With an eye toward technology and its use in continuing to develop the game on and off the ice, the NHL and Cisco on Tuesday announced a multi-year renewal of their strategic partnership to feature Cisco technology solutions in key video-dependent areas such as hockey operations, business operations, marquee events and direct-to-consumer applications.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman made the announcement at a press conference in Palm Beach, Fla., and to media in New York City, Toronto and San Jose, Calif., through a Cisco TelePresence connection. Bettman's press conference marked the first time a professional sports commissioner has utilized Cisco TelePresence technology to host a multi-city press conference.
"Cisco offers game-changing technology that will benefit the way we present the game to our fans -- as well as the way we do business," Bettman said. "We are excited about exploring the new possibilities this relationship will create."
The NHL will use wireless and fixed networks optimized for video to power its communications and content delivery of game footage, analysis and player interviews, and fan contributions.
"Technology is a key driver in enabling the NHL to deliver an immersive engagement between its fans, teams and their players," said Rob Lloyd, Cisco's Executive Vice President of Worldwide Operations. "The NHL leads the sports world in the innovative use of technology, and Cisco is delighted to extend our partnership to further enhance the fan experience."
The NHL has deployed Cisco TelePresence, a life-sized, high-definition video collaboration system, in its offices in New York and Toronto. This technology provides the feeling of being "in-person" with participants in remote locations. The League also will showcase Cisco TelePresence services on the NHL Network and NHL.com.
As the official partner of marquee NHL events such as the NHL Winter Classic, NHL Heritage Classic and NHL All-Star game, Cisco technology solutions will be utilized to enhance the unique NHL game experience inside and outside of the venues, allowing fans to access exclusive content and data.
Cisco's video content distribution network also is being utilized to make NHL Fantasy Hockey on Yahoo! the only platform that provides fantasy team owners with access to video highlights of every goal from every game throughout the season.
In addition, beginning Tuesday, fans can choose their own official NHL Flip video camera with the NHL logo or a custom design from any one of the 30 NHL teams. A great gift for hockey fans, the new Flip designs are available exclusively through the Flip Video online store (www.theflip.com/NHL).
"Cisco has helped to make technology accessible and enjoyable for every-day consumers," said Simon Fleming-Wood, Vice President, Americas Marketing, Cisco Consumer Products. "With Flip Video, we have opened a world of personal video that is simple, affordable and fun. Working with the NHL, we can empower hockey fans to shoot and share amazing video on or off the ice, while also showing support for their favorite team with a unique NHL jersey-designed Flip.”
Edmonton Oilers right wing Jordan Eberle and Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin will be featured in the Flip Video 2010 holiday campaign, "Do You Flip?"
Cisco also will equip a team of 20 NHL.com reporters with their own NHL logo Flip video cameras to use as they travel to games around the U.S. and Canada. With their official NHL Flips, the on-the-scene reporters will be able to enhance their coverage by capturing video footage from the games to post to the NHL.com website.
During each season of the partnership, Cisco also will support the NHL Foundation in its development of an NHL Lions Den, contributing Cisco TelePresence technology that will enable hospitalized children to interact with NHL players and legends.