November 11, 2013

Stadiums, WiFi and Rising Expectations

The rise of mobility – smartphones, tablets and mobile data has converged with the rise of social media to create some new and unique challenges. Users expect to always be connected and with the ubiquity of WiFi, 3G and now 4G LTE data, they often are. Unfortunately this starts to fall apart when too many people gather in the same relatively small space and all try to use their mobile data services at once.

That’s where stadium class WiFi comes in. When you have more than 68,000 fans in the house and you advertise your free WiFi and the Eagles Mobile App for iPhone, iPad and Android, you best have your data connectivity well sorted. Judging by the number of fans connecting to the WiFi network (peak useage up to 1/3 of the stadium at once) the Eagles have WiFi well sorted indeed.

Once data connectivity is solved, a lot of things become possible. For example, NFL Red Zone replays and other content can be viewed via that mobile app. Fans are also able to participate in social media while at the game. Picture this – the fan arrives at the stadium. First he checks in with Foursquare, because someone has to be Mayor of Lincoln Financial Field. Then at his seat, he takes pictures of his view of the field, which he posts to Instragram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter. As the game progresses, the Eagles open a progressively larger lead over the other team, which our fan gleefully Tweets and carries on a witty banter about with some friends on Facebook.

Meanwhile, in the next seat, another fan is also enjoying WiFi connectivity. He has the official Eagles Mobile App. After a particularly exciting (for the Eagles) or tragic (for the other side) play, he fires up NFL RedZone and watches a multi-angle replay. Another feature of the Eagles app that he uses every game is the handy player stats feature. After seeing Fletcher Cox with an awesome tackle involving some spectacular athleticism, our fan pulls up his stats and is surprised to see that Cox is a full 6’4”, 300 lbs, amazed that such a big man could move so well.

The next seat over, we have another diehard Eagles fan. Not only is he excited about what is happening on the field, but he is also excited about what is happening with his fantasy football league. The stakes are high, he and the guys from work always make a big deal about their fantasy football action on Mondays in the breakroom and he wants to know what is happening. Fortunately with Extreme powering the WiFi in the stadium, he can connect and know that while his Eagles are doing very well today, his fantasy efforts are going to earn him a good bit of grief from his coworkers come Monday. Better to know than be left wondering.

While some of these things may not seem like a big deal, when you are trying to deliver a premium experience to the customer, they count and help contribute to a better experience.

This is why we are particularly excited to be sponsoring a Mobility Summit at Lincoln Financial Field, an event touching on the importance of mobile technology and the role it can play in building engagement with the fan base at the intersection of technology, digital marketing and pro sports.

The Mobility Summit will take place Wednesday, November 13, 5-8:30pm Eastern.

The lineup we have for this event is powerful:

  • Michelle McKenna-Doyle, SVP & Chief Information Officer, NFL
  • Don Smolenski, President, Philadelphia Eagles
  • Vala Afshar, Chief Marketing Officer, Extreme Networks, Inc.
  • Adam Ostrow, Chief Strategy Officer, Mashable
  • Priya Narasimhan, CEO & Founder, YinzCam, Inc.
  • John Gallant, SVP & Chief Content Officer, IDG Enterprise
  • George Scott, General Manager of Club Sites, NFL Digital

Hope to see you there.

Go Eagles!



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Extreme Marketing Team

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