Extreme Networks

Philadelphia Flyers and Winnipeg Jets net top-shelf Wi-Fi 6 and 6E

Extreme Networks scores more wins in sport as it looks to help leading ice hockey clubs improve fan experience and operational efficiency by making the network the backbone of strategic initiatives

Cloud networking provider Extreme Networks has secured partnerships with the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers, Philadelphia 76ers and Winnipeg Jets ice hockey teams.

Extreme is already the official Wi-Fi analytics provider and an official Wi-Fi partner of the NHL, and the next deployments will see Wells Fargo Centre, home of the Philadelphia Flyers and Philadelphia 76ers, and Canada Life Centre, home of the Winnipeg Jets, choose Extreme services to deliver Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E-ready offerings to improve fan experiences, streamline arena operations and gain actionable insights to create more personalised fan experiences and sponsorship opportunities. The deployment at the Wells Fargo Centre will be completed in partnership with Comcast Business.

Almost 800 Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E access points (APs), in addition to Extreme Universal Switches, will be deployed across the Flyers and Jets arenas to ensure consistent and reliable connectivity throughout each venue.

With high-bandwidth Wi-Fi, Extreme said fans will be able to seamlessly access mobile tickets, social media, online sports betting applications and mobile concessions. It added that arena operations teams will gain improved Wi-Fi that will enable better connectivity for ticket scanners, portable card readers, staff communications and security cameras.

Given their technology supplier’s status as an official provider, the Flyers and Jets will have access to ExtremeAnalytics, designed to enable them to organise and use network usage data around popular applications, high-traffic areas in the arena and moments of peak user activity. It provides insights into network performance and potential issues, and allows customers to pinpoint Wi-Fi performance and usage trends across the arena.

In a potential use case, the clubs could make decisions around what areas in the venue may require more staff, which applications may be beneficial for future marketing partnerships and what types of between-play programming to prioritise to increase fan engagement.

Extreme also said the deployment could provide the foundation for future technology investments. It noted that technology-reliant amenities such as mobile tickets and self-serve checkouts are quickly becoming more common, and venues have begun to look at adopting new technology such as biometrics, augmented reality and virtual reality, and in-seat mobile concessions.

Read more about Wi-Fi 6, 6E

The latest Wi-Fi offerings could create a foundation to support and scale the network to meet these new demands and use cases, while Universal Switches could enable IT teams to quickly swap out their OS depending on changing use cases so they can be agile and minimise future equipment costs.

“There are many elements to making gameday a success,” said Dan Gill, IT director of True North Sports and Entertainment at Winnipeg Jets. “The network is a key strategic enabler of the fan experience because it is the backbone of mobile ticketing, mobile concessions, video streaming, interactive engagement, security and more.

“Extreme Wi-Fi 6E will become a backbone to our operations and provide us the bandwidth and performance we need to ensure that all of our current and future technology initiatives are impactful and memorable. We’re also excited about the potential of analytics to better operationalise insights associated with fan preferences to identify operational efficiencies and new revenue opportunities.”

“The Wells Fargo Centre and Jets are taking a huge leap forward by investing in Extreme Wi-Fi 6 and 6E to enhance the way fans experience the game,” added Extreme Networks president and chief executive officer, Ed Meyercord.

“The network is not just about connectivity, it’s the critical enabler of new technology, safety and security, innovation, and immersive fan engagement. Wi-Fi insights and analytics become a strategic gateway to uncover new sponsorship and revenue opportunities, and to personalise the gameday experience. Together with the Flyers and Jets, we’ll work to push the boundaries of the network to drive next-generation fan experiences.”

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