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São Paulo International Airport (GRU) Gets Ready for Some Fútebol with Wireless Network Upgrades

This is a customer perspective guest blog contributed by Zack Sterngold, Boingo Wireless Vice President, Americas.

The largest airport in South America, Brazil’s São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport (GRU), is primed to become one of the world’s most popular destinations. Already an international business hub, Brazil will grow in popularity as a tourist mecca, as travelers flock to the country’s beaches and one of the world’s most beloved sporting events: the World Cup.

To keep pace with the needs of savvy international business travelers and prepare for the fútbol fan onslaught this summer, GRU is upgrading terminals, introducing new traveler services, and working to deliver fast, reliable wireless service to connected passengers. GRU has partnered with Boingo to design and launch a new, state-of-the-art Wi-Fi network from Cisco ahead of the World Cup this summer. The new system will better support international passengers and improve connectivity for all travelers, sports fans and employees throughout the airport.

And travelers are projected to be more connected than ever. A recent study from MMGY Global found that a new category of “Digital Elite” travelers – or those carrying at least two mobile devices – has grown by 600% in just two years to become the new normal. Sports fans don’t leave home without their Read More »

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Today’s live sports experience is like no other

We’re down to the Final Four. And although the only team left in my bracket is Michigan, Louisville, Syracuse, Michigan and Wichita State are going to deliver incredible basketball on-court this weekend.  For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been glued to my TV, NCAA March Madness App and my iPad to stay on top of the latest action. This weekend I plan to do the same, but I only wish I was going there in person, because the live experience, today, is like no other.

georgia2_dome_1

Georgia Dome (courtesy PBS)

Fans from around the country that will be at the Georgia Dome will forever remember the experience of being there, and the beauty, this time around, is that they will be able to connect with family, friends, and people around the world live as they share their experience with photos, video, and interactions through any social media channel. With Cisco’s innovative Connected Stadium Wi-Fi, which was designed carefully for this venue, and implemented by our partner CDW, we are making the next-generation fan experience possible during this year’s Final Four.

Fan expectations are greater than ever, mandating a mobile, immersive, personalized and social experience that is fueled by being connected in new ways, to more content, to more people, and to more things or devices.

Cisco’s mission is to continue to “Connect the Unconnected.”  Fans across the sports and entertainment world are now able to experience this in a stadium near them, not just at the Final Four. Our technology powers the NBA and MLB data centers, allowing fans to consume video instantaneously, whether they are at home or on-the-go. Around the world in venues such as Estadio Santiago Bernabeu (home of Real Madrid) fans can tap into the high-density Wi-Fi network, and at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, fans can use the latest mobile video solution ­Cisco StadiumVision Mobile, which shows different camera angles of the action on and off the court.  Many other creative apps are being discussed around the world with our team of experts.

And this is just the beginning. It’s all part of the Internet of Things.  As as we look ahead to a not too distant future, the possibilities that the Internet of Everything will bring for sports teams, leagues, venues and fans are endless. We are now working on the convergence of data ­- wearable clothing that informs coaches about a player’s fitness level during the game.  Another development in the industry we’ve been asked to look into is when ­players take a pill that allows for immediate analysis of injuries by team doctors.  And lastly, we are looking into connecting ‘things’, such as balls, bats, pucks, and more to deliver real-time stats to fans about how far a ball was hit, how hard a puck was shot, or how fast a player ran. All of these possibilities will continually drive the transformation of sport and Cisco is leading the way in the market.

Cisco will be at the center of these opportunities, because our intelligent networks will continue to connect the unconnected elements in sports and live events, and in turn, create more real-time experiences. We are doing it today, and we will be doing it in the future. Tomorrow Starts Here.

 

 

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Cisco Sports & Entertainment – Barclays Center In A “Fan” State of Mind

“There’s nothing you can’t do, now you’re in New York” – An Empire State of Mind – JAY Z

JAY Z  opens Barclays Center in Brooklyn next week, with the first of eight consecutive sold out concerts.  Lead by a strategy where the latest technology innovations will fuel engaging fan experiences like never before, Barclays Center will show it knows how to throw a party.  Concertgoers, Brooklyn Nets fans and all other guests visiting Brooklyn’s highly anticipated new arena will enjoy a new generation of fan experiences that complement the world class talent on the stage and hardwood court.

Recent research shows that 75% of fans attending live events are likely to have a mobile device, approximately 50% will take photos with the device, and close to 50% of them want to share their experiences with family, friends and the rest of the world through social media channels like Facebook and Twitter.

