When an NBA basketball team takes the floor for a game, the fans in the stands, in sports bars and at home all focus on the team’s starting line-up. When they watch league MVP Steph Curry drain a game-winning three-pointer or LeBron James slam home a dunk over an opponent, it’s easy to lose sight of the contributions of the other four teammates on the floor or the eight other players who are sitting on the bench. And it’s easy to forget the hundreds of people who play important supporting roles behind them. It’s the team that makes the most skilled contributors that much better.
I want to tell you about those behind-the-scenes teams that are hard at work to make sure that fans are connected to every second of the action at an NBA game.
For example, at Philips Arena in downtown Atlanta, Boingo chose Cisco equipment to help build a state-of-the-art Wi-Fi network that creates an unforgettable fan experience. Boingo has installed Cisco access points in their high density network, a network that lets Atlanta Hawks fans get closer to their team than ever before. In addition to sharing their experience with others around the world via social media, fans are able to easily upgrade their seats, make their smartphones part of the “ATL lights” pre-game ceremonies, find concession stands, track players’ stats, and enter game-night give-away contests. It doesn’t matter whether you’re sitting courtside or up high in the stands, you’re always at the center of the action.
“Our average ticketholder at the Hawks is 34 years old. Wi-Fi is their oxygen,” says Steve Koonin, the CEO of the Hawks and Philips Arena. Boingo who designed, developed and manages the network deployed the Cisco access points in the arena last fall. Boingo provides fully managed network solutions before, during and after games and events. You can learn more about the digital fan experience and support that Boingo is providing the Hawks in Boingo’s Stadium Stories video.
And Cisco’s connections with the NBA go far beyond our equipment that Boingo used at Philips Arena in Atlanta. As the official technology partner of the NBA, Cisco created a high-speed arena network that feeds video and data from each NBA venue to a central media management center in New York. From there, it provides game video and statistics to fans’ computers and mobile devices no matter where they are. In this video you’ll see how Cisco and the NBA are delivering the digital experiences that today’s fans expect.
Around the world we are working with sports and entertainment properties to meet fans’ expectations. More than 350 stadiums and arenas in more than 40 countries have implemented our Cisco Connected Sports Solutions to boost the fan experience. We’re building the networks and delivering the digital solutions that keep fans connected today and into the future. In the last three years, we’ve seen fans’ interest in digital experiences more than double. In a recent global survey, fans told us that they expect more in their sports experience. Half of all fans surveyed want to control what they see on their mobile device, including unique camera angles. More than 60% want to be able to select replays to complement the live action. We think that number will continue to explode as more fans take more devices to games, connecting in new and more engaging ways.
Past, present and future, we’ve been working with innovators like Boingo to deliver a more connected and unforgettable digital fan experience. There’s never been a better time to be a sports fan.