I had the pleasure of attending ‘Soccerex’ at the end of last year in Rio de Janeiro and it provided a refreshing change to some of the events I am used to attending in our industry. It is the world’s leading football business event, and with soccer games on the beach and perfect weather, the setting alone made it a delight to be there.
But aside from the location, the event itself did not disappoint. It was filled with top Brazilian government officials, FIFA executives, world-renowned soccer players and many more. The exclusive venue, built especially for this event, was packed with exhibitors, showing products ranging from flooring that protects the grass when stadiums are being used for something other than soccer, to putting RF technology inside the football to indicate when it has crossed the goal line.
But something that really stood out for me was the term ‘improving the fan experience’. I heard this term used over and over again during Soccerex and the concept is something that occupies the minds of stadium owners, football clubs and soccer federations alike. When they talked about ‘the fan experience’ it was often in relation to their ability to take part in the digital side of such events too, including sharing pictures, videos and using apps on mobile devices.
The focus is increasing on Brazil as the country prepares for the two massive events they have coming up; the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 summer Olympics. And I’m proud to report that the organizers of these events seem to have taken the 2012 Olympic Games held in London, and used the details as the blueprint for how to successfully plan and implement such an enormous and significant event. The organizing committees have been in contact and the wealth of knowledge and experience that was gained during London 2012, is now being put to good use in South America. Coupled with the investment in Brazil’s telecom market that RCR Wireless recently spoke about, the region is set to provide a truly great digital experience for all those lucky enough to attend any of these events over the next few years.
Here at Axell, we played a key role to make the ultimate fan experience a reality during the London Games (watch our video here) by providing in-building coverage to the many venues both on and off the park. The success of the Olympic Games has been recognized on a global stage. When I consider, as a ‘fan’, what I hope for when I attend such events, sharing the experience with friends and family online in real time is something I have now come to expect. So a great in-building coverage solution that delivers high speed, high capacity multi-operator wireless services is crucial if you want to provide the fans with an experience they will treasure and never forget.
Perhaps I might be one of the lucky ones sitting in the Olympic Stadium in Rio in 2016 cheering for my favorite team and sharing such a wonderful experience!
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