Xirrus®, the leader in high-performance wireless networks, today announced that Liverpool FC – one of the world’s most historic and famous football clubs – has deployed its Wireless Arrays at Anfield, the home of the Club since its formation in 1892. The first phase of the deployment covers the two-tier, 12,000-seat Centenary Stand and adjoining corporate facilities, enabling fans to access and share digital content during games as never before.
The Wi-Fi network will be available to Liverpool fans for the home game against West Ham on Sunday 7 April. By offering Wi-Fi to its fans, Liverpool is hoping to improve their overall match day experience and encourage them to share the excitement of the game with the global Liverpool fan base. It also opens up a new way for Liverpool to gain insight and feedback from its fan base which hasn’t been possible up to now.
Andrew Robinson, Head of Digital Media and Technology at Liverpool Football Club, explains:
“Running our own data network based on Xirrus technology means we can provide our fans with a dedicated, robust and high quality experience. The added reliability and performance of high capacity Wi-Fi over 3G connections will encourage our fans to use social networks like Twitter and Facebook to share their experiences with fans unable to make it to the game.”
“A massive driver for this new network is that we can gain more insight into our fans than ever before. Sign-in will be via a one-time registration process using an email address and fans will be encouraged to tell us their likes and dislikes. The technology will allow us to find out what devices fans like to connect with the Club on so we can invest in digital platforms accordingly. We will also find out more about how fans use the stadium and its facilities so we can adapt these to better serve them.
“The experience that we’ve created from day one is something we think fans will get very excited about. We’ll be providing in-match stats, food and drink offers, access to online retail, in-play betting in partnership with Paddy Power and also the ability to engage with a global audience outside of the stadium through social media platforms.”
This development is one we have seen start to take a hold in sport. Despite clubs being activate in promoting the use of mobile around games, the inability to even send a text message never mind a tweet has been something that has needed to be addressed. We saw how well it can work and enhance the fan experience at London 2012, now we are seeing more and more top football teams follow that lead.
It will be interesting to see the digital activations that will follow on from launch, taking advance of this new connectivity. Are you a Liverpool fan? What do you think of the announcement?