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Countdown to the Big Game: Cowboys Stadium and the Evolution of the Connected Fan

February 6, 2011 - 0 Comments

Blog post by David Holland, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Sports and Entertainment Solutions Group at Cisco

David Holland

In just a mere few hours, all eyes will be set on the “Big Game,” as kickoff comes to us from Cowboys Stadium.

Every year the Big Game draws billions of viewers worldwide, and people come from all over the globe to attend the game live. With the advent of high-definition video, fans are able to get a feel for the game unlike ever before at home. However, true sports enthusiasts continue to swear by the in-person experience, and there is no doubt the attending a game of this caliber is a dream most sports fans have.

There’s no doubt that 21st-century sports fans have evolved. They are connected – the use of the network to have unique and social experiences with other fans, teams and players, and having readily available stats and updates on the sports they follow has created a true paradigm shift.

So how do forward-thinking teams provide an in-venue experience for their fans that not only surpasses the home experience, but exceeds expectations for this ever-growing breed of fan?
The host of this year’s game, the Dallas Cowboys, are an organization that understands and embraces the rapid pace of technology innovation and the need to future-proof its stadium. By partnering with Cisco to deploy leading technology solutions, the Cowboys have a stadium that can meet fan expectations today and well into the future.

The Cowboys understood they would need technology solutions that would provide a dynamic high-definition experience for fans, the flexibility needed to offer advertisers and sponsors a more relevant role in the game-day experience, and the ability to transform the venue as appropriate for different events.

Cowboys Stadium use of Cisco StadiumVision™ (PDF), which is supported by the Cisco® Connected Stadium platform, delivers next-generation fan experiences and unique branding and promotion opportunities for all of the events it hosts Cisco StadiumVision integrates and distributes high-definition video with digital media content and interactive fan services to connect the Cowboys and the stadium with fans in entirely new ways.

Cisco StadiumVision

“Working with companies like Cisco, we are able to deliver a destination experience that extends beyond a football game and really changes the way fans interact in the stadium,” said Pete Walsh, head of technology, Dallas Cowboys. “Our investment in technology goes beyond what we can do today for our fans and partners. We are positioned to be able to adapt to their ever-changing needs for years to come.”

One of the most unique features you’ll see at the stadium are more than 3,000 high-definition video screens in the stadium, with Cisco StadiumVision enabling the Cowboys and event staff to control all video and digital content on individual screens, or any grouping of these, from a central console. These displays are customized to keep fans entertained pre-event, in event and post-event, by showcasing video and content such as out-of-town games and scores, unique perspectives on the game, targeted promotions, traffic and news from around the world, in addition to the action on the field.

By integrating Cisco StadiumVision, Cowboys Stadium is a highly adaptable venue, giving the organization the ability to attract and easily accommodate an unprecedented variety of major events from one day to the next, including concerts and marquee events such as the one this weekend.

So whether you are watching the game on TV or are going in-person — take a second to think about how different the game might be without the immersive use of technology. At Cisco, we are very excited to see these transformative technology solutions integrated into some of the world’s most marquee stadiums and arenas. We are excited to see many more cutting-edge innovations in the world of sports as technology and the fan experience continue to evolve.

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