Live From Super Bowl LVI: Verizon Powers 5G Multi-View for In-Venue Fans, Halftime-Show Option for At-Home Viewers
The company aims to provide new ways to enjoy the NFL’s biggest game of the year
During the final game of the 2021-22 National Football League calendar, football fans at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles and millions watching across the nation will be able to leverage a treasure trove of digital activations. Anchored by a 5G infrastructure at one of the league’s newest venues and a partnership with the NFL, Verizon will be driving numerous forms of mobile-first content, including a live view of the game from seven angles and an alternative way to watch the Pepsi Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show in real time.
“Compared to last year [in Tampa], the stadium is going to be packed,” says Eric Nagy, director, sports partnerships and innovation, Verizon. “The 5G deployment for the venue is strong, so we’ll be able to cover the entire building with ultra wideband.”
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Having invested $119 million and working closely with league executives, Verizon will highlight 5G technologies within the stadium and surrounding Hollywood Park campus.
Once fans enter through the turnstiles, Verizon 5G Multi-View in the NFL Ticketholder App will offer them a new way of viewing Super Bowl LVI. During any given drive or play happening between the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals, fans can access seven simultaneous camera angles and can also deploy rewind to re-watch other plays. Tapping into the main cameras being used by NBC Sports for the linear telecast, Nagy and his team aim to give in-venue fans a view of the action from a unique vantage point. This includes aerial views from the Skycam or field access via a handheld camera. The crew will have other video feeds ready to go in case one of the seven selected cameras temporarily goes offline.
Along with these seven cameras, among whose feeds fans will be able to switch, the team at Verizon is adding an extra element to allow fans to understand the game on a deeper level with Next-Gen Stats powered by Amazon Web Services.
“Fans can use this augmented-reality experience to see how win probabilities change throughout the game,” Nagy notes. “We’ll also have replays with integrated overlays that show the distance of a throw or how fast a player is running.”
5G Multi-View has been a long time coming. Although 5G was implemented for SoFi’s first regular season, in 2020-21, Verizon had to wait until this year, with fans finally allowed into the venue, to see the strength of the infrastructure. “With our engineers, individuals at the NFL, and people with the Chargers or Rams,” says Nagy, “we were at every game to test where the product would be used and making sure that the network was optimized. It has been a season-long journey.”
When not accessing 5G Multi-View, fans have two other opportunities to display their passion and competitiveness. Verizon is promoting exclusive Snapchat-based filters through the app, allowing fans to choose one of four teams in a cheering-based game. Based on activity and fans’ involvement with the filters, an AR overlay shown on the field will encourage them to cheer on their squad. In previous Super Bowls, this technology supported fewer than 100 users. In 2022, 10,000 users will connect to each other at the same time.
Also in the NFL Ticketholder App, the NFL Ultra Toss will give fans another chance to compete against each other. Demonstrated at Super Bowl LIV in Miami, the improved version of the game will be the first done on the Mobile Edge Compute platform and will offer new features: a leaderboard, a moving target, AR overlays to track progress of each participating section, multiple tosses per player, and additional NextGen Stats.
Both for fans in the stadium and for those watching from home, Verizon and Pepsi will offer a brand-new look at the halftime entertainment through the Pepsi Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show ULTRA PASS Powered by Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband. On the Pepsi Halftime App, fans can surf through videos of the headliners — Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, Eminem, and Mary J. Blige — and can also receive 360-degree coverage of the stage from three different angles. In addition to two vantage points at each end zone, the mainstage view consists of seven cameras edited together.
“This will be a culmination of some of the portal experiences we’ve done before with the Indy 500 and other sporting events,” says Nagy. “It’s pretty cool having cameras in places where you’re not going to be able to see [in person]. We’re looking forward to it.”
As kickoff nears, Verizon is reaching the moment its team has been working toward all year long. Nagy may be at the head of the project, but his entire team is a major reason NFL fans will be able to consume multiple offerings on Sunday night.
“I’m extremely proud of the team and their continued efforts,” says Nagy. “They’ve dedicated their nights and weekends and have traveled week after week to make sure that the product is rock solid. It has been great to see.”