How Mitel brought its communications blueprint to baseball's London Series

How Mitel brought its communications blueprint to baseball's London Series

The Canadian telco had to bring its communications technology infrastructure into the London Stadium along with the baseball diamond and the two teams to ensure the smooth running of the first ever London series for Major League Baseball

Credit: Dreamstime

It has been a week since the MLB imported 340 tons of clay from Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania and went about transforming the London Stadium - centrepiece of the 2012 Olympic games and now home to West Ham United FC - into a baseball park for the first ever International Series, where old rivals the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees faced off into two high-scoring games.

Not only did Major League Baseball (MLB) have to drastically reconfigure the physical stadium to host the game, it also needed to import the communications and technology infrastructure required to keep coaches and umpires in touch with one another, the press and media corps connected and link back to the review centre in New York for instant replay reviews.

Canadian telco Mitel won a contract in 2018 to provide standardised in-stadium communications technology around all 30 Major League Baseball parks, putting them in charge of ensuring that the London Stadium was similarly well equipped.

"The majority of the significant work was on reconfiguring the stadium itself and it was transformed, it felt like a baseball park," Richard Roberts, Mitel's vice president of sales for the UK, Ireland and Southern Africa told Computerworld UK.

Commenting on the communications infrastructure, he added: "We have done this so often it is the same we have deployed elsewhere, from ruggedised phones and enclosures, to the infrastructure for call control and recording. That is identical and can be done at any stadium. The real challenge was configuring that stadium to feel like a true baseball stadium."

Before winning this centralised contact with the MLB, Mitel has worked with franchises like the Boston Red Sox and San Diego Padres to create in-stadium digital experiences, as well as Premier League football teams Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur.

This is where Roberts envisions Mitel being able to bring more innovation to the baseball experience for fans and teams. "You will see more IoT, enhanced security, in-seat retail, new digital experiences," he said.

"There are lots of things an individual can do, it is a noisy world we compete in, so we need to stay on the front foot," he added, with social media, personalised digital experiences and new retail opportunities all key to MLB franchises as they try to stem falling fan numbers for 'America's pastime'.

"There is lots going on and Mitel is showing customer's innovation, especially at venue level with things like real time communication based on facial recognition for security, or the ability to spot and track a VIP to make their experience the best it could be," Roberts said. "That tech is there and we have shown that in use at the demo level."

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