Ericsson and GAA redefine stadium fan experiences
In common with other sports fans, GAA spectators’ expectations of a digital experience are changing. Spectators in stadiums and arenas want to share and enhance their experiences and expect content to be delivered with immediacy and in high quality.
However, providing coverage and services to massive crowds presents many challenges and places significant pressure on wired and wireless networks. In response to these elevated expectations and network challenges, the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) has appointed Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) as its Official Technology Partner at Croke Park.
In this role, Ericsson will become the lead advisor to the GAA for their Information and Communications Technology (ICT) challenges, including the Croke Park stadium experience, to optimise mobile networks and transform connectivity, bringing fans closer to the action, and creating new, immersive ways to showcase its games and the commitment, excitement and teamwork of the GAA.
The GAA has a focus on ensuring that Croke Park remains one of the world’s leading stadiums with future-proof, scalable and functional technology continuing to be implemented to enhance its patrons’ experience and evolve the match day environment for generations to come. Ericsson, as the Official Technology Partner of the GAA, has implemented a framework for innovation tailored to suit the GAA objectives, aligned with the stadium’s sustainability and focused on maximising outcomes for the GAA, Croke Park and the community.
Aogán Ó Fearghail, President of the GAA said:
Connectivity and mobility enable new experiences in an emerging internet of sport. With Ericsson’s expertise, Croke Park will become a stadium of the future and a leader of sports technology.
John Griffin, Head of Ericsson Ireland, said:
Croke Park holds a special place in the hearts and minds of Irish people everywhere and in the year when we celebrate 60 years of Ericsson’s presence in Ireland we are delighted to partner with the GAA and show our commitment to the Irish society.
With more than 40 percent of the world’s mobile traffic passing through network equipment supplied by Ericsson, we are perfectly positioned to support the GAA in meeting growing demands, improving stadium connectivity, and ensuring the best possible digital experience for fans.
Ericsson and the GAA have agreed a wide-ranging three-year partnership. As the GAA’s Official Technology Partner, Ericsson will also support the GAA in ICT innovation and how it would apply to the stadium and digital experience, driving technology evolution, fan engagement and loyalty.
Ericsson will bring the GAA a wealth of innovative and best practices on stadium experience from all over the world. Most recently, the company deployed stadium experiences for the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, as well as for the European Football championships, UEFA EURO 2016, in France. This combination of global knowledge, an innovative team of 1,360 people in Ireland, with bases in both Athlone and Dublin, and Ericsson’s technology leadership will ensure that Croke Park will continue to be one of the world’s leading stadiums and set the bar for future generations to come.
Another feature of the partnership will see Ericsson sponsor Croke Park’s famous Skyline tour, which offers unrivalled views of Dublin from high above the pitch from the stands of the stadium.
NB: Sports Venue Business (SVB) will be bringing you an in-depth interview with Peter McKenna, Stadium Director, Croke Park, in the coming weeks, so watch this space!