PHOENIX (NBA All-Star Weekend) - February 13, 2009 - The National Basketball Association (NBA) and ESPN today announced that they will utilize Cisco TelepresenceTM technology to create an immersive "in-person" experience that will bring NBA players and legends closer to fans at the NBA All-Star Game in Phoenix this weekend.
ESPN will broadcast exclusive NBA All-Star Weekend reports on the network's news and information shows, such as "SportsCenter," directly from the Cisco TelePresence system in Phoenix back to ESPN's studio in Bristol, Conn.
With the implementation of TelePresence in ESPN broadcast operations, the sports network will be able to deliver a higher level of interactive sports broadcasting for major events happening across the globe.
During NBA All-Star, Cisco will deploy two Cisco TelePresence units at the Phoenix Convention Center and one at U.S. Airways Center for the All-Star Game activities. One of the Cisco TelePresence systems will be located directly on the show floor at the All-Star Jam Session allowing fans to interact "face-to-face" with NBA stars from the Convention Center green room and backstage at the arena.
Fans will be able to participate in trivia contests and interact with current NBA players and legends, such as the Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant, Toronto Raptors' Jason Kapono and former Phoenix Suns' legend Dan Majerle, throughout the weekend via the Cisco TelePresence systems at NBA Jam Session.
In addition to TelePresence, the NBA will utilize the Cisco® wireless press center for real-time mobile media reporting on multiple All-Star events happening in Phoenix. And as an official technology partner of the NBA, Cisco digital signage, part of the Cisco Digital Media System, will be on-site to provide All-Star programming content and live updates of the NBA Jam Session Trivia contest.
Steve Hellmuth, executive vice president of technology and operations, NBA
"Cisco has been helping the NBA stay connected since 2007 and we're thrilled to extend this interaction to our fans by bringing Cisco TelePresence to the Jam Session show floor. We will be able to provide our fans with unprecedented access to both current NBA players and legends."
Ed Erhardt, president of customer marketing and sales, ESPN
"ESPN is working with Cisco to enhance the NBA All-Star viewing experience for basketball fans. Thanks to Cisco, we'll be able to offer our audience a closer look at the All-Star Game with exclusive interviews via Cisco TelePresence."
Alan Cohen, vice president, enterprise marketing, Cisco
"By deploying Cisco TelePresence directly on the NBA Jam Session show floor, we are bridging the gap between athletes and fans, giving basketball enthusiasts a virtual pass to the arena with a unique ability to interact with players in new ways that were not possible at previous marquee sporting events. Building on our relationship with the NBA, we're bringing fans closer to the game, from the boardroom to the locker room."
Cisco, sports, NBA, ESPN, collaboration, video, TelePresence
NBA All-Star 2009
NBA All-Star 2009 in Phoenix will bring together some of the most talented and passionate players in the league's history for a global celebration of the game. Among the many events that will reach fans in 215 countries and territories in 44 languages are the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam, Sprite Slam Dunk Contest, Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout, PlayStation Skills Challenge, Haier Shooting Stars, McDonald's NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, NBA All-Star Jam Session presented by adidas, and the 58th NBA All-Star Game, which will be played on Sunday, Feb. 15 at the US Airways Center and broadcast on TNT for a sixth consecutive year, marking Turner Sports' 24th season of All-Star coverage. This will be the third NBA All-Star in Phoenix. The city also hosted the event in 1975 and 1995.