Cisco began to invest in the sports and entertainment industry beginning in 2008 with the creation of a single converged network that would support the future of connectivity in a venue. We’ve come a long way since then, and that technology and numerous others have been relied upon by hundreds of venues in countries around the world. One of the most prominent is Sofi Stadium and Hollywood Park in Los Angeles. A connected, visually dynamic marvel, it will play host to NFL Super Bowl LVI in 2022 and is home to the NFL’s new West Coast headquarters.
The NFL, the most influential sports league in the world, is a long-time customer of Cisco, and today we are thrilled to officially announce that Cisco has been named an Official Technology Partner of the NFL. The League shares our view that over the course of the next few years connectivity will reshape the sports industry and redefine what is possible. We believe that digitization and connection are more important than ever before, and that we are currently at a significant inflection point that presents an opportunity to create dynamic, digital experiences for their 187 million fans.
For Cisco, this platform is an incredible avenue to showcase how our technology creates simplicity in times of growing complexity and adds enhanced security in a time of expanding connectivity.
Together, Cisco and the NFL are committed to creating a new chapter in the sports and entertainment industry by developing the first ever Connected League – where a unified, intent-based networking architecture will connect all 30 venues to the League itself. This network will allow the league to support all facets of gameday operations, ranging from safety and security to sideline communication and video replay, while being more flexible, responsive, and resilient.
This single, secure foundation is the central component of every sports and entertainment partnership we have today. From Riot Games to Live Nation, from City Football Group to the United States Golf Association, from Tokyo 2020 to the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, which we also announced today, we are focused on driving measurable results through our solutions on a global basis.
Our unified perspective across all our partnerships aligns with our purpose – to power an inclusive future for all. Access to technology is the key to closing the digital divide, and tech for good, across every industry, is something we all must embrace.
With the NFL, that starts by using our educational platforms, such as Cisco Networking Academy, to engage and create opportunities for fans in each NFL market. Networking Academy has already changed the lives of millions of students around the world, and we aim to continue extending our learning platform to create ways for people to seize economic opportunity and educational advancement. This is just one fantastic example of how this partnership can allow us to create a positive impact, outside the sport itself, and reach underserved communities across the U.S.
These are exciting times, and we look forward to collaborating with the NFL and numerous other partners in the years ahead to impact industries and power a brighter, more inclusive future for all.