Five short years ago, Cisco embarked on a partnership with the United States Golf Association (USGA), marking our first official foray into the sport of golf. We recognized an industry ripe for transformation, where technology could play a key role in bringing the game to a new generation of players and fans while also embracing innovation that could complement the rich history of the sport. More than ever, we felt it was a game that was ready, like us at Cisco, to be more inclusive, accessible, and welcoming to all.
As I look back at what we’ve accomplished together over the past five years, I’m immensely proud of the progress that we’ve made through our partnership. We debuted the first-ever ‘Connected Course’ at the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links, which marked the first time a USGA Championship boasted course-wide Wi-Fi and led to a four-fold increase in data consumption and nearly three-fold increase in connections. We worked hand-in-hand with the USGA during the COVID-19 pandemic when the world turned upside down and they needed a partner to help them seamlessly and securely deploy virtual connectivity solutions to engage fans and operate their event. And we’ve powered new broadcast experiences, such as the use of 4D technology, giving fans watching at home a new perspective on their favorite players’ swings.
This year, we’re building upon that progress at two of USGA’s marquee Championship events, where we are excited to debut USGA ShotCast Powered by Cisco, giving fans the ability to follow the action from both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open with 3D hole imagery and real-time radar data. USGA ShotCast will also archive every televised golf shot from both Championships and make them available to view digitally in near real-time – a first in the women’s game. This is a game-changer for golf lovers like me, and one more way that technology can enhance the experience for viewers watching at home.
Today, we not only are proud to announce a continuation of our very fruitful partnership with the USGA, but also note that we have dramatically expanded our portfolio in the sport to include organizations, events, and a roster of talented individual players who are all positively impacting the game of golf. The renewal of our partnership with the USGA truly marks another inflection point in Cisco’s growing support of the game and our commitment to “Teeing Up Tomorrow” – fostering greater inclusion in golf and creating more opportunities for more people to engage with the game.
“Teeing Up Tomorrow”
We’re doubling down on our commitment to use our golf platforms to carry out our company mission to power a more inclusive future for all, and at this year’s U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open, we will provide opportunities for standout Networking Academy students to assist with the installation and servicing of the network by creating Dream Teams at each event, including the first-ever all-female Dream Team at the U.S. Women’s Open.
But it goes even further than that. We’re upping the ante across our portfolio – by creating opportunities for people of all backgrounds to achieve their dreams in this sport through our partnership with the Advocates Professional Golf Association (APGA) Tour. This will come to life at the second annual Cisco Invitational, to be held in one of the most historic and prestigious locations in the game, Pebble Beach, California at two of their world-class courses – Spyglass Hill Golf Course and The Links at Spanish Bay – and matches the largest purse in Tour history at $150,000. Additionally, the event will make good on our promise to provide enhanced playing opportunities, with a sponsor exemption into the 2023 TaylorMade Pebble Beach Invitational up for grabs.
Whether it’s amplifying our support of the USGA’s newest Championship, the U.S. Adaptive Open, and shining a spotlight on these amazing golfers who bring the sport to new heights; or creating an Innovation Committee to bring together stakeholders across the industry to generate actionable ideas towards the future improvement of the sport – there is always more to be done and I am proud to say that you’ll find Cisco at the forefront.
Read the Press Release: