Fans attending Seattle Seahawks home games at CenturyLink Field can be connected to all the action no matter where they are in the stadium, thanks to the free stadium Wi-Fi and the Seahawks Mobile App! In order to alert the fans to these amenities, Extreme Networks Wi-Fi Coaches™ roam CenturyLink Field to educate them on the stadium’s Wi-Fi, mobile app, other amenities, and active contests. I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Sandra Sanchez, the Seattle Seahawks’ Head Wi-Fi Coach. We discussed her experiences as a Wi-Fi Coach and how the program has enhanced the fan experience on gameday. Continue reading to find out how the Wi-Fi Coaches™keep fans reliably connected to the network and up-to-date on game changing plays. If you’d like to learn more about how the Seahawks use Extreme Networks technology, be sure to read the case study, CenturyLink Field Invests in High-Density Wi-Fi to Provide World-Class Connectivity to Seahawk Fans.
On average, the number of Wi-Fi Coaches staffed on game-day ranges from 10 to even 20 personnel who roam the stadium, prepped and ready to help connect the nearly 70,000 fans to the network. Sandra told me, “Being a Wi-Fi Coach is a great way for our team to connect with fans. My recommendation for other stadiums is to make the Wi-Fi Coach program your own and continue to make improvements to it. You can only get better from there.”
A Wi-Fi Coach’s job starts about four hours before kickoff with a team meeting to discuss job assignments, network updates, refresh training, and how to use the team’s communication app, WhatsApp, to stay in touch with the stadium’s network operations center. The Wi-Fi Coaches will work through halftime educating and helping fans, and then report back for a debrief meeting during the 3rd quarter of the game. During this debrief, the team discusses positive experiences, the most asked questions fans had, and any issues they noticed throughout the game.
In addition to managing the program’s gameday operations, Sandra is also a lead on the Seahawks Street Team, the department the Wi-Fi Coaches report to. This is Sandra’s 4th season with the Seahawks and her first as a Wi-Fi Coach. Get the scoop on what it’s like to be an Extreme Networks Wi-Fi Coach at CenturyLink Field from Sandra’s perspective based on our Q&A.
What is your favorite part of being a Wi-Fi Coach?
Every game is different, so I get to have a different experience every time! I really enjoy getting to interact, meet, and speak with a diverse group of fans every gameday. It’s really interesting to speak to visiting fans and people from out of town that have never been to the stadium before. I get to meet a lot of first time stadium visitors. If I was doing something else at the stadium, I wouldn’t necessarily get to experience that.
What’s your most commonly asked questions at games?
I’d say questions vary from game to game, but one of the most asked questions is “what do I have to do to get Wi-Fi?” And we inform them that it’s free and walk them through the steps to onboard.
What are fans reactions to your presence at games?
They know that we are there to help them! We’ve made ourselves easy to approach and available to help them with anything they need. Fans reactions are always positive to anything we help them with because they know we are experts in the stadium.
Do you have any tips for fans attending home games at CenturyLink Field this season?
Download the Seahawks app! It will show you a map of the stadium and keep you updated throughout the game. It’s a great way to stay connected while attending the game!
Would you say things have changed for the coaches from season to season? Have there been improvements?
We’ve already improved from just the beginning of the season by creating signs that say, ‘Ask me how to connect to Wi-Fi.” We noted that during preseason, it was hard for fans to find us, so, we got the signs. The number of fans we help went up significantly, at least 2-3 times from preseason because fans now fans know we are around and feel comfortable approaching us to ask questions.
What’s a memorable, fun story you have of being a Wi-Fi Coach?
It’s always fun to hear stories of where fans are visiting from! I get to meet a lot of people from out of state. One fan told me they came from the town next to the one I grew up in and their child was going to be playing my town in a soccer game the following weekend. It was like the ‘what a small world’ phenomenon.
The great thing about the Wi-Fi Coach program in Seattle is that they don’t fumble when it comes to the fan experience – the entire Seahawks organization strives to provide fans with the most engaging experience possible. The Wi-Fi Coaches are exceptionally trained on how to address fans needs and solve any issues they have Wi-Fi or stadium related and since many members of the Street Team are also Wi-Fi Coach trained there are actually additional stadium employees available to answer fans questions during game day.
To learn more about the Extreme Networks Wi-Fi Coaches Program, read the Wi-Fi Coaches Enhance Fans’ Game Day Experience blog and look out for more upcoming blogs taking you behind the scenes with individual Wi-Fi Coaches and stadiums from around the league.
Just so you know, Super Bowl LII will be the 3rd Super Bowl equipped with an all-star team of Extreme Networks Wi-Fi Coaches in-stadium assisting fans. The 2017 NFL season is Extreme’s 3rd straight season holding the title of the Official Wi-Fi Provider of the NFL, and marks Extreme’s 5th consecutive year as the Official Wi-Fi Analytics Provider of the Super Bowl.