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Super Bowl viewers offered 5G interactive experiences

Verizon-powered digital features available to those in the stadium and at home.

by Ed Dixon

Super Bowl viewers offered 5G interactive experiences
  • Features include access to different camera angles and AR overlays
  • Verizon invests over US$80m to enhance its network around Raymond James Stadium

US telecommunications giant Verizon has unveiled a range of 5G-powered features for this year’s Super Bowl, designed to elevate the fan experience for those watching the event at home or at Raymond James Stadium.

The in-venue solutions will aim to deliver immersive and interactive viewing, including through the Verizon 5G SuperStadium in the National Football League’s (NFL) app. This will enable iPhone 12 users to engage with seven different camera angles while in the stadium or five angles from home. They will also be able to project augmented reality (AR) overlays of NFL’s Next Gen Stats for players.

Verizon Media’s Watch Together offering, available on the Yahoo Sports mobile app, will also let fans co-watch Super Bowl LV with friends and family on their phones. Both SuperStadium and Watch Together are powered by Verizon Media Platform’s real-time streaming technology.

Additionally, Verizon is offering another fan experience with the creation of the Verizon 5G Stadium, made in the Fortnite Creative video game. Supporters will have the opportunity to interact with NFL players and pro gamers, including through four football-inspired games which will stream on Twitch and Verizon’s official Twitter. Tua Tagovailoa, Kyler Murray, Tarik Cohen, Saquon Barkley, Joey Bosa and Ryan Shazier are among the confirmed NFL players.

Verizon says it has invested more than US$80 million to enhance its network to support the Super Bowl, with Raymond James Stadium and the surrounding areas receiving ‘substantial’ 5G enhancements. This includes 70 miles of high speed fibre, an upgraded distributed antenna system (DAS), and 281 small cell antennas that will provide coverage at events in and around the stadium as well as Downtown Tampa, Ybor City, and the Tampa Riverwalk. 

“With 5G, we are beginning to see the transformation of various industries and the innovation that comes with it,” said Diego Scotti, chief marketing officer at Verizon.

“Reimagining live events is one of the best use cases for the power of 5G. During a year like this one, it is a thrill to transform the Super Bowl experience by creating a first-of-its-kind virtual stadium in Fortnite that brings a new level of gaming to life, while at the same time we’re innovating the in-stadium experience.”

Ahead of the NFL championship game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, licensed sports merchandise retailer Fanatics has revealed that the Bucs’ star quarterback Tom Brady is breaking records for sales.

The NFL icon is currently the best-selling NFL player ever for Fanatics in the two weeks between the Conference Championships and Super Bowl. It only took Brady three days to sell more than he did in those full two weeks back in 2018.

The 43-year-old, unsurprisingly, also dominates his team’s merchandise, with half of Bucs sales since last Sunday being for Brady merchandise. Fanatics says that figure is typically at 20 per cent for the best-selling player on an NFL franchise.

Brady, who is looking to secure his seventh Super Bowl ring this weekend, signed a long-term partnership with Fanatics last October, designating the company as his exclusive distributor of memorabilia, autographs and collectibles.