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NFL rolls out RFID to enhance fan experience

The National Football League is deploying an RFID-based solution at 17 stadiums this fall to provide location based data and enhanced statistics for fans. RFID tags will be placed in the shoulder pads of all players, and readers from Zebra Technologies will be deployed throughout the stadiums.

Every player in the NFL will have an RFID tag embedded in their shoulder pads this season.

For the first time, the NFL will have the ability to accurately capture real-time player tracking statistics, such as acceleration and total distance run. The real-time nature of these statistics will enable fans to gain immediate insight into the action on the field.

Although teams officials and coaches won’t have access to the data this season, the intent is to make the knowledge captured from RFID available to them in the future.

“Working with Zebra will give fans, teams, coaches and players a deeper look into the game they love,” says Vishal Shah, the NFL’s vice president of media strategy. “Zebra’s tracking technology will help teams to evolve training, scouting and evaluation through increased knowledge of player performance, as well as provide ways for our teams and partners to enhance the fan experience.”

Zebra’s solution will be installed in the 15 stadiums that host Thursday Night Football games (Atlanta, Baltimore, Carolina, Chicago, Cincinnati, Denver, Green Bay, Houston, Jacksonville, Miami, New England, Oakland, San Francisco, St. Louis, Washington) as well as Detroit and New Orleans, and will capture information from all 32 teams.

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