It’s game-day and you finally made it to see your favorite NFL team play. You are a little annoyed by how long it is taking to upload pictures across your cellular provider’s network, but then someone informs you not only about the free high-performance Wi-Fi network, but the game day app that can enhance your experience while at the game. Now you are Snapchatting pictures and videos quickly, checking fantasy football stats, and watching exclusive video replays from the comfort of your seat.
Many sports fans aren’t aware that several stadiums have free Wi-Fi available for use so that they can avoid the taxed internet speeds from their cellular provider’s overworked network on game day. Since 2012, Extreme Networks, the Official Wi-Fi Provider of the NFL, has trained and certified over 500 Extreme Networks Wi-Fi Coach™ as part of their program at various stadiums. The Wi-Fi Coaches have supported New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles, Cincinnati Bengals, Seattle Seahawks, Tennessee Titans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Buffalo Bills, Houston Texans, Green Bay Packers, Baltimore Ravens, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Baylor Bears, and BYU Cougars fans at the teams’ home games.
So, what is an Extreme Networks Wi-Fi Coach™?
A Wi-Fi Coach is an individual that assists fans with the accessibility, usability, and reliability of a stadium’s large scale high-density wireless network and supports game day apps.
What is the purpose of the program?
To enhance the fan experience! It is incredibly important to stadiums, teams, and Extreme that a fans game day experience is positively memorable in every way - and network connectivity is key to ensuring this experience. A stadium could have the largest, fastest network with the best stadium applications, but support does not matter if the fans don’t know about it, why it exists, and how to connect to it.
The Wi-Fi Coaches are there to let fans know about the Wi-Fi and assist them in real-time to ensure their experience is the best possible. This in-stadium interaction between Wi-Fi coaches and fans is a great way to educate guests about the features and benefits offered with the in-stadium apps to further enhance their game-day experience.
What do Wi-Fi Coaches do?
- Wi-Fi Coaches not only help promote and communicate the availability of the Wi-Fi network, they also assist fans when connecting mobile devices to the Wi-Fi Network
- Wi-Fi Coaches know what apps are available to enhance the fan experience, where they are located and what platforms they are supported on
- Wi-Fi Coaches are up to speed on the latest OS software bug and feature enhancements that are related to Wi-Fi connectivity concerns
- Wi-Fi Coaches can troubleshoot and diagnose client problems and will communicate any unresolved issues to the network management team
When did the program start?
The Extreme Networks Wi-Fi Coach™ Program began 6 seasons ago at Gillette Stadium. They’ve been at every Patriots’ home game since then, expanded to multiple NFL stadiums and NCAA stadiums, and sent an all-star team of certified Extreme Networks Wi-Fi Coaches to assist fans at Super Bowls XLIX, LI, and LII.
How do the Wi-Fi Coaches operate?
The Wi-Fi Coaches are locally sourced and go through Extreme Networks’ Wi-Fi Coach Certification Training, over 500 Wi-Fi Coaches have been trained and certified league-wide. The Wi-Fi Coaches walk around stadiums educating fans about the free Wi-Fi available during a team’s home games.
The Wi-Fi Coaches can be seen before the game starts in concourse areas educating fans when they arrive at the stadium about the free Wi-Fi. After the game begins the Wi-Fi Coaches spread themselves across the stadium so that they are easily accessible by fans to answer questions.
One reason why the Wi-Fi Coaches have been incredibly successful on game day is because they are in constant communication with the stadium’s network operations center. Extreme Networks Director of Customer Success, Mike Lytle, says, "If an unexpected application or network problem arises, we don't need to wait for the fans feedback the next day, the team will react and remediate immediately.”
Super Bowl LII will be the 3rd Super Bowl equipped with an all-star team of Wi-Fi Coaches in-stadium assisting fans. The 2017 NFL season is Extreme's 3rd straight season holding the title of the Official Wi-Fi Provider of the NFL, and marks Extreme's 5th consecutive year as the Official Wi-Fi Analytics Provider of the Super Bowl.
Learn more about the Wi-Fi Coaches and what their up to in our upcoming weekly blog series taking you behind the scenes with individual Wi-Fi Coaches and stadiums from around the league. For more information on the Wi-Fi Coaches program check out these resources:
About the Author
Lisa Yeaton is a Digital Content & Communications Marketing Specialist at Extreme Networks. Lisa was previously an intern on the Vertical Solutions Marketing Team. Lisa earned her BSBA and MBA with concentrations in management and marketing from the University of Massachusetts Lowell.Follow on Twitter More Content by Lisa Yeaton