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The Customer Story blog series highlights how Cisco’s collaboration technology has helped customers solve their business challenges. Learn how Cisco is meeting customers where they are helping them achieve their business goals.

Case Study: Cisco Webex Collaboration Platform and Devices Connect Players and Fans

The U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open are two of the biggest golf tournaments in the world. Typically tens of thousands of fans come onsite to watch and be part of the four day events, while millions more tune in from home and gather together to watch the tournaments.

Due to the pandemic, both the U.S. Open and the U.S. Women’s Open had to be played as spectator-free events for the first time ever. In addition, there were restrictions around how many people could be on site from a staffing, partner and media perspective that presented challenges of their own.

The USGA needed a way to connect with fans, media and partners, making them feel like they were attending the event live. They needed the event to run smoothly from an operational perspective with a smaller on-site crew.

Video Collaboration and On-Site Connectivity 

The focus turned to virtual connectivity, and Cisco’s industry-leading video collaboration solution Webex played a critical role.

At Cisco, it is part of our corporate DNA to work hand-in-hand with our partners to understand their challenges and needs, and creatively come up with the right solutions that make sense. And this is exactly what we did with the USGA. There is no out-of-the-box solution, but rather a set of technologies that helped the USGA meet and surpass their expectations and objectives and deliver a championship unlike any other.

Man playing golf and onlookers looking with a Cisco Webex screen presenting the live footage

Webex Solutions That Made This Possible 

Countless hours of hard work and solutions were needed to fuel these events. USGA ended up using a combination of these solutions:

The breadth and depth of experiences for fans was unlike anything they had experienced before – from 1-on-1 chats with players, to a virtual front-row seat on the 1st tee – these are experiences that they likely would not have gotten if it they could be on-site, but Webex made them possible.

Impressive Outcomes

The fans who would typically be on-site for a Championship is just a small fraction of the overall audience who is watching on TV and following along at home. This year’s unique situation gave the USGA the ability to bring in a larger portion of those fans than ever before and engage them in new way.

Results included:

  • Virtual media centers
  • Broadcast integrations
  • Interactive fan boards to allow fans to be closer than ever to cheer on their favorite golfers
  • Champion Connect – families and past winners able to seamlessly connect to US Open participants
  • Operational Wifi

In Closing

This was a true-life showcase that necessity can drive innovation. What we collectively built with the USGA will not be an anomaly – some of the innovations and new ways of doing things will change how we approach live events, even after COVID. It has opened up a whole new way of thinking that will benefit event planners, fans, media and more.

Read the full case study 

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