Leverkusen, Germany – In addition to a strong track record on the field, Bayer 04 Leverkusen is now aiming to offer a compelling overall stadium experience as well: In the future, visitors to the BayArena will be able to enjoy soccer games enhanced with interactive multimedia content. Bayer 04 Leverkusen is working with Deutsche Telkom and Cisco to make this happen by transforming the BayArena into a stadium of the future. With Cisco's StadiumVision and Connected Stadium Wi-Fi solutions, due to be introduced in July 2013, the BayArena will begin offering an unprecedented and comprehensive experience for fans – before, during and after games. The core elements in this solution are the ability to target and deliver High-definition video and digital content to a large number of information and entertainment displays, high-speed Wi-Fi Internet, and access to live video streams, replays and more on the latest smartphones.
"The project heralds a new dimension in communication between the club and its fans – one that will boost fan loyalty and offer more information and entertainment. At the same time, it will create new opportunities for advertising. We're blazing a trail for the Bundesliga," explains Bayer 04's managing director, Wolfgang Holzhaeuser.
"We're proud of this new collaboration," says Dirk Backofen, head of Marketing for Business Customers at Telekom Deutschland. "The joint project fits perfectly with our strategy of innovation through collaboration. It's an impressive testament to the ability of advanced technology to transform a stadium into a multimedia experience."
Michael Ganser, senior vice president Central Theatre EMEAR at Cisco, highlights the project's model character: "The StadiumVision platform builds on an internationally successful business model focused on creating and delivering a unique live experience for fans. With this in place, and seamless access for all fans via a high density Wi-Fi solution, Bayer04 fans will enjoy one of the most immersive, interactive and personalized game day experiences in all of sports. Together with our long-standing partner Deutsche Telekom, we will make the BayArena the most innovative Stadium in Germany and will be offering similar solutions nationwide."
In the BayArena, StadiumVision consists of approximately 500 High-definition video displays in a range of sizes, distributed throughout the stadium. These allow fans to stay engaged and continue to follow the game or watch interviews – say, while queuing at food stands. The displays can also provide current statistics, video messages and promotions, and other information, as well as interactive campaigns by Bayer 04's advertising partners. The second pillar of the new infrastructure is the Wi-Fi network. The entire BayArena will offer outstanding connectivity, thanks to 350 Wi-Fi access points on the customized high density Wi-Fi solution. The stadium-wide wireless network will allow fans to surf the Internet, send photos by e-mail, and share videos from mobile devices.
At the core of these mobile applications is a Bayer 04 app, an easy-to-use mobile stadium portal. This will allow fans to connect to the stadium Wi-Fi to access exclusive, premium content on their own devices, and could provide the ability to replay key match situations on smartphones or keep up with the state of play in parallel Bundesliga games via StadiumVision Mobile. It could also support other interactive functionality and information, such as access to online games, quizzes and player ratings, and allow photos and messages to be sent to the stadium's 500 displays.
Not just the fans will benefit from the new multimedia infrastructure. It will also offer Bayer 04 Leverkusen's sponsors and advertising partners new platforms for delivering messages to target groups using interactive advertising formats like QR code campaigns. The high-speed network will also enable members of the media, club employees, service organizations, and visitors in the stadium's guest boxes to communicate faster and more easily.