Flow gone Wi-Fi

...Vows free internet to 30,000-capacity National Stadium for Champs

BY SHERDON COWAN Observer staff reporter cowans@jamaicaobserver. com

Monday, March 14, 2016

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firm Flow in its aim to give patrons a complete ‘Champs’ experience, will launch a groundbreaking initiative of offering free wireless internet connection (Wi-Fi) throughout the entire National Stadium at the ISSA/Grace Kennedy Boys’ and Girls’ Championship.

The innovative move to provide organisers, media and patrons at the event the benefit of high speed internet will be the first activation of its kind. It is also expected to solve the longstanding issue of internet connection at major events from time to time at the National Stadium.

The five-day event will commence today and will culminate on Saturday.

Stephen Miller, Flow’s sponsorship and events manager, explained that the move, along with other on-the-ground activities to be executed by the Quad-play firm, is in keeping with the dynamic changes in the sporting arena.

"The dynamic of sports has changed significantly over the last decade; it is not necessarily only about watching somebody run or kicking a football, but it has become more of giving a patron a complete experience. This is what we try to do throughout all our sponsorship as it relates to sports, and Champs is no different.

"We try to create that experience at these big events, so for Champs we are going to Super Wi-Fi the entire Stadium; grandstand, bleachers, media, sponsors and stadium east, every single inch of the National Stadium will have free Super Wi-Fi," Miller revealed while addressing reporters at the
Jamaica Observer’s Monday Exchange at the tabloid’s Beechwood Avenue headquarters yesterday.

"Wi-Fi within itself is great, especially for the media, and we want to ensure that we facilitate almost instantaneous communication and information coming out of what is certainly the biggest championships at a secondary level in the world," he added.

Miller pointed out that patrons will be able to access the wireless connection at a speed of four mega bytes (4MB) per patron with an anticipation of a 30,000-patron capacity.

He outlined that with the assistance of popular Video Loggers (Vloggers) Prince Pine and Elli the Viner, Flow will conduct a total on-the- ground fan interaction experience to delight patrons.

"Wi-Fi on its own is great, but we have to find a way to have it facilitate fan interaction and patron engagement, and that is what we are going to be doing. So as it relates to the patron engagement and the fan interaction, we will be capturing that energy and the excitement of the fans.

"Prince Pine and Elli the Viner will be going around with these camera crews interviewing patrons with their corky angles, and all of this will be uploaded to our social media pages and you will be able to see a reflection of the school spirit for the various institutions on the two big screens that will be in the stadium," said Miller.

He continued: "So all in all we are trying to create an experience, a complete one for the fan that comes. While the mainstay of the competition is watching these athletes compete, we want to ensure that we deliver a complete experience which is facilitated by our innovation and the technology that we stand behind at Flow."

Miller also alluded to Flow’s significant investment as a partner of the showpiece event which is in excess $81 million to span over the next three years.

A part of these investments include their ‘Journey to Champs’ campaign where they launch a build-up to the showpiece event, while contributing a sum of $200,000 to the top five schools to assist with sports development programmes.

"Our investment recently into Boys’ and Girls’ Champs certainly underlines, not just our commitment to ISSA and Champs, but Flow’s overall contribution to sports and youth development in Jamaica.

"Champs is always about rivalry and about exhibiting school spirit, whether you are from green side purple side, light blue or dark blue. We have gone into schools on our journey to Champs to almost create a pep rally type of vibe to energise the base at each of these schools," he reasoned.

Meanwhile, Carlo Redwood, vice-president of marketing and products, in adding to the free Wi-Fi experience, used the opportunity to outline the company’s retail activation that will be on offer at the stadium and in selected dealer outlets on Friday.

"Our customers and general telecommunications customers can look forward to our phone special that is going to be on offer at the stadium on Friday and in selected outlets where you will be able to buy a Huawei y360 for $2,500 plus tax. That is obviously the lowest price we have offered on this particular high- quality, high-demand android handset," said Redwood.

He added: "So that is significant, and again we will be engaging spectators and put in on our
Facebook page so you have access to the Wi-Fi, you can go and see yourself, just to give a more interactive experience for them to enjoy the free Wi-Fi. We have never done it before and that will be available to every single person at whatever point in the stadium at no additional cost.

"That speaks to the network; we have a combination of network delivery at the stadium; we have Lime, Fibre and certainly our new service Dekal to ensure a stable quality experience throughout the stadium. So we have multiple executions of the network to ensure that we can cover that amount of people getting high- speed Wi-Fi, so we are pretty excited about that — the first time anyone would have done that in the National Stadium."

Redwood argued that the innovative executions at the ISSA Boys’ and Girls’ Championships is a launching pad in their preparation to give customers a magical experience as exclusive broadcast sponsors of the Olympic Games in Brazil.

"We are always trying to find new and creative ways to engage Jamaicans around sports, and the fact that we are the exclusive broadcast sponsor of the Olympics is a good thing for us. Athletics is key in Jamaica… we have a couple of areas that we are focused on dealing with athletics, with Champs being one.

"The sponsorship of the Jamaica Administrative Athletics Association (JAAA), being telecomm sponsors of the Jamaica athletics team, and the coverage and the broadcast of the Olympic is one. So we think that it works all together, Champs being the kind of platform for us as we get ready for these youngsters to get into the Olympics and to get into exposing them on the world stage," he declared.

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