American football’s NFL has expanded its partnership with US telecoms giant Verizon in a five-year deal.
Through a tie-up announced yesterday (February 8) which runs until 2028, Verizon has been named as the NFL’s official private wireless network for coach-to-coach communications.
This entails the company delivering a "managed private wireless solution" across each of the NFL’s 30 stadiums, which will include full support for coach-to-coach communications on the field.
Verizon claims the technology has already been successfully piloted, during all five NFL international games across 2022 – in Germany, the UK, and Mexico. This included deployment and management, testing and coordination, and in-game operational support.
Sowmyanarayan Sampath, chief executive at Verizon Business, said: “The NFL understands and leans into the power of innovation and technology, and this managed private wireless solution deployment is a testament to how the NFL uses the latest technology for the game.”
Verizon has said the technology provided will enable “speed, security, and reliability for critical on-field … communication.”
The telecoms heavyweight is set to showcase the new solution during an advertising commercial slot which will air immediately after the broadcast of the 2023 Super Bowl LVII on Sunday (February 12).
This new deal represents an expansion of an original 5G-focused agreement between the two parties, struck in 2021 and set to last for the next eight years.
That aspect of the partnership involves the NFL using 5G services provided by Verizon to find advancements that “have the ability to impact management, scouting, training, health and safety, and game day operations.”
The firm has installed 5G Ultra Wideband service in the vast majority of NFL stadiums over recent years.
Verizon and the NFL first partnered in 2010.
Earlier this week, in the build-up to Super Bowl LVII – which will take place at the State Farm Stadium in Arizona and will see the Philadelphia Eagles take on the Kansas City Chiefs – the NFL agreed to a 10-year deal with DAZN Group.
Through that tie-up, the international sports over-the-top platform will deliver the league’s NFL Game Pass International streaming service to fans outside the US from the 2023 season onwards.