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.