Sunday, February 2, 2014

#NFLTechSeries 2013: Seattle Seahawks

Sport Techie and 12th Man Rising

At the outset of the 2013 NFL season, SportTechie, a startup that covers the latest news from the intersection of sports and technology, reported on the newest technological advances made by each of the 32 teams. These innovations spanned venues, mobile, digital media, player performance, and everything in between that impacts the overall fan experience.


Stadium experience, fan engagement, mobile technologies, player performance and health, statistical data gathering and analysis… any and all aspects of the organization’s procedures in the effort to find success in the NFL is on the table. We’re uncovering those efforts, investigating those innovations and pondering the benefit they might provide, for the team, players and fans alike… today and looking forward.  Chip Suttles, VP of Technology for Seattle Seahawks and Sounders FC is in his second season with both teams.  He has responsibility for IT, Digital, and Stadium Technology; here are few items that are on the horizon at CenturyLink Field this year. 


Supporting the Seahawks: Microsoft trumps Amazon for 12th Man passion


Microsoft put together something of its own on Friday to show support for the local NFL team.

The result is pretty sweet. About 7,000 Microsoft employees gathered on the Redmond campus this afternoon to form a massive “12,” as an ode to the 12th Man. The Seahawks — owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen — will go for their first-ever Super Bowl win on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. The game will be streamed for free online.


Deaf Seahawks fullback Derrick Coleman invites hearing impaired girls to Super Bowl

NY Daily News  KIRO and ABC News

Derrick Coleman was introduced to the world via his Duracell commercial about playing fullback for the Seattle Seahawks, despite being hearing impaired.  His story has inspired the whole country and especially hits home for students at Northwest School for Hearing Impaired Children.

Teachers at Northwest School in Shoreline said the students have been buzzing about the ad all week.  On Thursday, Kabian Rendel showed the YouTube clip to her class.  Students were glued to the screen and teachers were brought to tears as they watched the video…

On Thursday, he invited twins Riley and Erin Kovalcik to the Super Bowl game on Sunday on ABC's 'Good Morning America.' Riley, who is also hearing impaired, had written Coleman a letter after the Seahawk's defeated the San Francisco 49s to make it to the Super Bowl.


Wind Simulator? Fox Has Innovations Lined Up for Super Bowl Broadcast

NY Times

The president of Fox Sports, Eric Shanks, was fully dressed and talking about the network’s Super Bowl XLVIII production toys.

First, there is a wind simulator, software that will be able to show the breezy patterns (in yellow trails that look a little like fast-moving ghosts) inside MetLife Stadium. “Wind speeds are different at different elevations,” Shanks said. “The wind is different on top of the stadium where the flags are than it is at the 20-yard line.”


Second, an infrared camera will detect, in colors from white to dark blue, how hot or cold the players are. Third, Fox will use, if necessary, a graphic technology that can, as Shanks said, “extend the goal posts to infinity.”

Even with 52 cameras, Shanks said, Fox will not isolate one continuously on Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, who dropped the rant heard round the world on the sideline reporter Erin Andrews after the N.F.C. title game.  This week in a conference call, Richie Zyontz, the Fox game producer, said that he cut away quickly from Sherman because “it started crossing over a line that I just didn’t want to see us go.”  Sherman is a bright Stanford graduate who knows that he could have expressed his postgame emotions in calmer, more erudite terms that night.  Whenever he retires, he will be in demand as an analyst, angry or not.  “He’s great to be around,” Shanks said. “Maybe after the game, we’ll try to sign him.”


Nike's New 3D Printed Cleats to Debut at the Super Bowl

Mashable and Smithsonian

Super Bowl XLVIII may be one of the coldest in NFL history, but Nike's latest innovation may make it one of the fastest, too. The sports apparel company recently announced that Broncos and Seahawks players will wear its newest football cleats, the Vapor Carbon Elite, for the big game.

The new cleats succeed Nike's previous model, the Vapor Laser Talon, which helped players run faster, but only in a straight direction. Unfortunately, few NFL players only run in a straight line. They cut, juke, spin and shuffle. According to a statement on the Nike website, the designers of the Vapor Carbon Elite used a 3D print design to create a shoe that gives players better traction in all directions.

Nike researchers aimed the new design at addressing "zero step," the stance a player takes before he strides, according to Smithsonian Magazine.


Director: Super Bowl halftime show will be creative, cold


More than 110.5 million people worldwide watched the halftime show last year. Only 2012's performance by Madonna drew more viewers, and Beyonce's performance -- and the blackout that followed -- generated 229,000 tweets per minute on Twitter, its second most-tweeted moment ever.

Last year, 700 people transformed the field at the Superdome into a concert stage incorporating lasers, strobes, pyrotechnics and a preprogrammed stage floor that rose to become a 24-foot by 32-foot video wall. "With the kind of stuff that I do, technology is amazing. But at the end of the day, stories are way more powerful," he said. "Technology's massively important," Hamiltion continued. "You rely on it." But even as the technology at his disposal has improved, Hamilton says he's come to look at it differently.

"Technology allows you to do things now you could have never done before. So there's definitely a yin and a yang to it."


Bud Light Buys Up Most of the Super Bowl Ad Searches


Regardless of which Super Bowl ad you search on Google, there's one brand that keeps popping up: Bud Light.

