Cisco touts high-tech NBA All-Star weekend

The NBA will use networking gear from Cisco to keep fans up to speed with all the action from the All-Star weekend in New York.

Cisco told that its Wi-Fi products and networking switches are being used courtside at Madison Square Garden and Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, the two All-Star host venues, to quickly send photos around the globe. NBA All-Star players will also use Cisco’s TelePresence technology to conduct live face-to-face interviews with journalists around the world.

Madison Square Garden will host the All-Star celebrity game on Friday and the All-Star game itself on Sunday evening. On Friday evening Barclays Center will host the Rising Stars Challenge for the NBA’s best young players.

With all eyes on the All-Star weekend, Cisco has also launched a competition to find the NBA’s “most connected fan,” which runs through March 6.

The company is inviting fans to share how they stay connected with their favorite teams and players. Using the hashtags #ConnectedFan and #contest, fans can enter the competition by writing or posting photos and videos on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram about how they stay connected to the keep game. The winner will receive tickets to a regular season NBA game and NBA merchandise.

A major provider of technology to the sports industry, Cisco is using the All-Star weekend as an opportunity to discuss its efforts around what it describes as “the Internet of Everything,” essentially connecting a wide range of applications and devices to networks.

“We know that fans are more connected to the game than ever before and this will only increase in the future as the Internet of Everything shapes how leagues, teams and venues utilize technology to transform the fan experience,” explained Joseph Bradley, vice president of  Cisco’s Global Internet of Everything Practice, in an email to “Cisco’s Most Connected Fan contest is a fun way for Cisco to gather feedback about how fans are engaging and complement the research we are doing around the world.”

Technology is increasingly evident in all aspects of sport. Players in this year’s Super Bowl, for example, wore small Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tracking devices from Zebra Technologies in their shoulder pads. Performance data from wearable technology has also been credited with helping Germany win last year’s World Cup in Brazil.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers