US technology company Cisco has entered into a partnership with Real Madrid to enhance connectivity at the LaLiga club’s Santiago Bernabéu stadium, which is currently undergoing renovation work.
The multi-year deal will seek to transform the Bernabéu into one of the most technologically advanced sports venues in the world. As the official technological partner of Real Madrid, Cisco will equip the stadium with its connectivity, security, data centre and digital signage solutions.
According to Real Madrid, the Bernabéu will have Europe’s largest wireless connectivity network based on Wi-Fi 6 technology, with more than 1,200 access points to be installed around the stadium.
Real Madrid will look to use the partnership to offer innovative stadium experiences for fans. More than 1,000 screens, powered by Cisco’s IPTV solution, will also be fitted at the Bernabéu to increase fan engagement through HD video distribution and digital signage.
Emilio Butragueño, director of institutional relations at Real Madrid, said: “Thanks to this collaboration agreement with Cisco, a leader in connectivity and content management, the Santiago Bernabéu ensures that it can take data, voice and videos to any point and guarantee the widest range of services and an unparalleled show in the world of football.”
Andreu Vilamitjana, general director of Cisco Spain, added: “The Santiago Bernabéu is already reinventing the future of entertainment in sports venues, providing fans with unforgettable experiences and allowing content and services to have the highest quality and safety. We are excited to team up with Real Madrid to take interaction with fans to the next level.”
It was recently reported that Real Madrid had strengthened its ties with stadium operations giant Legends by agreeing a long-term deal with the US company for the commercial exploitation of the revamped Bernabéu.
The club has reportedly agreed a 25-year contract with Legends through which the firm will be entitled to 20% of the profits from a new company managing the Bernabéu, subject to the delivery of certain income targets.
Real Madrid’s transformation project for the Bernabéu includes the installation of a retractable pitch, with the system to aid the staging of events such as concerts.
The redevelopment project is expected to be completed at the beginning of 2023, with the costs having increased beyond the originally intended budget to between €800m (£670m/$884m) and €900m.
Cisco also holds partnerships with the NFL American football league and the organising committee for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.