’s Big Game took place. It was the sixth consecutive year that a Cisco Connected venue was chosen to host arguably the biggest one day sporting event in the world. And, what did you see? Scores of fans using the network, sharing photos and video, and engaging through technology. Collaborating with CDW and the Arizona Cardinals has been seamless, and our collective expertise makes the experience fans have at University of Phoenix Stadium flawless.

“There is nothing we get more excited about than seeing fans having a fabulous time using their mobile devices to consume, interact and share content at University of Phoenix Stadium,” said Mark Feller, VP, Technology, Arizona Cardinals. “We worked with Cisco and CDW because they have the track record for being the best in the industry at connecting the unconnected. As host of the Big Game at our Stadium, we needed a network and Wi-Fi platform that would be flawless – and Cisco and CDW delivered.”

Not enough? Look at one of the leagues that is hyper-focused on connectivity and innovation – the NBA. This year’s All-Star Weekend will be held in two venues, Barclays Center and Madison Square Garden, both of which are utilizing Cisco Connected Sports solutions, including Connected Stadium Wi-Fi.

Think about where we will be in 2019? The vast majority of venues will be connected, however, during that time people, things, data, processes and more will also become connected as part of the Internet of Everything (IoE), and the opportunities for fans, players and organizations to capitalize on that connectivity will be transformative. The entire fan experience will always be based on the excitement of the live event. Nothing replaces that, but the opportunities to customize that experience, through analysis of data coming from everything being connected to the network, is incredibly powerful, and it excites us about the future.

This is not just a US phenomenon. It is happening globally as already more than 275 venues in 35 plus countries are operating Cisco solutions. We enjoy a global market leadership position because we focus on delivering solutions that work, and giving fans the connected experience they are looking for in this Internet of Everything hyper-connected world of today!

We are incredibly bullish on how the Internet of Everything is going to benefit the sports and entertainment industry; from the emotional and connections that fans will make with their favorite teams and players to how venues and leagues will create new revenue while also creating efficiencies.  Nothing will trump being in a stadium with 20,000 or 80,000 screaming fans as the game comes down to the last play or shot. But there isn’t any reason that experience can’t be enhanced when it is connected  and part of the Internet of Everything.

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Pure Madness, That’s A Connected Fan

2014 Bracket

I love this image – Cisco’s take on a bracket, like the ones so many of us filled out recently. It taps into the fact that the appetite of sports fans is almost insatiable with the buffet of content available to them, and that a network is their ticket to eat. Consider the fact that March Madness Live, the NCAA’s live stream of the men’s basketball tournament, saw record 51 million live streams through the first weekend, more than entire 2013 tournament. In addition, the social component of sports continues to explode. Over the first weekend, the five most tweeted about games generated more than 1.5 million tweets. And brand engagement continues to grow on social with sports fans as well, with seven out of ten fans being willing to take action with a brand beyond just a “like.”

This isn’t a shock to Cisco. We have seen the rapidly escalating desire of teams, venues and leagues to deliver reliable connectivity, live video, and afford their fans the ability to share their experiences on social media. It’s why we have installed our solutions in more than 200 venues in 30 plus countries globally. Today, this trend continues as the Danish national stadium PARKEN, in Copenhagen, announced it will be installing Cisco Connected Sports solutions – Connected Stadium Wi-Fi, StadiumVision and StadiumVision Mobile, an unparalleled suite of technology and business drivers for the stadium. This comes on the heels of the announcement just a couple months ago that another Nordic entity in Olso, the Norwegian Professional Football League, will be using Cisco to deliver Wi-Fi and mobile video in ALL of their venues in the near future.

When you are watching basketball this weekend or next, remember the image above and note that Cisco’s goal is to connect the unconnected fans everywhere – like only we can. It is something we are doing at the Honda Center, where games are being played this weekend, at AT&T Stadium, where the Final Four and NCAA Championship game will be held, and around the world at venues that host some of the biggest clubs and most prestigious events. From Copenhagen to Cowboys Stadium, from Oslo to Orange County, California….Cisco is putting millions of fans at the center of the action.

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Continuing to Connect The Previously Unconnected…

The Cisco Sports & Entertainment Solutions Group is the worldwide leader in “Connecting the Unconnected” fans around the world. It’s not just something we say, it’s something we do day in, day out with our customers and partners in more than 200 stadiums across the world and also during Global Mega Events worldwide. Cisco is known for pushing the envelope and changing the way we work, live, PLAY and learn. We continue to bring the most innovative solutions to the industry, and since 2005 our goal to connect millions of fans with the action has come true across more than 30 countries, with teams, venues and leagues who are successfully using our Portfolio of Technology Solutions.

To name a few examples of world-class venues – the amazing MetLife Stadium (New York), the Mercedes-Benz Superdome (New Orleans), Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis), AT&T Stadium (Dallas), and Sun Life Stadium (Miami). The demand for a proven technology solution is growing leaps and bounds.

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