It’s pretty safe to say that 2020 hasn’t shaped up the way anyone expected. But one constant in the midst of it all has been innovation. Out of sheer necessity, we’ve seen organizations, companies and individuals innovate to take on the challenges of the new normal.

One of the industries where Cisco has stepped up is the sports and entertainment space, where our solutions have played a key role in connecting events, organizations, and broadcasters in new and unique ways, including The Match: Champions for Charity and ESPN’s annual awards show, the ESPY’S, which was hosted virtually for the first time. Each of these events – along with many others – has been a powerful showcase for Cisco, demonstrating the ability of technology to create truly memorable moments in challenging environments.

Now we look forward to this weekend’s U.S. Open at Winged Foot Golf Club, where as the Official Technology Partner of the United States Golf Association (USGA), Cisco will help to connect partners, media, and fans to this spectator-free event. Our support of the U.S. Open builds on our role at last year’s event at Pebble Beach Golf Links, where we debuted the first-ever Connected Course to enhance the on-site experience for people watching, attending, covering and working the Championship. While there won’t be fans on-site this year, our technology – and in particular Webex – will help to connect fans and media to the 2020 U.S. Open in a number of ways:

  • Virtual Media Center: Typically, the U.S. Open issues hundreds of media credentials to journalists to cover the event in-person. This year, there will be approximately 40 journalists on-site, leaving several hundred reporters looking to cover the event remotely. Powered by Webex Events, the U.S. Open Media Center is going virtual, bringing press conferences and flash interviews to media throughout the Championship.
  • Broadcast Integrations: All week long, Golf Channel’s daily “Live from the U.S. Open” show will feature a segment showcasing how Cisco technology connects the golf course. During NBC’s live broadcast, Webex technology will be used to bring past champions and golf personalities into the telecast.
  • Interactive Fan Boards: During Tuesday and Wednesday’s practice rounds, the golfers will be introduced on the first tee by special guest announcers via pre-recorded Webex videos. Keep an eye on the U.S. Open and Cisco social channels throughout the week to see some of these very special videos, as well as the players’ reactions to them. Webex will continue to be on the first tee throughout the Championship as it powers a virtual grandstand that will give select fans a virtual front-row seat.
  • Operational Wi-Fi: Cisco will deploy operational Wi-Fi 6 across the course to power the Virtual Media Center, USGA scoring, NBC broadcast and other essential on-course needs.

I’m incredibly proud of how we worked closely with our partners at the USGA to create custom ways to help them meet their business needs during these challenging times. I hope you will join me this weekend in tuning in to witness our technology on golf’s grandest stage and be sure to cheer on our three Team Cisco ambassadors who will be in the field – Chez Reavie, Brendon Todd and Viktor Hovland. Best of luck to all!


Jim Walsh

Senior Vice President

Growth Marketing