5G, Super Bowl, And The Future Of Sports

Apart from the football matches and halftime performances, another battle that happened in this year’s Super Bowl is between Verizon and T-Mobile flexing their 5G capabilities during the event to score some potential customers.

Both carriers showcased advertisements during the event which present the future of the world with the abilities of 5G.


Verizon also partnered with the National Football League to add 5G-only capabilities in the NFL OnePass app.

Apart from the standard features accessible to 4G users such as the capability to direct Super Bowl attendees to the nearest bathroom or food stall, 5G users were also given the ability to:

  • Access a multi-camera angle streaming feature, allowing them to rewind and play instant replay footage from various angles and,
  • View Augmented Reality (AR) real-time stat displays

It is not only in football where 5G can provide a transformative experience. This technology can be leveraged to improve the experience of all other sports.

5G, IoT, and Data

5G is the central technology needed to further improve the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT requires fast connections for it to attain its full potential. This is exactly what 5G when fully developed, can provide.

The infusion of 5G and IoT will further drive competitions to be data-driven.

Even now, data analytics is already used to optimize player strategies. For instance, Major League Baseball’s (MLB) StatCast, a system of radar equipment and cameras that can collect information from players.

According to IDTech, this information can be used to:

  • Pinpoint areas of improvement of players,
  • Award outstanding players accurately
  • Aid in tweaking lineups
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5G can also boost technologies like SportsVU. SportsVU is a system of observational cameras that were originally made for tracking missiles. It has the ability to track key events regarding the play of individual players.

This system can eventually be used in games like basketball and football to aid in modelling the optimal plays of players as well as grouping strategies to maximize the coverage of the team. It might even be able to model the likelihood of injuries, so as to prevent them from happening so frequently.

With 5G, data-collecting capabilities can be further heightened and expanded. In the future, we can expect predictive models to aid in strategies. With this technology, playing sports will be more than just pure talent. It will also be dependent on who is the most capable of fully taking advantage of the data being collected during the plays.


In the end, while the innovation that is 5G is truly exciting, the audience of the Super Bowl didn’t seem to have truly grasped the extent of the capabilities of this technology. If anything, people in general are not so certain what 5G can exactly do.

While the efforts to market 5G are commendable, this technology is not accessible in multiple ways.

First off, 5G coverage isn’t that encompassing. There remains a need to immerse cities with 5G-enabling infrastructure first in order to make sure that carriers can deliver on the promises of 5G. Even in areas where 5G is present, it can still be quite unreliable.

Next, there is currently a limited selection of 5G-enabled handsets. The existing ones are premium devices that offer low band 5G services at best. Take the Galaxy Note 10+ 5G for instance, which costs an insane amount of US $1,300.

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With so many foundations missing, it really isn’t that difficult to see why the campaigns of these carriers to embrace 5G flopped.

Laying down the groundwork

By no means, this lackluster marketing in the recent Super Bowl discredits the capabilities of 5G.

One can expect that in the future when all of the infrastructure needed for 5G is all set, Super Bowl attendees and even those in their own homes will be able to experience feature-packed and more intense Super Bowls. The same thing can be said for other sports events.

Before diving in fully to marketing strategies, carriers should also begin communicating what 5G can do to help their clients in a manner that it could be fully appreciated and understood.

At the same time, carriers should also bring down the access barriers to 5G by rolling out more devices possessing 5G capabilities. With more people who can experience 5G for themselves, explaining what 5G exactly is might just become an easier task to accomplish.

5G will transform not only the way we experience sports events. In its full power, it has the ability to drive a new era where people will become more connected than they already are.

Right now, this transformation is clearly far from happening. However, it is in our hands to spark this revolution by actually laying down the groundwork that will make it possible.

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