A year ago, I was packing my bags to attend the most important annual event in American football: The Super Bowl. What a dream! But my experience would be unique as I wouldn’t be a fan in the stands cheering on my team. I would wear a purple shirt and help those fans living their dreams have an even better experience. How would I do it? As an Extreme Networks’ Wi-Fi Coach.
A Wi-Fi Coach is an individual that assists fans with the accessibility, usability, and reliability of a stadium’s large-scale high-density wireless network and supports game day apps.
While the Coach focuses on empowering his team, we, as Extreme Networks Wi-Fi Coaches, improve the fan experience by assisting fans in connecting to a secure network on game day. While the Coach pushes his team to their maximum, we assist the stadium operators by testing the connection in real-time and ensuring it operates at its maximum. While the Coach helps his team as needed, we help fans, staff, and event operations before, during, and after the game. We’ve got their back!
As certified Wi-Fi Coaches, we traveled to Los Angeles a couple of days before the Super Bowl to prepare for the big day. Most of us trained for months, working for several games at Gillette Stadium, where we supported fans and stadium operators every game day.
Even with all the experience, as Super Bowl Wi-Fi Coaches, we needed more than the knowledge acquired on the field during those months.
At the training, we learned how to support fans and the network operations team in various ways, such as understanding how to troubleshoot Wi-Fi, becoming familiar with the stadium’s infrastructure and improving our interaction skills to assist fans in an appropriate and timely manner.
The big day arrived. We gathered at seven am to organize the final details before heading to the stadium—we were ready!
Once we were set and in our assigned positions—we used a buddy system to improve the approachability and efficiency of our group in the stadium—fans started arriving, and digital ticketing was their first contact with the event’s connectivity. By walking through the gates, fans could connect with the electric energy and to the free Wi-Fi network assisted by a Wi-Fi Coach at SoFi stadium.
When talking to the fans, we noticed that many didn’t know there was free Wi-Fi in the stadium. Others needed to be mindful of the stadium app’s benefits. Such as watching replays in real time, participating in trivia, or finding the closest bathroom to their stands. Between small talk, smiles, and the excitement of seeing their team in a few minutes, fans and Wi-Fi Coaches connected, enhancing the experience on one of the most memorable days in their lives.
As the stadium filled up, so did the network connection. We, as Wi-Fi Coaches, were constantly scouring every corner of the stadium. Ensuring that fans could access a better connection in each section. In addition to chatting with curious fans who inquired about our program, we constantly tested the Wi-Fi connection. And if for any reason, we discovered intermittent service, we immediately informed the stadium team, who took care of the problem in real-time.
Through our collaboration with ExtremeAnalytics, the stadium operation team could foresee potential connectivity threats before they materialized, enhancing operations, lowering risk, and providing a better-connected experience.
When kickoff arrived, the stadium focused on the game. While both teams were giving it their all on the field. We, Wi-Fi Coaches, we’re giving it our all in the stands.
The Wi-Fi Coach’s work does not stop after the game. During our small talk, one of our roles is to pay attention to fans recommendations. Every comment and interaction opens the door to a better experience, an enhance fan relationship and new business opportunities for the NFL. We are always listening to fans needs and communicating them to the League.
Extreme has been improving the fan experience with its Wi-Fi Coach program for over a decade. During that time, more than 600 Wi-Fi Coaches have been trained across the country, seven Super Bowls and the 2021 and 2022 Major League Baseball All-Star Weeks have been supported. The program has also been expanded to Europe at the Berlin Olympic Stadium.
The Extreme Wi-Fi Coaches team is ready to enhance the fan experience at Super Bowl LVII. Find us wearing a purple shirt when attending the game and share it with us!