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den Park is the biggest sports ground in Auckland, New Zealand and is used for both the rugby union and rugby league

national teams during winter and the New Zea- land cricket team in the summer. Cisco’s StadiumVision solution was deployed within the stadium to deliver extended ex- periences for stadium visitors and also future proofed the venue’s technology infrastructure so it can continue to provide a great fan expe- rience for years to come. The technology has allowed Eden Park Sta-

dium to deliver fan content everywhere around the stadium so spectators can follow the action even while they’re out of their seats, as well as generating new forms of revenue through advanced advertising and sponsor messages. David Kennedy, Eden Park Trust’s CEO says:

“Creative and innovative use of technology is vital for us to be competitive and adapt to the demands of the tech-savvy spectator who expects a media enriched experience that gets them up close to the action.”

Eden Park Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand was a main venue for the 2011 Rugby World Cup Creative and innovative

use of technology is vital for us to be competitive

Cisco StadiumVision enables sports and entertainment prop- erties to manage video and digital content delivery to all TVs throughout the stadium or arena. Video displays at concession stands can be used to show live action from the game as well as dynamic digital menus, allowing venues to offer customised menus and pricing according to the event and audience. For in- stance, child-friendly menus for kids’ days or more sophisticated offerings for evening games or concerts. This can be particularly useful for football stadiums, where rules on selling alcohol dur- ing the game can differ depending on the competition. Prices can even be adjusted during the event to help sell off excess stock towards the end of the day.

The displays can also be used to show live feeds from other games, so fans can keep an eye on their team’s rivals during the game, and be used to entice fans to spend more time in the sta- dium before and after games.

Driving revenue growth

Such high levels of configurability within the network allow ven- ues to take in-stadium advertising and sponsorship to the next level. Live video streams can be complemented with targeted advertisements, including offers for upcoming events, special promotions or in-game offers, specifically tailored to the area of the stadium, the time of day or even key moments in the game. For instance, venues can display different adverts in the premi- um sections of the stadium to the standard seating, or introduce new adverts depending on the half-time score. At the click of a mouse, the stadium or arena can be customised to meet the unique needs of a concert and other unique events. Premium clubs or suites can be provided with configurable video services, allowing spectators to produce their own unique match-day experience complete with custom video highlights,

48 Read Sports Management online

real-time statistics and video feeds from other events. These can also be adapted to allow fans to order refreshments, merchandise or even personal concierge services without leaving their seats. These opportunities offer significant ways to increase revenue. It even goes beyond revenue, as digital signage allows venue

staff to guide fans out of the stadium in a way that reduces congestion and provides fans with the latest traffic or public transport information. A fully integrated, flexible IP-network also powers video surveillance for the whole stadium and helps communicate key messages to the public, employees and secu- rity, allowing the entire venue to be managed centrally to aid crowd management and ensure safety issues can be identified and dealt with before they even arise.

Enhanced Wi-Fi solutions

It can be frustrating for fans to have low levels of connectivity within a stadium, but thanks to the latest in-stadium technology, the game is changing. Fans will be able to connect to their favou- rite teams via their mobile devices while in the stadium, much in the same manner as they are away from the event. Through a fast, scalable and secure wired wireless network, customised for high density environments, the experience of attending a live sporting event becomes as engaging as being at home.

Building for the future

Organisations are facing ever more competition for the public’s attention from the ‘red button effect’. However, the industry is embracing this challenge. The technological advances discussed above, powered by a connected stadium platform, are already a reality in many international venues and could be coming to a venue near you. By tipping the balance back to the live in-game experience, the future is bright for venues around the world. l

Issue 4 2011 © cybertrek 2011

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