Temperatures are getting cooler and fall is almost upon us. For sports fans, that means one thing: Football season has begun! But beyond touchdowns and tailgating, technology is now an integral part of the game – extending from the fan experience, which demands the reliability and performance of the underlying network infrastructure, to the overall club management and everything in back-office operations that make it all possible.

Professional teams are at the forefront of an unprecedented digital transformation – an environment where digital technology helps teams move faster, capitalize on new opportunities and better serve their fan base. Ticket-holders are no longer satisfied with basic stadium perks. Fans are part of the “always connected” population – where Internet access, powerful wireless, and interactive collaboration is a must. From watching replays via wireless streaming to tracking player stats, viewers expect a complete gaming environment. But it’s not just the fan base.

Professional teams make their money on data. Originating with college scouting, recruiters must endlessly analyze and project player performance – ensuring they’ll meet current and future team needs. This extends through back office operations, with core business functions requiring a data infrastructure built on availability and reliability. Taking this one step further, organizations must be empowered to collaborate effectively and in real-time – at the stadium, in the training facility, or at the office.

For both fans and teams, everything starts with an effective data network. High speed, on-demand networking can create an environment that is agile, reliable and secure. Acting as the infrastructure backbone, the right data network powers everything from storage and servers to virtualization platforms. An agile foundation with best-in-class connectivity also means leading sports organizations can quickly respond to changes as new demands emerge or the market evolves.

Partners like CenturyLink are actively helping the nation’s top sports entities — like my childhood hometown team, in Minnesota, or a recent rival to my adopted hometown, Seattle — succeed in this data-driven business. With a reliable and “always-on” network, as well as an ability to automatically tap resources for performance demands, they’re putting these new requirements front and center. Solutions like our Optical Wavelength Service (OWS) are just one example of how CenturyLink helps – providing dedicated broadband transport connectivity without large capital or resource investments. Built on multiple layers of redundancy, the infrastructure protects against failures, while ensuring large files can be transferred seamlessly. That’s the power of an agile, on-demand infrastructure.

Is your IT team ready for your next big “kick-off”?  We can help. We’ll share lessons learned and best practices for transforming your company into an agile business to satisfy your most discerning customers.

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