America’s favorite pastime has an incredible history of serving its fans with the latest technologies, and now, the digital media pros on the Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM) team are collaborating with Qualcomm to conduct an extensive study and ultimately to optimize mobile connectivity for enhanced in-park experiences.
Harnessing that power of mobile to supercharge fan experiences at supported MLB ballparks is the foundation of the plan and Qualcomm is proud to be an official technology partner in the effort.
The agreement (announced this April) puts network engineers from Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. into play, providing assessment and planning aimed at beefing up and optimizing wireless access (Wi-Fi, 3G and 4G) at all MLB ballparks over the next two years.
Qualcomm is no stranger to the world of sports and over the years we’ve helped operators prepare for high-intensity mobile demand at big-time events ranging from the Super Bowl to the Olympics. And now, as Brian Dunphy, Sr. Director, Business Development, Qualcomm Retail Solutions, explains, “We’re helping MLBAM give baseball fans unparalleled in-ballpark experiences on their mobile devices.”
Baseball fans of all ages, particularly those in the younger demographics, are as passionate about their personal mobile devices as they are about their favorite teams. That means checking email; streaming video; posting and tweeting about their favorite players (or least favorite umps); and connecting to fan apps like MLBAM’s At Bat – the highest-grossing sports app of all-time—and At The Ballpark. And of course all that activity puts a considerable strain on the network.
As Eric Fisher reported in a recent Sports Business Journal, “Improving in-venue mobile connectivity, through both cellular and Wi-Fi networks, now represents one of the foremost priorities for any team, league or venue operator.”
Solving the challenge requires a team effort. According to Joe Inzerillo, SVP, content technology and CTO at MLBAM, “Partnering with an industry leader like Qualcomm is a critical step in understanding and executing on the engineering challenges to achieve scalable, reliable in-venue connectivity.”
As a life-long baseball fan (and a former TV sports executive), I’m pleased to have our company associated with MLBAM, an organization credited with literally writing the playbook on digital media and technology in the sports sector. In March 2012, Fast Company’s Chuck Salter noted, [MLBAM] “belongs to a small fraternity of digital stars. [Its] business is more multifaceted than YouTube's; last year, it sold more than 35 million MLB tickets, more than half of the league's inventory. It streams more live video than any other sports entity—and any other company.”
The task at hand is to conduct an engineering study at supported ballparks and to come up with a connectivity plan with the flexibility to work in all kinds of ballparks, under varying sets of conditions. But the vision for the future is to evolve the whole fan experience into something new and wonderful. Imagine a baseball fan sitting in the ballpark with total access to all the mobile resources he or she would ever dream of. Now imagine that being just the beginning of a whole new way to enjoy the game. We’re thrilled to be part of the lineup working on it.
I hope you’ll check back in with us here for updates or, visit MLB.com/qualcomm.