What is success in college athletics? For most fans, players, coaches and administrations the wins and losses column often defines it. For Erik Jones, the CIO of the University of Washington Intercollegiate Athletics (UW-ICA) department, on-field success is only one part of the victory… the second part is creating one of the most technically advanced college athletics campuses in the country.
The journey began years ago with activations like technology upgrades at the new Husky Stadium and Jones’ work never stops. In April 2019 he enlisted the help of Comcast here in Washington to take the departments digital transformation to the next level, by building and implementing one of the most technically advanced video solutions for a college campus in the entire country.
The state-of-the-art integration from Comcast enhances the entire UW Athletics Village’s video capabilities, giving fans, coaches, staff and players the best video experience available. With the help of Comcast, UW-ICA now utilizes a hybrid Internet Protocol television (IPTV) integration to distribute a standardized, high quality video experience across the entire athletics campus, including to Husky Stadium, Alaska Airlines Arena, the Husky Ballpark and five other buildings.
With this integration Husky Stadium is now the only college stadium on the West Coast offering this type of tailored video solution to fans during a game, as well. As a result, UW is now able to give fans a truly one-of-a-kind video experience that they can’t find anywhere else when they come to a Husky football game. Jones chatted with the local news at KING-5 in April on this tech boost for UW athletics and what fans can expect in the future from Comcast on-campus:
To power this new solution, Comcast is powering the UW Athletics Village with enough video broadband resources to support an urban metropolis – creating a difference
A Better Game Day Experience for UW Football in Husky Stadium
“Any number of small technical issues can occur during a game. Thanks to Comcast, we are now able to have more time and resources to troubleshoot other technical issues across the stadium,” noted Elise Groves, IT Director, University of Washington ICA. “This has also had a tremendous impact on our team too. When we can automate key tasks, it makes everybody’s job easier and less stressful.”
Prior to the Comcast solution, roughly 70 percent of UW’s support on game day was dedicated to managing and trouble-shooting video related issues, which impacted the delivery of video content and services across its stadium television network. The Comcast integration simplified this entire management and distribution process across Husky Stadium.
As a result, the UW-ICA IT team can evenly disperse support across other important systems, such as the stadium’s on-premise and cloud-based intelligent platforms, the network monitoring of thousands of edge devices and support of point-of-sale and ticketing technology. Through this more streamlined and simplified video support model from Comcast, fans now get a video content experience in premium areas – including suites and luxury boxes.
Powering the Rest of the Sports Campus
This video solution is also positively influencing Alaska Airlines Arena. Through it, different video feeds are managed in a seamless manner, eliminating the need for weekly third-party vendor support and check-ins. It has also improved the fan video experience in key arena hotspots, like the concourse areas, The Backcourt Club and the Founder’s Club.
Available in every coach’s office, locker room, and student athlete lounge across the athletics village, Comcast’s video solution is being pushed to hundreds of xFi X1 TV boxes and X1 cable boxes, much like you would see in your home. This fills a critical need for student athletes, coaches and other staff members who spend so much time on campus each day.
“These individuals dedicate hours of extra work to their respective sports, and this integration helps improve how they use video to scout and analyze their competition and enriches the limited downtime they have during a busy week,” Jones added. “Comcast has been deeply engaged and supportive throughout this transformational process and has provided the content expertise to provide a highly technical video solution to our day-to-day business problems.”
Be on the lookout for more technology integrations with Comcast and the University of Washington Athletic Department, as the school and the technology provider look to build the best video and technology user experience for fans, student athletes, coaches and the entire athletic department.