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This is a guest post by Andreu Vilamitjana, Cisco Spain General Manager 

In the next few years there will be significant transformation across the sports and entertainment industry. Incredible changes are going to occur with converged networks, wireless, sensors, AI and much more, delivering speed, reliability, and opportunity like never before. 

Right now, that is happening for Real Madrid. The club is reimagining how fans, players, and its operations’ teams experience the game by developing one of the most advanced connected stadiums in Europe. 

Today we are thrilled to officially announce that Cisco is becoming the Official Technology Partner of Real Madrid. Although Cisco solutions have served as the technological foundation of Santiago Bernabéu Stadium for many years, now we will outfit Santiago Bernabéu Stadium with an end-to-end deployment of industry-leading technology, all built on a single, converged, intelligent Cisco network. 

This converged platform will allow the club to support all facets of gameday operations, ranging from safety and security to sideline communication and video replay, while being more flexible, responsive, and resilient. 

Wi-Fi 6 and high-definition video 

The 85,000-seat multi-purpose stadium will feature the latest in Wi-Fi 6 for connectivity to power the ultimate fan experience. More than 1,200 Wi-Fi 6 access points in Santiago Bernabéu Stadium will deliver faster speeds for more immersive experience applications, as well as more bandwidth and higher reliability than the previous standard. 

Also, more than 1,000 screens powered by Cisco’s end-to-end IPTV solution, combining high-definition video delivery with state-of-the art digital signage, will allow the Club to drive incremental fan engagement and revenue activation throughout the complex. 

An interactive and secure experience 

After two years of social distancing and the accelerated digitization, all kinds of consumers have shifted the way they consume content. Sports fans are no different. They want the game to be highly interactive, relying on live stats, chats with friends, 360° camera angles, and more, whether at the venue or watching from home. 

From WiFi 6 to DNA Spaces and an IP broadcast network capable of streaming in 8K and beyond, this infrastructure will allow Real Madrid to also redefine its operations to deliver a fully secure fan experience. 

Into the future and beyond  

The time is now to prioritize investment in digital infrastructure; not only for the sports and entertainment companies, but for every industry. There are new audiences to be captured, business operations to streamline and secure, and new revenue streams to monetize. 

Through the partnership, Real Madrid will leverage the full breadth of Cisco solutions -from enterprise networking and security to data center, digital signage and more-, and our leading expertise in working alongside the largest leagues, teams, and venues throughout the world, including Sofi Stadium, the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the US National Football League and many more.  

Over the course of the next few years connectivity will reshape the sports industry and redefine what is possible. We believe that digitization and connection are more important than ever before, and that we are currently at a significant inflection point that presents an opportunity to create dynamic, digital experiences for all the fans experiences, either in-person, hybrid or remote. Together, Cisco and Real Madrid are already taking the sports and entertainment industry into the future and beyond. 

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