Major League Baseball Creates Innovative, Digital Fan Experiences with Wi-Fi and Analytics

Sports and public Venues: MLB

Recently, Extreme President and CEO Ed Meyercord interviewed Major League Baseball’s Chief Operations & Strategy Officer Chris Marinak to discuss how Extreme customer and partner Major League Baseball (MLB) is leveraging technology and data across the league. The interview highlighted some of the innovative ways MLB is connecting with fans in new and exciting ways.

“We believe at the heart of baseball is using technology and data to reach our fan base. It’s a core tenant of what we do here at MLB.” – Chris Marinak

Commitment to the Fan Experience

The league has prioritized technology initiatives over the last two decades to better understand and engage with their fanbase. Investments in technology have resulted in products such as MLB. TV, the MLB app, and the MLB Ballpark app, which all further enhance the experience of fans both at the ballpark and at home. In 2021, MLB selected Extreme Networks as its Official Wi-Fi Solutions Provider as well to bring Wi-Fi to players, fans, and staff at ballparks across the league. Wi-Fi has become the backbone to providing fast and reliable connectivity in the dugouts, bullpens and across the ballpark.

Enhancing On-Field Performance

All teams in Major League Baseball have access to iPads connected by secure Extreme Wi-Fi 6 access points, so players and coaches can access stats, information, and video replays to make in-game adjustments. Clubs that have embraced technology and data are seeing more success; two-thirds of last year’s postseason teams were in the top tier of network data usage.

“The clubs who embrace technology and embrace data are the ones that are more successful… and we see a clear correlation between traffic on our iPad’s and winning on the field.” - Chris Marinak

Minor Leagues to the Majors

On average, 70 million and 40 million fans annually attend MLB and MiLB games respectively. The MLB often tests new technology in the minors before using it in the majors, as seen with PitchCom which was implemented in MLB at the beginning of this season. Currently, MLB is experimenting with an automated balls and strikes system that has been proven to be accurate within a tenth of an inch. It’s been largely recognized as a success thus far in the minor leagues and could be seen in the Major Leagues down the road.

Additional Topics Discussed Include:

  • Leveraging technology and data in the dugouts and on the field.
  • Initiatives and programs to make baseball more accessible to young kids.
  • Streamlining access to MLB venues using biometrics and advanced technology.

Learn more about Extreme’s partnership with Major League Baseball here.

This blog was originally authored by Sam Holland, Sports Marketing Intern.

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