By now, we’ve all seen the images of pop star Taylor Swift enjoying NFL games from the box seats with her celebrity friends. Her presence to watch Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, who she’s dating, has drawn extra eyes and ears to the football games. This has meant a spike in Wi-Fi traffic for the sports venues as people captured and shared her image with friends, family and media around the world.
These levels of unpredicted and unprecedented strains on capacity requires a network that can both support them while allowing your venue to deliver fans an immersive experience. This emotional experience lures them back, which in turn boosts revenue. Wi-Fi 6E connectivity enables seamless social media sharing and instant updates, strong network infrastructure improves ticketing, security, and staff collaboration while providing data-driven insights for better resource allocation and operational planning, and high-speed Wi-Fi connectivity and analytics allow for premium services, interactive advertising, targeted promotions and data-driven marketing initiatives. This, in turn, will boost revenue generation and improve fan engagement.
To date, Swift has attended several games where her presence arguably immediately overshadowed the actual game and attracted a whole new demographic’s attention. The memes are instant, the games she attends are among the most watched for the week, there is a huge jump in female viewership, and there is an economic boost as her outfits sell out immediately and interest in tickets jumps.
It’s an increased load that Extreme, as the official Wi-Fi Solutions Provider and Wi-Fi Analytics Provider of the NFL, is taking on. The partnership allows for an enhanced gameday experience as Extreme provides the infrastructure for stadium IT teams, who rely on Wi-Fi solutions and analytics to ensure seamless connectivity. Extreme’s solutions also provide valuable insights into fan behavior, including the additional capacity required as Swift’s presence causes a heightened frenzy of activity.
Through its solutions and technology, Extreme Networks is tracking the top fan engagement moments throughout the 2023-24 season. Extreme is tracking the most digitally engaged moments by analyzing stadium data.
Extreme is also working with team managers and executives to see how its Wi-Fi solutions can further enhance both the fan and player experience, like using AI to track ball movements on the field. Extreme is also using data analytics to optimize the fan experience.
For over a decade, Extreme has powered the NFL and the Super Bowl with Wi-Fi analytics, delivering IT-enabled user, device and application intelligence to the league and its teams. For Super Bowl LVII, 31.5 TB of data was transferred across the Wi-Fi network, and almost 49,000 devices were on the network.
Smart stadiums are the way of the future, and Extreme’s solutions provide an array of experiences both for fans and venue owners and operators. Seamless connectivity is essential, and Extreme’s Wi-Fi solutions allow for this on a consistent basis, even when the network is exploding with Taylor Swift images. Fans can preorder food and drinks wirelessly, eliminating the time spent in lines waiting. They can also use mobile ticketing, which gets them into the stadium faster and more efficiently. Employees can also use this technology, with game and event day staff checking in on mobile applications so they can get where they need to be in a timely manner.
Extreme’s solutions also allow venue owners and operators to understand their fans better, which improves the overall experience and in turn, increases revenue. Further, digital POS systems and mobile payments gives fans the option of how to pay, which keeps retail and concession lines moving. Real-time data can be used to inform fans of restroom and concession lines while also identifying bottlenecks. If those can be eliminated, the fan experience is improved, and opportunities for increased revenue are identified.
Extreme's solutions provide the best experience for fans, from entering the stadium, to buying food and drinks.
If the attention focused on Taylor Swift is ongoing, Extreme Networks will continue to provide support for the additional load on any sports venue network, as well as to continue to enhance the fan experience.
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