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NFL optimizes coach-to-coach communications in all 30 stadiums with Managed Private Wireless from Verizon

Network solution cuts out the noise and levels the playing field for professional football teams competing at the highest level.

  • With decibel levels rising in the stadium as the play clock ticks down, the energy in the stadium is almost palpable. In the highly competitive world of professional football, milliseconds matter. Success may just depend on clear communication and a coach's urgent need for clarity.

    Looking to improve and standardize its critical in-game coach-to-coach communication systems, the National Football League called on Verizon to provide a fresh solution for the 2023 season. In response, Verizon tested and deployed its Managed Private Wireless Solution in all 30 NFL stadiums across the country.

  • 30 stadiums with 30 different challenges

  • Successfully deploying a new high-fidelity communication solution in 30 different stadiums in a tight time window demanded stringent testing and strict attention to detail.

    “We had a very detailed test plan from the NFL on quality,” said Eric Nagy, Director of Sports Partnerships and Innovation for Verizon. “We had to meet or exceed every quality standard established by the league. We put a lot of effort into making sure the network performed the best way it could.”

    “We did not make it easy on Verizon,” said Aaron Amendolia, Deputy Chief Information Officer for the NFL. “We put them in our hardest scenario that previous solutions had never even had to work through. We also had unique changes in this wireless space that introduced problems with noise and buzz and difficulties with operating systems. To see how they came in and worked through all those things gave us confidence that we’re heading in the right direction with this, and we have the right team working with us.”

    In addition to the NFL’s requirements, Verizon also had to work with the individual stadiums.

    “Each stadium has its own identity and Verizon had to work with each one to ensure the solution met the aesthetics required while still meeting the agreements required for a standardized deployment across all stadiums,” Nagy said.

  • Beginning quotation mark  You need a really strong engineering team to walk alongside you. You need a brand like Verizon.”

    Aaron Amendolia, Deputy Chief Information Officer, NFL

  • The game plan

  • Verizon proposed its Managed Private Wireless Solution because it offers a secure, high-speed, low-latency network with reduced interference and greater privacy and security. In the NFL’s case, it provides coaches on the sidelines with a headset-based communication platform free of interference from other networks operating within the stadium environment.

    To prove the efficacy of the solution, Verizon conducted a series of comprehensive stress tests at the NFL’s 2022 International Games in London, Munich and Mexico City.

    Verizon’s designers, engineers and project managers put together “the playbook.” That involved not only coming up with technical solutions, but also creating partnerships with stadium workers both at home and abroad, and recognizing the needs of individual teams and venues.

    Following success overseas, Verizon formally announced a five-year partnership deal with the NFL to deliver a Managed Private Wireless Solution to each of the 30 NFL stadiums in the United States for the 2023 season. "I can't be more excited for what the team has been working on," said Brian Mecum, Vice President of Device Technology and Sports Innovation at Verizon. "We're going to deliver coach-to-coach communications in all 30 stadiums for 32 teams. All NFL teams will have crisp, reliable and great communications between all of their coaches."

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  • Deploying across 30 U.S. stadiums

  • The Verizon team took the opportunity to test the Managed Private Wireless Solution for coach-to-coach communication in early 2023 at the East West Shrine Bowl held at Allegiant Stadium, home of the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders and site of Super Bowl LVIII. It was there that the team formulated what Nagy describes as “the golden configuration.”

    “That was the configuration that we enabled and started to use in the preseason. From there, we were optimizing and making sure it was the highest quality solution for the NFL,” Nagy said.

    “We put our top engineers and designers on the job to ensure that the design and configuration that we finalized was the best. We did a really good job of defining all the configurations and doing all the testing up front. The rollout was pretty straightforward because the playbook was there. And the stadiums were very good partners in this whole process as well. They were all fantastic to work with.”

  • Managed Private Wireless for the win

  • By the end of the 2023 NFL preseason, the Verizon team had successfully deployed and tested the private wireless solution for high-fidelity coach-to-coach communications in 30 stadiums league-wide. The network was ready for primetime on the NFL’s opening day in September.

    But the Verizon team still had commitments to the NFL abroad. Deployment was required for the league’s five international games—three in London in October, where the Verizon team already had tested the network, and two in Frankfurt, Germany in November.

    “Frankfurt was the new stadium for us this year,” Nagy said. “So, we had to go through the whole planning process again, looking at how we would deploy the network, optimizing and making sure we were meeting spec weeks before the game.”

    Now, the NFL is set to conclude its first successful season with coach-to-coach communication powered by Verizon at Super Bowl LVII in Las Vegas.

  • Beginning quotation mark  Verizon has multiple solutions depending on the needs of the customer. We are not just one-size-fits-all.”

    Eric Nagy, Director of Sports Partnerships and Innovation, Verizon

  • A winning partnership

  • Planning, performance and follow through are hallmarks of Verizon’s strong partnership with the NFL. With deep expertise in network engineering and project management, Verizon met the NFL’s demands for high-quality, high-fidelity coach-to-coach communications with its Managed Private Wireless Solution.

    “You need a really strong engineering team to walk alongside you,” Amendolia said. “You need a brand like Verizon. Responding and fixing within seconds is great, but it’s not your best. Your best is being proactive and making adjustments before the game, as well as throughout the game, when you’re responding to that live environment that you can’t predict.”

    “Verizon has multiple solutions depending on the needs of the customer. We are not just one-size-fits-all,” Nagy said. “What makes us great is not just our spectrum assets but also our partner ecosystem that we can bring for the right solution for the customer depending on their needs.”


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