Cisco to power smart tech in NFL venues


NFL partners with CISCO Image: NFL & Cisco

The National Football League (NFL) (US) and Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO), a leader in enterprise networking and security, recently announced a new multiyear partnership naming Cisco an Official Technology Partner of the NFL. Central to this partnership, Cisco will use its industry-leading expertise to jointly develop a Connected League platform with the NFL, unifying the league on a singular foundation of connectivity with greater speed, intelligence and security.

‘Cisco’ stated that Cisco began to invest in the sports and entertainment industry beginning in 2008 with the creation of a single converged network that would support the future of connectivity in a venue. Since then, the company has come a long way, and that technology and numerous others have been relied upon by hundreds of venues in countries around the globe. One of the most prominent is the spectacular 70,000-capacity Sofi Stadium and Hollywood Park in Los Angeles (US). A connected, visually dynamic marvel, it will play host to NFL Super Bowl LVI in 2022 and is home to the NFL’s new West Coast headquarters.

The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football league consisting of 32 teams, divided equally between the National Football Conference and the American Football Conference.

Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in technology that powers the Internet. Cisco inspires new possibilities by reimagining your applications, securing your enterprise, transforming your infrastructure, and empowering your teams for a global and inclusive future.

‘Cisco’ further stated that the NFL, the most influential sports league in the world, is a long-time customer of Cisco. The League shares Cisco’s view that over the course of the next few years connectivity will reshape the sports industry and redefine what is possible.

Stated Chuck Robbins, Chairman and CEO, Cisco, “The NFL shares our view that a connected world offers incredible opportunity, and we are excited to become an Official Technology Partner of the League. When Cisco started its journey in sports and entertainment years ago, we knew the right technology would reshape the fan experience, and with this partnership, we are continuing our progress toward creating a more dynamic future.”

Mark Patterson, Senior Vice-President and Chief of Staff to the Office of the Chairman and CEO, Cisco, remarked, “We believe that digitization and connection are more important than ever before, and that we are currently at a significant inflection point that presents an opportunity to create dynamic, digital experiences for NFL’s 187 million fans. For Cisco, this platform is an incredible avenue to showcase how our technology creates simplicity in times of growing complexity and adds enhanced security in a time of expanding connectivity.”

Together, Cisco and the NFL are committed to creating a new chapter in the sports and entertainment industry by developing the first ever Connected League – where a unified, intent-based networking architecture will connect all 30 venues to the League itself. This network will allow the League to support all facets of gameday operations, ranging from safety and security to sideline communication and video replay, while being more flexible, responsive and resilient.

This single, secure foundation is the central component of every sports and entertainment partnership Cisco has today. From Riot Games to Live Nation, from City Football Group to the United States Golf Association, from Tokyo 2020 to the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Cisco is focused on driving measurable results through its solutions on a global basis.

Added Patterson, “Our unified perspective across all our partnerships aligns with our purpose – to power an inclusive future for all. Access to technology is the key to closing the digital divide, and tech for good, across every industry, is something we all must embrace. With the NFL, that starts by using our educational platforms, such as Cisco Networking Academy, to engage and create opportunities for fans in each NFL market. Networking Academy has already changed the lives of millions of students around the world, and we aim to continue extending our learning platform to create ways for people to seize economic opportunity and educational advancement. This is just one fantastic example of how this partnership can allow us to create a positive impact, outside the sport itself, and reach underserved communities across the United States.”

He continued, “These are exciting times, and we look forward to collaborating with the NFL and numerous other partners in the years ahead to impact industries and power a brighter, more inclusive future for all.”

Said Michelle McKenna, NFL Chief Information Officer, “We are excited to have Cisco as an official partner of the NFL. We have relied on Cisco for many years now and it is a natural fit that they now have become our partner. In an increasingly digital world, speed, reliability and security are paramount to our success and we welcome the leadership Cisco will bring to the NFL for these key aspects and more.”

Currently, every NFL stadium’s replay control room is built on Cisco technology. In addition, nearly all of the League’s Official Partners and two-thirds of NFL stadia rely on Cisco technology.

Commented Brian Eaton, Director of Global Sponsorship, Cisco, “We have deep experience in this field creating innovative solutions that have enabled the sports industry to deliver superior fan experiences, streamline business operations and drive incremental revenue. We look forward to working with the NFL to implement a platform that will bring significant value to the entire League ecosystem.”

In addition, Cisco and the NFL believe that technology will help build an inclusive future and bridge the digital divide. Cisco will contribute to the NFL’s Inspire Change initiative by collaborating with the League to deliver technology education and career advancement opportunities to people in underserved communities. Cisco’s belief is that connecting everyone not only creates more equality, but also meaningful and positive impact.

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