by Reece Hainesborough
Las Vegas is used to hosting some of the biggest shows on Earth, and Sunday’s Super Bowl was no exception. From the media frenzy surrounding Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce to Usher’s outstanding half-time show, there are lots of different elements to the Super Bowl that make it the spectacle it is today. With a wide range of audiences tuning in worldwide, it often sets the bar for other sports and live events.
Advances in technology over the years have given viewers new ways to experience the Super Bowl. Ranging from hundreds of cameras on the playing field to pyrotechnics and surround sound to apps that enable viewers to get up-to-date scores and bet on games. Last year, I looked at how the Super Bowl had become the tech frontier for sports, and Sunday’s game surpassed anything that had gone before
With next year’s showdown in Louisiana likely to be even more tech-driven, now is an excellent opportunity to explore what new technology has shaped America’s Game.
Streaming secures the touchdown for audiences
Last month, the playoff game between the Chiefs and the Miami Dolphins caused a stir when streamed exclusively on Peacock. Concerns were raised about the league jeopardizing its broadcast antitrust exemption. But, the playoff game was a success for NBC with 23 million total viewers, making it the most-streamed live event in the U.S. of all time. The move has enabled the NFL to reach more audiences and gain new subscribers — NBC’s $110 million gamble looks to have paid off.
Wi-Fi: Where the desert meets data!
The Allegiant Stadium was another example of the growth of smart stadiums. Las Vegas may be surrounded by desert, but it could not have been better connected. The Allegiant Stadium’s Wi-Fi systems have received massive upgrades, enabling fans and media organizations to utilize that data access to their advantage. The Super Bowl has set new annual records for wireless data consumption ever since stadiums started deploying fan-facing networks.
Greater connectivity has huge benefits from both a media and consumer perspective. These include access to network data to make informed operational decisions, streamlined event day management, and the ability to meet rising fan expectations. Consumers enjoy the ability to acquire real-time stats and scores from their smartphones, as well as order food and drink from anywhere in the stadium. We are also seeing a rise in the ability to participate in interactive experiences such as quizzes and Q&As.
Taking player safety to new levels
It’s not just media organizations that are seeing the benefits of technology. It is also the teams. Technology is now a critical tool for maximizing player safety. We all know that NFL players can hit hard, and much has been made about injuries that can have life-changing effects.
The pursuit of player safety in the NFL has led to remarkable technological innovations bolstered significantly by AI and data analytics. Riddell, a leader in helmet technology, introduced helmets that harness robotic assembly and 3D printing padding. This innovation provides the player with unparalleled protection and custom-built enhanced shock absorption. Players are already wearing them, including the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes.
Teams also use AI-driven analytics to identify specific injury patterns and player movements that lead to higher risks, showing how far technology can take sports.
Putting your technology at the forefront
One of the fascinations around the Super Bowl is that it goes beyond a game and becomes an event. Only a few pay attention to the behind-the-scenes technology that makes everything happen.
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