The giant beer brand has not only bought up all the Google searches for "Super Bowl ad," but also for ads from specific advertisers.

When you click through the Bud Light ad, it sends you to the brand's YouTube channel. The channel features teasers for Super Bowl ads starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Don Cheadle.

Meanwhile, Volkswagen has purchased the term "Super Bowl" on Google. The ad directs users to VW's Super Bowl ad teaser, which was up to about 1.5 million YouTube views on Monday morning.

Bud Light appears to have bought many Super Bowl ad searches on Bing as well, while VW has purchased others. Some gaps exist, including Doritos, which has no paid ad searches on Bing; but Doritos, VW and Bud Light each bought ads against the Google search for "Doritos Super Bowl ad."


10 Things I Learned After America Learned About Me

MMQB – Richard Sherman

1. No one has ever made himself great by showing how small someone else is.

2. This stage is bigger than I thought it was.

3. When to look away.

4. I’m lucky to have detractors.

5. It’s not all black and white.

6. The NFL always wins.

7. Anonymity isn’t for me.

8. The violence takes a toll.

9. Pete Carroll is a rock.

10. If I could turn back the clock …


Can H&M's Interactive Super Bowl Ad, David Beckham's Body Make TV Shopping Click?

Fast Company

With advertisers pulling out all the stops for the year's largest and most engaged audience, the Super Bowl is the perfect stage to make a statement. For H&M, this year's big game will be an opportunity to showcase the potential of television commerce, as well as David Beckham's oft-adored body, with an interactive, shoppable commercial.

In the second quarter of Sunday's big game, H&M's ad will be powered by Delivery Agent's technology that lets viewers make purchases from television shows and ads. Back when the company started in 2005, the execution was much clunkier. When viewers watched NBC's Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Delivery Agent's first client, they had to go online to make purchases. Eventually the proliferation of mobile devices--and the rise of the second screen--changed that experience, allowing viewers to browse and make purchases on an app while watching TV.


VIDEO: Why Bank of America Is Doing a Super Bowl Ad with U2


Why will Bank of America Corp. be hanging out with U2 during the Super Bowl?

Turns out the Charlotte, N.C., bank has made a deal with U2 to appear in a Super Bowl ad, singing its new song “Invisible,” to promote Bono’s Red charity that raises funds for HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention in Africa. Bank of America is donating $1 for each iTunes download of “Invisible.”

In this video, BofA’s Brian Moynihan — sitting next to Bono — explains why BofA is supporting the cause (during the Super Bowl, the year’s biggest advertising showcase).


How NASA makes the Super Bowl possible


NASA and the Super Bowl may not be two things you'd normally put in the same sentence together, but Sunday's big game wouldn't be the same without innovative spinoff technologies from space exploration.  From helmets to headsets to the communications satellites that allows fans to watch around the world, NASA's legacy can be found throughout the Super Bowl Sunday experience. So when the Seattle Seahawks face off against Denver's Broncos, the teams will have NASA to thank for some of their basic tech needs.  Here's a look at some of the NASA's space technology spinoffs (and some pop culture, too) that have found their way into Super Bowl:

Helmet Foam

Shiny Helmets

Wireless QB radio headsets

Satellite Communications for TV Broadcasts

NASA’s NFL Astronaut

Super Bowl Coin Flips

Super Bowl Commercials


Seattle Seahawks Win As The Trending Tech Team


Most people see the Seattle Seahawks as a football team that happen to be on a rare streak that puts them in Super Bowl XLVIII. But the real story yet to be written is that they are the type of professional sports team that embodies the future off the field as well. What is trending off the field for Seattle is to be at the top of the disruptive technologies platform among the 32 NFL teams.

They have among the most state of the art stadiums, with revenue enhancers beyond ticket sales abundantly and strategically placed throughout CenturyLink Field. It’s what the Seahawks do with state of the art media facilities and business staff that put them over the top.  


What is disruptively tasty about this organization is that they have partnered with a company that allows nearly instantaneous packaging of the game day experience into a customized video presentation for existing and future sponsors.


Can the Seattle Seahawks' '12th Man' be a 747? Boeing says yes


To celebrate the Seahawks' appearance in this Sunday's Super Bowl, the aviation giant has painted one of its 747-8 freighters in the NFL team's livery.

Boeing said today that to commemorate the Seattle Seahawks' NFC championship and the team's appearance in this Sunday's Super Bowl against the Denver Broncos, it has painted one of its 747-8 freighters in Seahawks livery. The Boeing-owned plane will make its first flight with the new paint job tomorrow. To go along with photos of the plane -- which features a big "12" on its tail, a reference to the fact that Seattle fans have come to be known as the "12th man" thanks to the record-breaking noise they make at home games -- Boeing offered up a few humorous tidbits about the plane.


For example, Boeing pointed out, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson's longest pass went for 80 yards -- or 240 feet -- almost the same length as the fuselage of a 747-8 (243.5 feet). Similarly, Wilson threw for a total of 3,357 yards (10,071 feet) during the 2013 season, just short of the 10,650 feet a 747-8 needs to take off. And, finally, a 747-8 at takeoff goes fast enough that it can cover the length of a football field in just one second.