For the modern fan, there's more to sports than just following a game. In fact, investing time, energy, and emotion into sports is only part of the appeal. With all the technology available online, the avid sports can make watching a game or following a team a more interactive experience – as noted in this CenturyLink article.

The conventional ways of watching sports are long gone. Today, many fans watch games on more than one screen, whether it's a television, computer, tablet, mobile device or any combination of those tools. However, there is more to watching than just the action on the screen. Fans expect to have access to game-specific data-sets on their game-day experience. They want to know more about team and individual performance than ever before, mainly through the use of tracking and analytics. To support real-time sports consumption, which continues to reach new heights, the right technology has to be available to fully-support the growing consumer demand. For example, RFID tracking chips completely personalize the game-day experience digitally by tracking player speeds, distance, and patterns on the field. In essence, technology has proven to be a massive game-changer (pardon the pun) for the sports industry.

The NFL is one of many leagues working to integrate technological advances into physical stadium architecture. A few years ago, about 17 football stadiums installed the required equipment to receive, record, and log what the league calls “Next Generation Stats,” which are stored in the NFL’s cloud. The data cultivated from those logs is processed instantaneously for official use and made accessible for fans both in the stadium and for those watching on a device or the television.

CenturyLink has made an impact in this arena by taking part in monumental conversations with both current and future sponsorship partners, with an aim to figure out how to implement best-in-class technology solutions to enhance the fan and corporate technology sponsorship experience. For example, the company's sponsorship deal with the Minnesota Vikings is focused on providing fans and viewers with an enhanced version of the game-day experience, and state-of-the-art stadium technology will help make that happen. Vikings fans will be able to enjoy the ultimate game-day connectivity via CenturyLink’s Wi-Fi networking infrastructure. With 1,300 Wi-Fi access points and 2,000 HD TVs connected stadium-wide, cloud-based technology and data analytics will customize the fan experience now and in the future.

There are many emerging trends that have placed formerly-different industries on the same path and going forward, sports and technology are perfectly aligned. The use-cases and technical applications have positive implications as fans, teams, coaches, scouts, and analysts are using infrastructure-based connectivity capabilities to get more out of the on-field action.

Globally, the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to re-shape the world in which we live. Technology has accelerated the world of sports outside the NFL, too. Around the world, coaches, fans, and athletes are utilizing the power of tech to access the myriad of resources and services available to them. Sites like Stats provide interactive solutions such as Data Feeds that have changed the way sports are coached, played, and enjoyed the world over. Additionally, CenturyLink is committed to providing the right services for a truly digital age.

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