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The National Football League Names Extreme Networks the Official Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Analytics Provider of Super Bowl LI
Posted: Tue Dec 13, 2016 05:06:06 PM

Extreme Networks

Super Bowl LI Designation Underscores Extreme and the NFL's Joint Commitment to Deliver Fans a More Interactive and Engaging Experience at the Year's Biggest Game

SAN JOSE, Calif., Dec. 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Extreme Networks, Inc. (Nasdaq: EXTR) today announced an agreement with the National Football League (NFL) to become the Official Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Analytics provider of Super Bowl LI. This announcement follows Extreme's wired and wireless deployment at Super Bowl LI Stadium in Houston, Texas and marks the first time that Extreme has implemented its wired and wireless solution at a stadium hosting the season's most anticipated game. This is the fourth Super Bowl powered by ExtremeAnalytics™.

Since Extreme announced its partnership with the NFL in 2014, it has deployed its end-to-end software-driven ExtremeWirelessTM networking solution throughout 10 NFL stadiums to support the league's increased focus on advanced wireless standards. As a result, in-stadium wireless usage has increased from one terabyte to 3.5 times that on game day as a result of the increased number of fans accessing Wi-Fi networks game to game, year over year. The Ravens are only in their second season with public-facing Wi-Fi, and the team's average Wi-Fi adoption percentage is 34 percent - peaking to 40 percent adoption in some games - that's over 28,000 concurrent users on the network. In addition, fan engagement has grown significantly with easy access to team-developed mobile apps: in 2016 the Philadelphia Eagles Game Day App became one of the top five sports apps accessed by fans during games at Lincoln Financial Field, an increase of 4X from in 2015.

Fan usage of the NFL's Super Bowl Game Day app also skyrocketed in the last year, receiving the most hits to date at the 2016 Super Bowl. Other notable trends collected throughout NFL Stadiums include an increase in streaming content and social media apps. In 2016, Snapchat emerged as the number one bandwidth intensive app in stadiums powered by ExtremeAnalytics, followed by Facebook. All of this data was collected, analyzed and made actionable through ExtremeAnalytics, which is currently deployed in 18 NFL stadiums. With this network visibility, the technical teams in each stadium are able to adjust their wired and wireless strategy to support and anticipate the unique needs of their fans.

As part of Extreme's wireless support, 20 certified Extreme Networks Wi-Fi Coaches™ will be at Super Bowl Stadium on Super Bowl Sunday assisting fans with Wi-Fi connectivity and access to the Super Bowl Game Day App. The Wi-Fi coaches will interact with fans before the gates open to ensure they have all of the information required to access Super Bowl Stadium's network. They will also be in constant communication with the stadium's Network Operations Center and continuously monitor social media for Wi-Fi connectivity alerts. This program is in place to elevate the fans' Super Bowl experience and enable them to capture and share their memories on their mobile device.

NRG Stadium Wi-Fi Deployment Key Facts

  • Local Support and Partners - Ahead of the 2016 NFL season, Extreme Networks partnered with 5Bars, Harris County Sports & Convention Corporation, the Houston Texans, and the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee to deploy the high-density Wi-Fi solution at NRG Stadium which is hosting this year's Super Bowl.
  • Uniquely Designed for Super Bowl LI Stadium - Trained network architects surveyed the stadium and considered all the parameters of the physical structure to design a deployment strategy that fit the needs of Super Bowl LI Stadium.
  • Robust, Secure Wi-Fi Connectivity - 5 Bars installed ExtremeWireless custom under seat access points (APs) and their enclosures throughout the seating of the stadium. The project also included outdoor coverage, along with club, suites, field, administration, and back office areas. The total system included 1260 access points installed throughout the stadium complex.
  • Referenceable Analytics - In addition to deploying its wireless solution, Extreme also implemented ExtremeAnalytics, which enables the IT team at Super Bowl LI Stadium to monitor the network bandwidth, ensuring it reaches every fan in the stadium on game day.

Executive Perspectives

Michelle McKenna-Doyle, CIO and SVP, The National Football League "In 2013, the NFL implemented a new wireless standard to support the needs of fans in every stadium. This initiative was incredibly important to the League as fans now expect seamless connectivity and are capturing their memories and experiences through their mobile device. We are proud to have updated over 28 NFL facilities to meet this new standard, and look forward to working with our partner Extreme Networks as we continue to implement more advanced wireless capabilities."

Dave Wheat, Chief Administrative Officer, Buffalo Bills "Offering secure, reliable Wi-Fi connectivity at New Era Field is critical to the in-stadium experience for our fans. High-density Wi-Fi is also an asset that supports and enables our organization's strategic business initiatives. With ExtremeWireless and ExtremeAnalytics, we're able to better understand the evolving mobile engagement behaviors and preferences of our fans, and incorporate this intelligence into the broader goals of our organization. This includes the integration and enablement of key fan engagement tools, which drive a more valuable, convenient, personalized experience for our fans. As a result, the Bills are able to form a stronger and more meaningful connection with our fan base while supporting the overarching goals of the business."

Roy Sommerhof, SVP of Stadium Operations, Baltimore Ravens "Providing an excellent fan experience at M&T Bank Stadium is a top priority for the Ravens' organization. In today's mobile world, our fans expect to stay connected on game day, and view in-stadium Wi-Fi as an essential component to meet these expectations. With Extreme, the Ravens deployed a high-density Wi-Fi solution at M&T Bank Stadium prior to the 2015 NFL season. We have one season of fan-facing Wi-Fi under our belt, and the engagement numbers continue to climb as we continue into the 2016 NFL season. With peak Wi-Fi usage reaching as high as 40 percent, it's safe to say that our decision to invest in this technology has already proven successful."

Don Smolenski, President, Philadelphia Eagles "For fans today, attending a game goes far beyond just watching the action on the field. We all want to experience the same connectivity in-stadium that we enjoy during our everyday lives, whether that means interacting with friends and family, keeping up with scores and replays from around the league, or personalizing the in-stadium experience. Our partnership with Extreme Networks has allowed us to enhance the stadium experience for Eagles fans and has helped us to better understand the mobile trends and engagement in and around Lincoln Financial Field."

Norman Rice, EVP of Global Marketing, Supply Chain and Corporate Development, Extreme Networks "Following Extreme's wireless implementation across ten NFL stadiums, we've seen how the network and analytics capabilities are driving the unique business goals of each team. By collecting key learnings through ExtremeAnalytics, we've helped our customers leverage that data to further improve the fan experience. We're thrilled to provide our wireless at the Super Bowl for the first time and support the NFL and its fans at the biggest game of the year."

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