With tens of thousands of fans in stadiums and arenas trying to connect through the network to share their experiences and access a host of other media rich applications, it is often challenging to get a reliable connection or any connection at all. How many of you have been at a sports or entertainment event recently where poor reception left you disappointed? (Real Madrid Blog) Cisco and Barclays Center have addressed these complex issues native to high density environments through state-of-the-art technology offerings. Read More »

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Technology & Your Social Network – New Game Changer in London Olympic 2012

Take a look around. Almost everything you see is touched by technology today, sports included. Imagine a spray-on clothing within a couple of decades that repels water or Triathletes could enter a “spray chamber” to change their clothes between events and 3D printing to build kit such as running shoes to suit the weather on the day or compensate for injury before a runner goes out on the track. All this and more will surely work up adrenaline to technology savvy sport lovers.

Technology is the new game changer in Olympic sport. And all sport fans would agree that technology is as much a part of an athlete’s armory today as nutrition, training and coaching. As human pro-thletics advance, science and technology will not only make possible the disabled to compete, but the able-bodied to do better. Do you know, Tiger Woods had eye surgery to improve his (normal) vision. Well, sounds fine to me. But consider this.

In 2009, the swimming regulatory body, Fina, banned high-tech swimsuits after 94% of races at the 2008 Beijing Olympics were won by competitors wearing the LZR racer suit. The suit is said to cut an elite swimmer’s time by around 2%. Michael Phelps himself said, “When I hit the water [in the LZR swimsuit], I feel like a rocket.” Within a week of its launch, three world records were broken by swimmers wearing the suit. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LZR_Racer)

Seems to me it’s less likely that poorer countries with less sports budgets can keep up. Is it not surprising that poorer countries compete less in sports involving a lot of technology, such as cycling, sailing and rowing. And lets not forget the amount of investment that goes into training elite athletes is phenomenal.

Dr Emily Ryall, senior lecturer in philosophy at the University of Gloucester and vice-chair of the British Philosophy of Sport Association, says “The Olympics is never going to be a fair competition. So much high-performance sport is driven by technology now, from sports nutrition to psychology to clothing and footwear.”

But enough on technology impacting players…that’s one side of the story. What about technology impacting the fans, the audience themselves and how. One big shift is clearly social media. But why? It’s simple: Four years is an eternity in Internet time and since the last Summer Olympics in 2008, social media has exploded.

 Game Changer for Players

 (Source: www.kttape.com/?s=social+media)

Not just the , the entire web universe has evolved from 1.5 billion users in 2008 to 2.3 billion users in 2012.

(Source: http://www.internetworldstats.com/blog.html)

Facebook:

2008: Facebook hit the 100 million-user threshold mark in 2008 passing MySpace in popularity.

(Source: http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/facebook_hits_100_million_user.php)

2012: Facebook claims more than 835+ million users, is fast becoming a portal to the web at large for many and is a publicly traded company. Its founder Mark Zuckerberg is a global celebrity today. (Source: www.internetworldstats.com/facebook)

Twitter

2008: 2008 saw explosive growth for Twitter (Source: http://twitterfacts.blogspot.in/2008/06/2-million-twitter-users.html)  and it still finished the year with about 6 million registered users who sent about 300,000 tweets per day.

2012: On March 21, 2012, Twitter celebrated its sixth birthday while also announcing that it has 140 million users and sees 340 million tweets per day. The number of users is up 40% from their September 2011 number, which was said to have been at 100 million at the time. (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twitter)

YouTube

2008: In July 2006, Youtube declared more than 65,000 new videos uploaded every day with 100 million video views per day. By fall of 2008, YouTube users were uploading 10 hours of video to the site per minute. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Youtube)

2012: London Olympic moments are sure to go viral and become immortalized on YouTube seemingly as they happen this summer, and it’s easy to see why. Youtube says it receives over 800 million unique visits per month watching more than 3 billion hours of video per month and upload 72 hours of new video content per minute.

Just looking at the staggering numbers of these three social networks reveals a sporting scene and world at large that have been transformed by social media since the last Summer Olympics.

And did I miss to add that I have’nt taken into account services like Pinterest, Foursquare and Google+ — none of which even existed in 2008. This summer, expect news to break, social sharing records to fall and moments to live on as never possible before, all thanks to social media!

One wonders to think — will all this pale in comparison to what 2016 has in store? One can only imagine.

How innovatively did you leverage social media during the 2012 London Olympics?

 

 

Please note: “The opinions expressed in this blog are my own views and not those of Cisco.”

 

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How Legendary Leagues: NHL and MLB Embrace Social Media in Sports

We came to know some interesting stories of players embracing social media in my last blog post: Courage in Sports: Titanss of Social Media. We also learned that some leagues are not embracing the use of Social Media during live events. Did the National Football League (NFL) take things too seriously or were they only taking precautionary steps to check team room discussions going open or even trivial field issues between players getting nasty behind wary eyes of the coach, management and sponsors.

So, not only can NFL players not tweet during the game, they also can’t post updates for the 90 minutes before and after a game or (presumably) during halftime. And it’s not just players; coaches, officials, and even press must stay away from their phones, too. Incidentally, fans who are watching the game are not prohibited from using Facebook, tweeting, or texting during the game, thank goodness. Read More »

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