Monday, May 9, 2022

By: Sport Industry Group

Business services division of US comms company Verizon Business has announced a dedicated strategy aimed at bringing in-stadium technology and network capabilities common in US sports leagues to stadiums and venues located in Europe and Asia Pacific, with Old Trafford first to receive the upgrades.

The technology firm has partnerships with the National Football League (NFL), National Basketball Association (NBA), and National Hockey League (NHL) and provides infrastructure to support fan applications, public safety systems and crowd management analytics.

It also deploys ultra-wide band 5G connectivity at venues, delivering huge advances in speed, capacity, and reliability, complementing this coverage with private networks.

Europe falls behind the US when it comes to stadium technology and innovation. Verizon believes its expertise in North America, coupled with its global footprint mean it is well equipped to take advantage of a growing appetite among venue owner and operators to modernise their facilities.

“You cannot underestimate the impact transformational technologies such as 5G will have on innovation across the entertainment sports industries,” said Tami Erwin, CEO of Verizon Business.

“For years, we’ve been collaborating with facility leaders, vendors and fans to reimagine fan experiences. We understand the potential of these technologies; from deploying innovative fan experiences, shortening queue times, using analytics for fan safety or streamlining matchday operations. We have the experience, and now, an international ecosystem of partners aligned with our organisation who are just as committed to living up to the passion of fans who build memories at these venues.”

Working with partner Extreme Networks, Verizon Business has been selected as a technology deployment partner for it’s the redevelopment of Manchester United Football Club’s Old Trafford stadium. The two companies have committed to providing HD-Wi-Fi connectivity to enhance the club’s digital services, such as mobile ticketing and touchless transactions.

As the club looks to modernise its iconic ground, technology will play a key part in enhancing the fan experience and encouraging supporters to stay longer. This will have a knock-on effect on revenues and engagement.

Extreme Networks COO, Norman Rice, said, “As leagues continue to evolve, the network will permeate every aspect of the in-stadium experience, from biometrics, mobile sports betting and mobile concessions. Additionally, the ability to unlock network analytics to better optimise fan experiences will be a game changer.

“Extreme and Verizon have a proven track record of collaborating to create best-in-class experiences for NASCAR, the NFL and NHL at some of the world’s most iconic stadiums, venues and events. Today we announced that we have selected Verizon as our deployment partner to roll out wireless connectivity solutions for Manchester United at Old Trafford, as part of Extreme’s relationship with the EPL club. We’re excited to partner and further extend that expertise into EMEA and APAC.”


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