Analytics provide actionable insights for NFL to drive better decisions

Analytics provide actionable insights for NFL to drive better decisions

Analytics from Extreme Networks are providing actionable insights around venue operations, fan preferences and experiences for the NFL, and this year’s Super Bowl was no exception.

Extreme Networks, a cloud-driven networking company, has excelled as the Official Wi-Fi Analytics Provider of Super Bowl LVI.

This took place earlier this month at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California.

The milestone occasion marked Extreme’s ninth consecutive Super Bowl as an official provider of Wi-Fi analytics.

ExtremeAnalytics is deployed at 29 of 30 NFL stadiums and enables the NFL to drive better decisions around both business and venue operations.

SoFi is one of nine NFL stadiums using Extreme Venue Analytics 2.0, a custom solution designed for the NFL, which offers richer data sets and insights around app performance and usage, dwell time and location-based services. Operations teams use this data for more efficient venue management such as identifying stadium bottlenecks, potential safety and security issues and visibility into popular concessions and fan gathering areas. Executive and event management teams can use these insights into fan activity to better customize experiences and pinpoint sponsorship opportunities.

Key facts:

  • SoFi Stadium planned to host more than 70,000 fans for this year’s Super Bowl. Last year’s Super Bowl in Tampa Bay was the first 100% cash-free and mobile-ticketed NFL game. Extreme identified a take rate of 80% of fans connected inside the venue, compared to 71% at Super Bowl LIV in Miami in 2020 – signifying the increasing reliance on mobile devices throughout the event.
  • ExtremeAnalytics 2.0 delivers several new features such as:
    • A simplified and reactive UX that offers real-time customized views and interactive charts of Wi-Fi usage across the venue.
    • Real-time analysis of sports betting activity and apps within the stadium.
    • Open and programmable APIs and SDKs to provide a single view into applications such as biometrics, occupancy management and mobile payments, among others.
    • Prioritization reporting to gain better visibility into app usage and preferences during every stage of an event.
    • Expanded reporting – including a breakdown of device types, RF metrics and user experience insights.
    • Provisioning of role-based accounts including franchise and stadium operator permissions.
  • Based on Extreme insights, NFL teams, on average, saw a 22% increase in peak throughput of data and a 31% increase in transfer speed of data during games this season in comparison to the 2019 season – meaning fans continue to increase their consumption of wireless data while in the stadium and the speed of those connections are dramatically improved. 
  • ExtremeWireless access points are currently deployed at 12 NFL stadiums, including recent Wi-Fi 6 deployments with the Baltimore Ravens, Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks and Tennessee Titans. Wi-Fi 6 delivers faster wireless speeds and lower latency than previous generations of Wi-Fi, giving fans the highest quality connection to share their experiences from the stadium, while improving fan-facing technology including apps, mobile payments and ticketing.
Michelle McKenna, Chief Information Officer, NFL

Michelle McKenna, Chief Information Officer, National Football League, said: “Planning and executing the Super Bowl is one of the most significant undertakings each year, and Extreme continues to play an important role in making this event a success.

“We lean on Extreme to provide the operational insights and intelligence we need to improve things like foot traffic flow, concessions and health and safety protocols – while ensuring we have optimal connectivity and bandwidth for fans to share their experiences and operate in a mobile-first environment.

“Real-time visibility into network performance offers a substantial advantage to understand what is working, how fans are using data and how to customize in-stadium experiences in ways that will keep fans coming back for more.”

Sampath Sowmyanarayan, Chief Revenue Officer, Verizon Business, said: “The analytics provided by Extreme Networks give valuable insights into how customers are embracing connectivity during sporting events.

“Those insights are helping to inform and inspire new ways of staying connected and new solutions customers may embrace as wireless connectivity continues to gain momentum and importance in large gathering events like the big game.”

Norman Rice, Chief Operating Officer, Extreme Networks

Norman Rice, Chief Operating Officer, Extreme Networks, said: “Network analytics from Extreme gives the NFL a significant competitive advantage to execute its most important event of the year.

“We help executives and network operations teams visualize what’s happening across the stadium at any given time – equipping them with insights to make better decisions, while providing fans with the connectivity they expect.

“ExtremeAnalytics is the command centre of in-stadium activities like sports betting, AR/VR experiences and completely touchless transactions.

“Understanding what’s happening and appropriately calibrating the bandwidth to make these activities perform at peak is our unique differentiator and why we played an important role in our ninth consecutive Super Bowl.”

Michelle McKenna, Chief Information Officer, National Football League, added that fan expectations and demands for technology-driven experiences are evolving and these requirements need to be catered for.

“It’s our job to fulfill those expectations every game day,” she said.

“We do that by providing great Wi-Fi connectivity, leveraging insightful analytics to improve business operations and creating a simple and effective way for our team to manage the network within a single dashboard.

“Our partnership with Extreme allows us to stay ahead of the curve, providing every team in the NFL with a resource for leading stadium Wi-Fi network technology. We’re extending our relationship with Extreme because we want to continue working with a partner that is equally invested in creating a superior fan experience every single week.”

Norman Rice, Chief Operating Officer, Extreme Networks, explained that nowadays stadium environments require high-density, powerful Wi-Fi networks that can be adjusted and scaled depending on the needs of each event.

“These are environments where Extreme excels,” he said. “With the right network technology and analytics in place, the NFL can continue to make data-driven decisions that advance the game and keep fans engaged. Network analytics are the currency driving innovative new services like real-time sports betting and mobile concessions.

“We’re proud to extend our long-standing partnership with the NFL, continuing to work together to make technology an integral part of the game both on and off the field.”

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