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Cisco Networking Academy Dream Team: Deborah Connects at NBA All-Star 2015

This week, Cisco Corporate Social Responsibility will follow Deborah Huyler and Andrew Torres, two Cisco Networking Academy Dream Team students, as they set up wireless access points, provide network troubleshooting, and soak in the sights and sounds of NBA All-Star 2015. They’ll be sharing their stories from Madison Square Garden, the Barclays Center, and other event venues through journal entries, photo slideshows, and videos!

Read about Deborah’s third day below:

Hi again, everyone. It’s my third day working with the NBA’s IT Team as a member of the Cisco Networking Academy Dream Team, which means I only have two more days left in New York City.

I really wish it wouldn’t end; it would be a dream-come-true to do this everyday.

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Cisco Networking Academy Dream Team: Andrew’s First Day at NBA All-Star 2015

This week, Cisco Corporate Social Responsibility will follow Deborah Huyler and Andrew Torres, two Cisco Networking Academy Dream Team students, as they set up wireless access points, provide network troubleshooting, and soak in the sights and sounds of NBA All-Star 2015. They’ll be sharing their stories from Madison Square Garden, the Barclays Center, and other event venues through journal entries, photo slideshows, and videos! Read Andrew’s first post below:

Hi everybody, my name is Andrew Torres. I’m currently enrolled in Cisco Networking Academy courses at SUNY Adirondack in upstate New York with hopes of earning my Cisco CCNA certification in routing and switching within the next few months.

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About three weeks ago, my instructor, Karen Woodard, approached me with the opportunity to work with Cisco and the NBA’s IT team to help prepare and set up the venues in New York City for NBA All-Star 2015. It’s an event so large that millions of people from around the world tune in to watch some of the league’s best basketball players take the court.

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Connecting Basketball Fans with Teams at the NBA D-League Draft

It’s almost November, which means we’re about to begin what is now an annual basketball tradition. For the fourth year in a row, the NBA Development League Draft will be conducted entirely via WebEx!

On November 1, beginning at 3:30 p.m. Eastern, all 18 teams will make their picks from the D-League draftee talent pool to boost their 2014-15 season rosters.

D-League Draft FinalInstead of making the teams travel across the country to one place, or attend a long, tedious audio conference call, D-League teams will participate from the comfort of their team offices as if they gathered together in the same room. Through the use of the built-in video conferencing in WebEx each team will link to all the other team representatives and they will see, hear and interact with each other in real-time. By combining all the tools the teams need – voice, video and content sharing – in one place, we’re giving each of the 18 teams the best opportunity for a great draft experience from anywhere in the country.

One of the many cool things about my job is seeing all the fascinating ways customers use Cisco’s products. And it’s especially exciting when I get to see customers use our technology with something everyone is avid about – sports! Whether you are a basketball, baseball or football fanatic, managing a fantasy team, or keeping up with the latest prospects, or watching the up and coming players it is all part of the excitement. Through the use of WebEx conferencing, we get to bring these worlds together even more. Read More »

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Any Given Sunday and the Internet of Everything

On any given Sunday, or Saturday, in stadiums across the country powered by Cisco Connected Stadium Wi-Fi, an average of 2 terabytes of data are coming across the network and tens of thousands of unique connections are being made. This means anywhere from 20-50% of ticketed fans are using their mobile devices to engage. Extrapolate that out to stadiums around the world holding soccer/football, rugby, basketball and other sporting events, and on any given weekend hundreds of thousands of previously unconnected fans are connecting to elevate the live experience.

The stadium or arena, and the services the venue and surrounding areas consume, mirror that of a city – safety, security, transportation, entertainment, food, commerce, and more. This microcosm is a wonderful showcase for the Internet of Everything (IoE) and the new business opportunities made possible. As people (fans, athletes, entertainers), process (operations, fan engagement, transportation management), data (performance, fan-generated, operational), and things (balls, bats, pucks, merchandise, parking spots) become connected, the world of sport will be radically enhanced.

A great example of this is AEG and what they have done with STAPLES Center and LA Live. They are delivering everything a fan wants at L.A. Live with hotel, food, dining and entertainment options in and around the venue. At STAPLES Center they have multiple teams, concerts and other events, making it home to more than 250 events and four million plus visitors annually. Add to that mix new experiences and business opportunities, and what results is a pulsating environment that runs and thrives on being connected. Step beyond the United States and AEG is doing the same thing with The O2 in London, and numerous other venues around the world such as Allphones Arena in Sydney, which recently announced the installation of Cisco StadiumVision.

More and more, I see an industry embracing the need to plan for an IoE based future. Last week Cisco announced its renewal as the Official Technology Partner of the NBA, and one of the key new additions to that agreement was a research and development initiative that will feature a committee of executives from both companies with a focus on employing principles of the Internet of Everything to enhance courtside connectivity within NBA venues. Click here for a front row seat at how Cisco and the NBA are already making IoE come to life. 

In addition, TD Garden in Boston is another great example of a facility leveraging Cisco solutions such as StadiumVision and Connected Stadium Wi-Fi as part of their overall facility renovation.

I couldn’t be more enthusiastic about the opportunities that lie ahead for the Sports and Entertainment industry as part of IoE. We are going to be a leader in the changes taking place for the more than 250 venues in 30 plus countries around the world already working with Cisco, and those that will be as we collaborate to capture the opportunities that IoE will make possible.

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Sports + Social Media = Massive Opportunities

I was at the SEAT Conference in Miami last week, and people are still abuzz about the recent World Cup. Attendees of the conference see engagement with sports fans as a top priority, and they know that Cisco has the most open, tailored and successful solutions to make that possible in venues around the world. The data below from Facebook and Twitter shows just how voraciously fans engaged on social media with regards to the World Cup.

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As the world continues to become more “social” than ever before, teams, venues, leagues, and companies are working more feverishly than ever to capture the massive opportunity these sports fans present in the digital world.

Every conversation I had during the SEAT Conference validated that Cisco’s investments in Sports & Entertainment have positioned us to aid our customers to capture these digital fans. Over the past few years we have solved the problem of reliable and efficient high-density Wi-Fi, and live video streaming with minimal delay, and that is why our solutions are in more than 225 venues, and 30 plus countries, and have impacted hundreds of millions of fans. And with a proven platform in place, we are working with our customers to convert these more connected and immersive experiences into deeper levels of insight and engagement that drive impact, both on a personal level with fans and on the business side with sponsors and other associated partners looking to generate a return on their investments.

While many are looking at capturing the opportunities of the here and now, this is only the beginning.  The rapid pace of technology innovation mandates preparing for the future and as we visualize a world where everything is connected (Internet of Everything – IoE). This video series shows how Cisco and the NBA are already deep into this process. Check out the “One Bounce” video here.

As big data fuels deeper levels of fan insights, the future experience will be richer, and ultimately feed the insatiable hunger for information that these fans have already shown. Being a sports fan will be better than ever before, and Cisco will be right in the middle of making that happen.

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