News Release

White Paper Highlights Importance of Deploying Smart and Connected Technology Solutions in Mega Sporting Events of 21st Century

Cisco's Smart and Connected Communities Offer Vision for Building Scalable and Replicable Solutions for Sporting Events
Nov 02, 2010

BEDFONT LAKES, UK, 02 November 2010 - Cisco recently outlined its vision for the role that technology will play in mega sports events of the future. A new white paper from International Data Corporation (IDC) sponsored by Cisco and completed in September 2010, assesses the possible impact that smart and connected technology may have in terms of supporting the planning, staging, management and subsequent ongoing economic contribution of a mega sports event within a region, particularly in a developing-country market environment.

The IDC white paper concludes that technology can help to address some of these challenges and that it also has an important role to play in the context of hosting a mega sports event. It can maximize exposure, thus increasing revenue for the host country or community as well as supporting reductions in expenditure by streamlining services and processes. Through the creation of technologically inspired fan and citizen experiences, the white paper concludes, technology can also significantly differentiate an event.

Highlights / Key Facts:

    IDC White Paper - Background:

    • The IDC white paper examines the opportunities for smart-enabled sports events: specifically, the role that smart technology solutions, or connected technology, can play in assisting communities that are hosting such events. The solutions would address critical developmental areas such as communications, security, transportation, facility management, community outreach, and a wide array of other objectives.
    • As part of the white paper, IDC also analyzed elements of the Cisco® Smart+Connected Communities (S+CC) strategy and how they might apply to a mega sports event. Analysts drew on research around technology and sustainability (in terms of future economic and social use of infrastructure and facilities built for such events, as well as in relation to environmental impact) in mega sports events and used IDC's existing research on smart cities. The analysis centered on recent  events such as the FIFA World Cup 2010 as well as on future mega sports events.

    IDC White Paper – The Conclusions:

    • The challenges facing the organizers of mega sporting events are enormous: Stadiums are clearly top of mind, but the impact on public safety, transportation, telecommunications, hospitality and other infrastructures is also significant. These challenges are compounded by the pressures placed on the government and organizing bodies to execute these investments quickly and efficiently in order to finish in time for the event; additionally, of course, they get only one shot at live coverage to an expectant world.
    • While connected sports solutions are still in their early stages, pockets of innovation are already occurring, and technology companies such as Cisco are increasingly engaging with organizers and governments in host countries to help ensure they are able to collaborate early enough to influence technology investments.
    • From an organizer's perspective, hosting a mega sports event provides a significant opportunity for strategic investment. However, in order to derive real value, the related decisions need to be considered with a view to sustainability, the extent to which these investments can both improve the quality and experience of the actual event and enhance the potential to achieve future economic, social and environmental benefits after the event.
    • Investing in future-proof technology can significantly aid such sustainability initiatives. Event organizers should therefore engage with technology companies early in the planning process to define a strategy jointly.

Executive Quotes:

  • Margaret Adam, research director, IT Services, IDC MEA
  • "In an age when the Internet plays such a significant role in society, South Africa was given the opportunity to fully leverage this global exposure. And South Africa is not alone. Increasingly, we are seeing countries such as China, Brazil, Russia, Poland, Ukraine, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Mexico and many more also bidding to host mega sports events. This necessitates a new way of thinking for government officials and organizers, and technology companies will need to educate and showcase their initiatives in order to fully realize the full potential technology can provide within the context of mega sports events."

  • Paul Mountford, president for Cisco, Emerging Markets
  • "Within every community, the provision of security, facilities management, transportation and communications is of paramount importance. For locations hosting 'mega' sporting events, these fundamental features become even more critical, as do additional aspects such as hospitality, logistics, media, advertising and event management. Major sporting events have become the catalysts to drive change in perhaps otherwise less-developed countries. Cisco's Smart+Connected Communities initiative helps to support this change by delivering innovative solutions in the areas of real estate, utilities, transportation, safety and security, learning, health, government, and sports and entertainment. All of these elements are underpinned by technology, with the network as the platform, to facilitate country transformation, not just for the duration of the event, but for the long-term health and sustainability of the economy."

  • David Hsieh, vice president of Emerging Technologies Marketing, Cisco
  • "Like any other industry, the sports industry is continually looking for ways to deliver differentiated experiences, maximize the use of venues year round, and compete with other entertainment options. Cisco's Connected Sports solutions help to fuel new experiences and growth by connecting sporting venues, teams, fans and the broader community in entirely new ways. This is a very exciting time for the future of sporting events. Cisco realizes there is a much larger opportunity here to help sports and entertainment properties – and the communities in which they reside – transform their business using the network as a platform for innovation."

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