Wasps launch high-tech innovation lounge at Ricoh Arena


As technology continues to make an impact in not only transforming live sporting events but society, professional rugby side Wasps has unveiled an innovation space that provides digital expertise and resources to local businesses.

In partnership with mobile communications network provider Vodafone, the club’s Vodafone Business Lounge at the Ricoh Arena to give businesses in the UK’s West Midlands an opportunity to experience the digital latest technologies such as 5G, the internet of things (IOT), and high-speed fiber broadband.

At the launch of this new space, Vodafone also revealed the results of recent research that suggest that 5G will revolutionize the sports industry more than any other developing technology. It revealed that more than three quarters (76%) of business leaders from sports organizations believe improving fan engagement and delivering new and innovative experiences is key to future success.

The same number believe 5G will have a bigger impact on fan experiences than 4G.  They suggest 5G will enable them to improve fan engagement with applications such as live-streaming video, mixed reality experiences and real-time access to information reinventing the fan experience both for those at the event or watching elsewhere.

Anne Sheehan, director, Vodafone Business UK, said: “Sport is an area where 5G technology will have a huge impact. It has the potential to transform the fan experience; change the way sports organizations operate, open up new revenue opportunities; and help athletes improve their fitness and training programs.  Our holographic call with Steph Houghton last year was a great example of how technology can be used to bring fans closer to the action and give them experiences that were previously out of reach.

Alongside fan experiences, sports leaders highlight innovation (30%), player performance (30%) and talent (27%) as their key concerns. However, while 78% believe the sports sector drives incredible innovation, 70% believe it is behind other industry sectors in adopting new technology.

Anne added: “It is hugely encouraging that a remarkable 80% of sports organizations believe 5G will underpin how they run their companies. We want to help organizations understand the potential of 5G and benefit from its speed, responsiveness and reliability. We think this technology is a game-changer for businesses, the economy and the UK as a whole.”

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James has been Editor of Stadia since 2018 having worked at print and digital magazines and websites around the world covering everything from lifestyle to sport, technology, motoring, and more. He also edits Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International.

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