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Utilizing stadium wi-fi to enhance the gameday experience

Wi-fi can not only provide the backbone for enhanced fan engagement and communication, it also allows a host of commercial opportunities

 

Stadium wi-fi has become a key area of focus for sports venues, especially in soccer. As any fan trying to send a photo or connect to social media will know, most soccer grounds are a connectivity black hole. Wi-fi can not only provide the backbone for enhanced fan engagement and communication, it also allows a host of commercial opportunities.

As some stadium owners consider the benefits of wi-fi, there is one full-scale installation they can learn from: Sports Revolution’s project with Celtic FC, CelticLIVE. Installed in 2013, this was the UK’s first hi-density wi-fi network to provide bandwidth across an entire soccer stadium, including the corporate facilities, concourses and bowl seats.

Sports Revolution worked with Cisco Systems to equip the 60,832-seat Celtic Park with the wi-fi network, and then developed a dedicated mobile fan app to go with it, called ‘CelticLIVE’. The app, built on Sports Revolution’s StadiumLive platform, allows fans to view and interact with a wide range of club content, specifically designed to enhance the matchday experience at Celtic Park.

The app was launched to coincide with Celtic’s Champions League home tie against Ajax in the 2013/14 season. The app was downloaded 15,000 times at launch, and has now reached a total of 44,983 downloads. Some 72,415 videos have been played through the app, with 19,733 shares of the app’s content on social media; Twitter alone has accounted for a reach of 4.6 million via the CelticLIVE hashtag.The reliability and comprehensive access to the wi-fi network at Celtic Park has seen more than 136,000 fans register to use it since installation. On any matchday, an average of 20% of fans in attendance are logged on; around 10,000 users.

CelticLive is a ‘second screen’ companion - it works like an interactive matchday program, containing video highlights, interviews, player trivia and live stats. Content for CelticLive is generated live during the game by a dedicated team based at the stadium.

The network was also used during the opening ceremony of this summer’s Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park. This was one of the first times a major UK stadium has been equipped with wi-fi for an international event of this magnitude. Fans using the network were able to enhance and share their experience through an open portal, allowing access to social networks.

CelticLIVE in Stats
•Total downloads of CelticLIVE: 44,983
•Fans registered to the wi-fi: 136,547
•Average active users on matchday: 9,796
•Videos played through the app: 72,415
•Shares of the app’s content on social media: 19,733
•Reach of #CelticLIVE: 4.6 million

 

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