Cardiff-Based Stadium Is First in Europe to Deploy Cisco StadiumVision to Deliver New Experiences in Sports and Entertainment
LONDON, 8 November, 2010 – Cisco announced today that Cardiff’s 74,500-seat Millennium Stadium has chosen Cisco StadiumVision® to deliver an unprecedented sporting experience to fans and visitors. Home of the Wales national rugby union team and the Wales national football team, this is the first deployment of this leading technology in Europe and constitutes the biggest refurbishment of the stadium’s infrastructure since its opening in 1999. Cisco StadiumVision is an innovative video and digital content delivery solution that allows more than a million visitors a year to this iconic venue to enjoy customised match and event content on new high-definition video displays throughout the stadium.
In addition, the system opens up new revenue streams for the stadium by allowing targeted promotions and sponsorship activations to be displayed on all screens throughout the stadium. They can be tailored to specific zones in the venue and provide a high level of engagement with fans. Additionally, with a few clicks, the stadium can seamlessly transform itself from a rugby game to a football game and even to a rock concert.
Innovations create an unparalleled sports and entertainment environment
The Welsh Rugby Union which owns and operates the Millennium Stadium have been working to deliver the best fan experience for over a decade. In a bid to move the sporting venue to the next level, the technology innovations were unveiled to fans during the 6 November 2010 Autumn Series Wales rugby match against Australia.
Cisco StadiumVision centrally manages and controls the delivery of unique high-definition video and digital content to each of the 450 television displays throughout the stadium. The flexibility of the offering allows the stadium to create a unique experience for each fan on an event by event basis. No two fans will experience a game the same way; neither will two events have the same look or feel.
StadiumVision delivers seven channels of HD video throughout the stadium from an expanded channel lineup: two internal channels for use only in the stadium, offering exclusive live action, commentary or behind-the-scenes footage, and five broadcast channels will allow fans to catch up with the latest sports action from channels such as Sky, BBC and ESPN.
Two new 90-square-metre high-definition screens will replace existing screens in the main stadium to offer fans unique perspectives to follow the game in greater detail, for example player close-ups and different camera angles.
Customised brand experiences and new levels of fan engagement
Targeted advertising and sponsor activations are combined with video to deliver unique and dynamic branding opportunities to open up new revenue streams for the stadium. These parties now have the flexibility to deliver campaigns down to an individual display level and targeted zones, or to associate them with a specific moment in time (for example during a key moment in the game).
Patrons in private suites will be greeted by custom welcome messages to further personalise the environment and video experiences for them and their guests
Match-day information is also provided via the screens. For example, it can direct fans to the nearest fan zone for further entertainment, promote upcoming events, provide visibility to the nearest exit and real-time traffic updates after the event, and outline emergency evacuation procedures.
The WRU’s investment in StadiumVision and Cisco Connected Stadium, the platform that integrates all forms of communication, entertainment and operations on a converged network, allows it the flexibility to respond to changing fan expectations and market trends for years to come, while also meeting business needs.
Interactive corporate boxes will allow fans to utilize Cisco’s touch-screen IP phones to select from a custom channel lineup, order refreshments and merchandise from the team store, and even place bets.
Dynamic menu boards will display the most up-to-date information on refreshments and provide the flexibility to offer promotions before, during and after the event.
The WRU is also looking to bolster its delivery of entertainment by streaming high- definition video and other interactive fan capabilities to smart phones. This will give visitors the opportunity to watch live action or replays of games and access real time statistics direct from their handset. Fans will also enjoy the ability to have a more personal and unique connection with the team and stadium via immersive 3-D experiences and interactive text to screen and touch panel capabilities.
The engagement was a joint collaboration between Cisco and CAE and Envision, ensuring rapid deployment and achieving maximum success underlining Cisco’s partner-centric model.
To find out more about this or similar projects undertaken by Cisco, please visit News@Cisco.
Phil Smith, vice president and CEO, Cisco UK & Ireland:
“Technology is playing an increasingly important role in the match-day experience for sports fans. When advanced technologies such as high-definition and 3-D television are becoming available in the home, fans expect the venue experience to be superior to this. The Millennium Stadium has taken a big step to transform the in-venue viewing experience by introducing Cisco StadiumVision and enhancing the pre- and post-match experience for visitors and commercial partners. Cisco is putting video right at the heart of the stadium, enabling the Welsh Rugby Union and Millennium Stadium to provide a highly personalised and tailored experience for all of its visitors, making it one of the most technologically advanced arenas in the world.”
Roger Lewis, group chief executive, WRU:
“By installing Cisco StadiumVision in the Millennium Stadium, we will be the envy of venues not only across Europe but across the sporting world.”
“This has been a major project for the WRU Group and we have focused on ensuring that our solutions will be able to deliver all the imagery and information our supporters need in high-resolution imagery accompanied by top-quality sound systems. Nobody in the elite sport or major event marketplace can afford to allow their supporters to put up with second best in the modern era. We want every single individual who visits the Millennium Stadium to leave armed with special memories of having attended a great event.”
“We will now be able to show them images from the action they have just seen and live images of what is happening behind the scenes before, during and after the big events. This will enrich their experience of being in the stadium and take each and every one of our visitors even closer to the action they have come to watch.”
“It is also a great opportunity for our commercial partners to engage directly with the people they need to share information with. I am delighted with the support and expert guidance we have received from Cisco and Daktronics along with the staff at PAI and Vaughan Sounds. We have gone to the best technology providers in the marketplace and the results we will achieve are truly amazing.”
“The legacy of a project like this is clear to see, and we are delighted that has been recognised by the Welsh Assembly Government. We have also earmarked funding from LOCOG for use of the stadium during the 2012 London Olympics to complete this project, so we are extremely grateful for their vital support.”
First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones said:
“This is not only a great opportunity for the Millennium Stadium, but for the Welsh economy as a whole. We believe that by having the first stadium in Europe that provides fans with an integrated sporting experience at such a high level will attract more investment and visitors. This puts us in a great position to take advantage of the Olympic opportunity in 2012. The stadium attracted more than 1 million paying spectators last year and makes an important contribution to the Welsh economy as well as making a positive impact on the recognition and reputation of Wales around the world. Making sure the stadium retains its deserved iconic status as one of the finest major event venues in the world by providing an unparalleled spectator experience is an endeavour the Welsh Assembly Government is delighted to support.”
The Welsh Rugby Union team captain’s view of StadiumVision
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