Recently one of Cisco’s Sports and Entertainment customers, Little Ceasars Arena in Detroit, Michigan, was awarded Sports Business Journals, Facility of the Year Award. An incredible accomplishment for the arena, beating out other Cisco customers Notre Dame Stadium, SunTrust Park/The Battery Atlanta, T-Mobile Arena, Target Center and U.S. Bank Stadium.  The project is part of the broader District Detroit project, a $1.4 Billion dollar development underway in the urban core of the city of Detroit. In all the Little Ceasars Arena project is a great blend of cutting edge technology and history.

“Every seat in the house is great. In addition to being state-of-the-art, it has every conceivable amenity. An incredible use of technology, and remarkable tie to history and tradition of this great Original Six franchise.” -Gary Bettman, NHL Commissioner

To accomplish this great outcome it took a small army of people and partnerships collaborating with the teams, venue, city, league and ownership all with the goal of creating true “digital transformation for fans” with massive collaboration and seamless execution to carry out every detail. It reminds me of when I started to build my current home 10 years ago. I hired a home builder who consulted with the city, county, utilities companies, architecture firms, technology firms, and all of the various partners that provided components and systems to the home my family and I love today.

This same analogy is how our partner ecosystem works in Sports and Entertainment and certainly how the project at Little Ceasars Arena was accomplished. Let me show you a small sampling. In the Little Ceasars Arena project we counted up at least 24 partners that Cisco and its partner ecosystem collaborated with to deliver things like Cisco Vision, Connected Stadium Wi-Fi, Connected Stadium and much more. Yes, 24 (at least). To give you additional detail, partners like Century Link provided the technology for Cisco Vision and Connected Stadium Wi-Fi, ecosystem partner Venuetize provided the application experience in the venue and various other systems have then been integrated in the mobile, signage systems and networking systems to offer a turnkey experience. Pretty powerful when you pull it off and the epitomy of a partner ecosystem.

This is where it gets fun and why I get up every day trying to help marry our various partner types together in the spirit of true digital transformation as well as streamlining our industry approach for Sports. For our traditional partners considering entering the Sports & Entertainment industry, please do. It’s fun, but like building a home, it can be somewhat complicated.  The industry is filled with lots of interested parties, but know going into it that true digital transformation is happening and its an industry that Cisco has deep experience in, with a resume of over 400 venues worldwide as customers! Not only have we been able to provide world-class technology in the Sports & Entertainment Industry for well over a decade, we’ve also had to collaborate with the industries partner ecosystem to gather deep experience and a point of view to help our customers through this journey, just like at Little Ceasars Arena.

Recently we started to showcase several of our ecosystem partners or “industry partners” in our Industry Ecosystem Education Webinar Series for Sports including EVS, Purple, Local Measure, Venuetize, Phunware and Ampthink just to name a few. Each of these partners offer use cases leveraging and integrating Cisco solutions that you,  as a channel partner, can use to help you with the business case, ROI modeling and that digital transformation message that will help you win business. From engaging with companies that offer content/replays in venue and on your mobile device to monetizing guest wireless, expanded food service options, to providing services for you to deliver Cisco Vision in new and dynamic ways, we have you covered with our comprehensive partner community in this industry. You can research more about this ecosystem by visiting the Cisco Ecosystem Partner Locator too, but have confidence as you go into this market or expand your existing presence in this market that we can help you.  Just think of Cisco as your helpful foreman as you build your presence in the Sports & Entertainment industry!

For more information on how Cisco is helping partner’s through digital transformation and industries like Sports and Entertainment please visit our Industry Partner Guide in Sales Connect or visit our technical community for Sports.


Bryan Bedford

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

Global Partner Organization