Sports – they never disappoint. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, the impossible happens. Like a 16-seed beating a 1-seed in the NCAA March Madness Tournament for the first time ever. Congratulations to UMBC (that’s University of Maryland, Baltimore County) for an unbelievable, historic win last Friday – and for an equally impressive Twitter game that capitalized on the moment and had the entire sports industry buzzing.

With hundreds of games happening around the country and sports mania at its peak, March Madness is a good time to reflect on the importance of a solid foundation – both in the game of basketball and in building a network infrastructure that will deliver on the digital expectations of sports fans today and for years to come. As with every significant sport and entertainment event, connectivity and technology play a prominent role in the overall fan experience and enjoyment level.

With more than 350 venues in over 40 countries around the world, it should come as no surprise that Cisco-powered venues are at the center of the March Madness action. From first-time host sites like Little Caesars Arena in Detroit to staples such as (get it?) the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles and the TD Garden in Boston, fans can be confident in a secure, reliable and intelligent digital experience no matter who they are rooting for. (Please bear with the sports analogies for just a bit longer!)

  • Security – As every basketball fan knows, ball security is of paramount importance. Likewise, fans connecting to Cisco’s Connected Stadium Wi-Fi can breathe easy knowing that Cisco’s industry-leading cybersecurity solutions ensure that their information is safe and protected from the moment they log-on.
  • Trust & Reliability – Game day can be intense, and for venue operators, there are a million things happening at once. But with Cisco’s infrastructure in place, teams and venue can have much-needed peace of mind in knowing that there will be no downtime for the network. And with so many multi-purpose venues in the industry today, Cisco Vision allows arenas to quickly transform the venue to fit the needs of the specific event. Similarly, fans can expect that the high-density wireless network will seamlessly deliver all of the real-time content that they crave – from scores to replays to social media networks to brand activations and more.
  • Intelligence – Oftentimes, the winner of a basketball game comes down to more than just pure physical skills, but rather who has the superior basketball IQ. Intelligence – both on and off the court – cannot be underestimated, which is why Cisco has built the world’s most intelligent, intuitive and automated network to deliver on the ever-increasing expectations of fans and contribute to the bottom line of teams and venue operators.

With partners in all of the major sporting leagues around the world, Cisco has been an industry leader for nearly a decade in bringing digitization and innovation to the sports and entertainment industry. Learn more about Cisco’s Connected Sports Solutions here.