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This is a post by Ashley Marusak, Global Sports Sponsorship Manager at Cisco.

If you’re anything like me and sped through the latest season of Drive to Survive far too quickly, I have some incredibly exciting news to share. Cisco has become an Official Technology Partner of McLaren Racing, building on an existing relationship between the Formula 1 team and Webex, which for the past year has served as the team’s Official Collaboration Partner.  

From a brand perspective, there is no more natural place for Cisco to make its next foray in the sports partnership world than in Formula 1 – one of the fast-growing sports in popularity in the world. Technology is inherently woven into every aspect of racing, and the pace of innovation is unceasing, as the smallest enhancement can make all the difference when every millisecond matters. McLaren shares Cisco’s commitment to the pursuit of innovation, as already seen over the past year as the team has leveraged Webex’s portfolio of solutions – including Webex Hologram—to continually search for that next competitive edge.  

The complexity of the Formula 1 cars is truly staggering. These cars are effectively super-computers racing around a track, built and designed by the brightest engineering minds. Much like a network deployment, every piece is purpose-built. And the same attributes that are key to success in racing are true too of the technology behind it – speed, reliability, intelligence and automation.  

The expansion of our partnership will allow McLaren to leverage the full breadth of Cisco’s solutions both on the track and off to truly become one of the most connected F1 teams in history. Whether that means exploring enhanced connectivity at the track on race-day through next-generation technology such as Wi-Fi 6E or ensuring that the team’s headquarters at the McLaren Technology Centre has the latest and greatest solutions for team members and guests, we are excited to push the boundaries through a partnership built to drive success.  

Our expanded relationship with McLaren is one more way that you see Cisco continuing to push forward in the world of sports and entertainment on a global level and builds on our announcement last week of a new partnership with one of the most beloved and storied football clubs in the world, Real Madrid. Real Madrid has been a Cisco customer for many years, and as we move into the next chapter of our relationship, we are excited to transform their home arena, Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, into the most connected venue in Europe with the largest deployment of Cisco’s Wi-Fi 6 technology.  

The expanded partnership will allow Real Madrid to further strengthen their reputation as a global leader of innovation and leverage Cisco’s experience and expertise to help ensure the world-class arena remains at the forefront of technology for years to come.  

These two announcements – in two completely different sports – illustrates Cisco’s continued global leadership in the industry. For more than a decade, Cisco has pioneered purpose-built solutions for sports and entertainment, including the first-ever high-density Wi-Fi network built for a sporting venue. Fast forward to 2022, and we are architecting world-class venues such as SoFi Stadium and Santiago Bernabéu Stadium that redefine the fan and venue operator experience; securing events like the Super Bowl; building networks that perform on the largest stages in the world, driving more data traffic than has ever been seen before; and pushing the boundaries of Wi-Fi connectivity in all types of traditional and non-traditional environments.  

There is no better proof point of why Cisco, and how on the strength of our talent and our technology, we are truly powering the sports and entertainment industry into a more connected future.  

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