your momentum,” says Mike King, program manager for Zebra’s NFL partnership in San Jose, California, USA.
In the 49ers’ brand-new Levi’s Stadium, installation proved easy: Zebra
servers are racked in the venue’s server room and data is shared easily via all-digital connections. The only challenge was providing planning documents of
sufficient specificity to stadium personnel.
AGAINST THE CLOCK
By the end of the 2013 season, the system was working so well at Levi’s Stadium and Ford Field that the NFL awarded Zebra a contract to install its RFID
system in 18 venues for the 2014 season, and then all 32 NFL venues for 2015.
But as lawyers from the NFL and Zebra negotiated the contract in the second quarter of 2014, another project management challenge emerged: The
team would have to race to install RFID systems in the 18 venues, including
Wembley Stadium in London, which hosted three NFL games during the
league’s 2014 season. Scheduling was a major hurdle, as NFL teams have
varying levels of ownership of and access to the stadiums in which they play.
“Most days of the year, these places are filled with pop music concerts and
monster truck rallies,” Ms. Stelfox says.
Although the Zebra system takes only about a week to install, booking
a week inside 18 stadiums was no easy feat. Mr. King’s team spent months
surveying each venue, working with each stadium on a final plan and hiring
contractors to run cabling. The installations occurred from August, when the
useful during the
because it keeps
logistics from getting in
the way of your velocity.
It allows you to keep
—Mike King, Zebra Technologies Inc., San Jose,
Zebra Technologies’ Motion Works Sports Solution uses receivers installed
throughout the stadiums to communicate with radio-frequency identification
(RFID) transmitters placed inside the shoulder pads of each player to capture
precise location measurements, in real-time, during the game.