Anyone who goes to stadium events like concerts and football games knows that the event itself is only half the fun. Smartphones have become an integral part of the live event experience, serving as portals that allow attendees to share their experiences in real time with friends on social networks. As exciting new technologies like augmented reality continue to grow more popular, companion apps are gaining mind-blowing features that are becoming a key part of the live event.
Of course, none of that is possible if attendees at concerts and sporting events don’t have fast and reliable internet. Most people don’t even stop to consider this, but it’s no easy task keeping tens of thousands of people connected as they share photos, upload videos and use data-heavy apps. Poor connectivity can completely ruin the experience: think of all the action that is missed as people try over and over again to send messages or upload media to sites like Facebook and Twitter. Think of how frustrating it is to deal with slow connections and failed uploads while trying to enjoy a show or game.
For a long time, that struggle was the norm at every major concert and sports event. The number of people and the number of devices in a highly dense environment placed a significant burden on in-venue networks, hindering the full functionality of attendees’ smartphones. But now, thanks to solutions from companies like Extreme Networks, sports fans and concert goers can enjoy fast, reliable Wi-Fi that allows them to fully engage with events.
Extreme Networks is a leader in connectivity solutions for live entertainment. As the Official Wi-Fi Solutions Provider of the NFL, Extreme delivers high-density Wi-Fi to 10 NFL teams and Wi-Fi analytics to another 12 teams. In fact, Super Bowl LII marks the fifth consecutive year that the company has been named the Official Wi-Fi Analytics Provider of the Super Bowl.Connectivity and analytics solutions are ideal for supporting the stadium experience of the future, and the keys that enable organizations to engage with fans in a variety of new ways.
Keeping Users Connected
Extreme Networks’ ExtremeWireless solution provides stadiums with secure, high-density Wi-Fi for fans and employees alike. With ExtremeWireless, friends and family can stay connected with each other as they explore arenas for a new vantage point or head to a concession stand for a refill. Additionally, attendees can stay in touch via social media and upload photos or videos without worrying about dropped connections or eating up cellular data plans.
At the same time, Wi-Fi connectivity helps stadium employees run events smoothly and efficiently. From mobile payments to ticketing, employees can quickly scan users’ devices and know that their information is being processed quickly. For those managing the network at a stadium, having a reliable Wi-Fi solution means not having to worry about downtime or outages.
Ensuring a Personalized Experience
With ExtremeAnalytics, not only do event holders have access to network performance metrics, they also have a view into how guests are using the network. For example, the NFL was able to observe exactly how fans used social media during Super Bowl LI last year, as well as during key moments throughout the event like the halftime show. The NFL can then take this crucial information and use it to further tailor the gameday experience for fans at future games.
Users can expect this personalized experience to continue even after they leave the stadium. Because analytics help network managers understand their customers, they can follow-up with customized emails, advertisements and more. As analytics continue to improve, there’s no limit to how they can be used in marketing and advertising campaigns.
Reducing Downtime If Issues Arise
Like ExtremeAnalytics, ExtremeManagement is an administrator-facing feature that adds tremendous value for the organizations that host these events. It’s a full management system that resides on a single pane of glass, allowing network administrators to identify network issues as soon as they arise. This enables issues to be addressed as quickly and painlessly as possible for the network managers and end users alike.
Securing Customer and Organizational Data
Speed and reliability are obviously of the utmost importance for any large network, but there’s another piece of the puzzle that is equally important: security. That’s where a solution like Extreme Automated Campus comes into play. This secure, end-to-end solution gives network managers 360-degree visibility, allowing them to identify and contain security breaches before they have the chance to do any damage. Managers know their networks are safe, while customers can rest assured that their personal information — including credit card data — is secure.
The Stadium of the Future
It’s fairly easy to see why stadiums and organizations like the NFL keep coming back to Extreme Networks to make sure attendees have the best possible experience, but shaping this experience is not only about providing solutions during the event. It’s also about anticipating the needs of tomorrow’s customers and supporting the critical business goals of the future.
Extreme envisions scenarios such as “what if you could see the first down lines from your stadium seat, instead of just at home?” “What if front row isn’t good enough and you want to virtually place yourself onstage at a concert?” As live event apps continue to push boundaries with technologies like augmented reality, reliable and secure networking solutions make the experience memorable, sharable and incredible.