March is an awesome time to be a sports fan! There are tons of games to watch including basketball, hockey, soccer for everyone, plus the start of baseball, and of course the year-round presences of Esports. Whether its teams making the final push towards the post-season, like in basketball, or in some cases teams starting their seasons, like baseball, it’s sports overload and honestly, I love it!

But within these season’s, we see teams, players and coaches evolve, transform and innovate. We are also seeing change and digital transformation happen in the entire Sports & Entertainment industry and it’s an area Cisco has prided itself in and helped lead during the past decade.

What I love about this area of innovation and change is that it’s at Cisco’s core. Simply put, we are building business relevant technology, applying use cases and partnerships that broaden the digital transformation, while offering innovation to our end customers at every turn, and to be built on top of our networks and platforms that will then serve as business platforms to foster the next phase of innovation! Wow, that’s a lot, but that is indeed what we have going on at Cisco.

From mobility solutions, collaboration, core networking, venue wireless, IP broadcast, and digital signage, our Sports & Entertainment strategy with our partner ecosystem is driving newer and cooler use-cases leveraging things like crowd-sourcing, social media, artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain and IoT.   I recently spent time with two of our most cutting-edge ecosystem partners; Local Measure and WaitTime to uncover what they are both driving with Cisco as their partner in the sports and entertainment industry. Let me share my findings with you:

First, you may have heard our team at Cisco mention ecosystem partner, Local Measure, and the fact that they have a customer experience platform that provides customer insights for retail, hospitality, tourism, sports and entertainment industries. Pretty good list of industries right there! They give you insights into social content like nobody else can do and have created integrations into Cisco platforms like Cisco Meraki wireless, Cisco DNA Spaces, Cisco Vision Dynamic Digital Signage and Cisco’s Collaboration Suite just to mention a few. Recently they announced they are taking Cisco Collaboration tools and leveraging them to form a new partnership with Snapchat using Snap’s software. Brands will be able to surface publicly shared Snapchat content inside of Snap Map and display it in real time on Cisco Vision Dynamic Digital Signage, building on-site engagement with customers. How cool is that?  Here we have our ecosystem partner, Local Measure, listening to the needs of our Sports & Entertainment customers and their burning desire to create better fan experiences and drive engagement and ROI. Local Measure delivered a unique solution leveraging power of our full suite of solutions and forged a great third party ecosystem partnership of their own to create true value for the industry. Love it.

Secondly, you have the great work of our friends from WaitTime. The WaitTime team of course had their own innovation as they bring Crowd Intelligence & AI/ML technology and provide real-time fan traffic to sports and entertainment venues. What does this mean? Think of them as having the ability to see lines, congestion and so forth around a venue. They truly are the smart cueing dudes! They literally provide a first-to-market offering that allows venues to intelligently offer technology to fans to let them better understand wait times at concessions stands, bathrooms and any other area that is queued up at a venue.

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What I love about this is the fact that WaitTime leveraged its patented artificial intelligence platform to give operations personnel live information on crowd movement and density, while providing fans information they need to find the shortest wait times, integrated seamlessly with Cisco Vision Digital Signage system & screens located all throughout a venue.  Now that’s cool from a Cisco perspective, but what’s even more innovative is the Cisco & WaitTime partnership. A team, league or venue can now provide advertisers a captivating and innovative platform to reach fans in their seats and on the concourse through campaigns customized to the venue and audience.

Just think, now you can understand and monitor fan behavior, increase efficiencies in operations and meet the demands of your fans. All made possible with Cisco and our partner’s like WaitTime and Local Measure just to name a few.

In both cases, I love the innovation that our partner ecosystem is showcasing. These are ecosystem partners that our channel can leverage to add value in projects they are working on, and of course are important for our customers to take advantage of as well.

You see this is indeed a great time of year to be a sports fan and partner, and we wouldn’t want it any other way.

Keep innovating! For more information on our Sports & Entertainment Partner Solutions please go to www.cs.co/customerin.


Bryan Bedford

Global Industry Director: Retail, Hospitality, Sports, Media and Entertainment

Global Partner Organization