Verizon and the National Football League have entered into a ten-year partnership focusing on the use of 5G to “support innovation and technology” across the league, according to the carrier. Verizon has been named an Official Technology Partner and Official 5G Network of the league.
Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband now is live in 25 stadiums. One goal of the partnership is to leverage 5G to enhance management, scouting, training, health and safety and game day operations, according to Verizon.
Verizon and the NFL have worked together during the past decade. For instance, in 2019 the carrier deployed 5G Ultra Wideband in 13 stadiums. During the past two years, it has expanded the 5G footprint within those venues and surrounding areas. Deal terms for the partnership were not disclosed.
Verizon highlighted the new SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles as an example stadium for this 5G initiative. The stadium and surrounding campus of Hollywood Park were built with 5G Ultra Wideband at the core, Verizon outlined. The company says it spent $80 million outfitting the Raymond James Stadium and around Tampa with 5G, which included 70 miles of high speed fiber, an upgraded distributed antenna system (DAS), and 281 small cell antennas.
Applications for this technology partnership include in-stadium experiences such as Verizon 5G Multi-View. With 5G Multi-View, fans can view up to seven simultaneous camera angles and AR overlays of the NFL’s Next Gen Stats on select 5G-enabled phones. Multi-View will be available during the 2021 season in select NFL Club phone apps for fans in the stadium on game day.
“The NFL has embraced innovation for decades to bring fans closer to the game, from instant replay technology to outfitting players with microphones,” Verizon Chairman and CEO Hans Vestberg said in the press release. “Our longstanding relationship, and swift delivery of 5G connectivity in 25 stadiums, has created new ways to bring fans even closer to the action. As we embark on the next 10 years, our work with the NFL will continue to enhance and transform not only the fan experience, but also has the potential to improve player training and overall venue operations.”
The announcement came a year to the day after Verizon Media launched “Watch Together” and “Yahoo Sports PlayAR.” Watch Together enables fans to interact and immerse themselves in events from different locations. The NFL was named the first partner. Watch Together for NFL Live on Yahoo Sports enables three families or fans to use the feature to watch live local and primetime NFL games through a synchronized livestream.