Andy SteenApril 18, 2018

Avaya WBL Services: Communications Technology for the Big Draft Event

Are they quicker than fast? Do they have good hands? How’s their lateral agility? Are they fluid? At the annual player selection meeting, these are all things you look for. When it comes to drafting eligible college football players for your team you look for niche players that fill gaps in your team—for players that are dependable, reliable, and have growth potential. And when it comes to drafting partners to support the most important phone calls teams make all year long, you pick Avaya and WBL Services as your franchise communications technology. Ten years and counting!

Avaya’s 21st-Century technology and solutions serve as a mobile command center for powering media communication, player activation, fan activation, and radio broadcasters. The Big Draft 2018 site will encompass the field, stands, and outdoor plazas that combine together to create an all-encompassing draft day atmosphere.

Running for three days straight, the event encompasses FanFest, OnLocation experiences, football legend meet and greets, locker room tours, and even a glamorous red carpet entrance for prospects and over 250,000 fans, vendors, sponsors, and staff. It takes six months of planning, and a solid week of installation (where the tech crew places the cables, configures the programming, tests the equipment, and gets it up and running for the main attraction) to get ready for the draft. The consistent overlay is the Avaya platform, which powers real-time communications and back-of house operations.

On day one, a trade line is put in. When the trade is made, a call triggers a chain of actions first to management and then through an open bridge to the player, the teams, and the fans. The deceptively fast-paced decision making happens inside a war room for each of the 32 league teams, configured with two chairs for the prime decision makers and outfitted with the Avaya Equinox™ Experience.

These war rooms are where all the behind-the-scenes action happens starting at the moment a team enters negotiation battles with other teams, coaches, and scouts. Every team has different communication needs, so a flexible system is necessary and the Avaya Aura® Platform plugs right in. Across devices. Across systems. Across channels. The requirements for each war room vary and privacy is a top concern, so the whole environment has to be secure, reliable, and omni-device compatible.

Careers are being made for a lot of young men here. These are pivotal moments in their lives, and due to the live nature of the event, the whole thing is being broadcast across national television networks (including specialty sports networks). Players and families are on site, but calls and alerts are being made back to hometown demographics to relay the final decisions. This calls for reliability and security, which is why Avaya’s communications technology makes for the ideal solution.

At this 83rd annual meeting of the League, the Big Draft is being held at AT&T Stadium, in Arlington Texas from April 26-28, 2018. Spanning 150 acres, the entertainment mecca houses 3,000 LCD displays, a 160-foot-long HD video board, and capacity to seat 100,000 fans. The location of the draft changes every year—but AT&T Stadium is poised with a good base for Avaya and WBL Services to meet the logistical needs to set up camp.

The difference in this year’s host venue is that the team cables will be directly on the stadium turf (rather than looping through halls and conference rooms like it’s been done in previous locations). Avaya communications technology will literally be on the field of play. It’s our starting lineup, offense, and defense. The entire complex will be laced with Avaya Communication Manager for up-to-the-minute broadcasting to the fans, instant actions for operations, and real-time reporting for in-house media. The technology is so agile it can scale up rapidly and dynamically to adapt to new environments each year and tie all locations together on the Avaya cloud.

With failover in place, if the power goes down, communications stay up. We definitely consider that first round draft potential! But as Co-Founder and CEO of WBL Services, Bill Lipscomb puts it, “With a robust Avaya platform, we don’t have to worry about communications failures.” It’s redundant and it’s backed up. Just like any winning team strategy should be at the #Draft with #AvayaSports.

About WBL

WBL Services provides cutting-edge telecommunications services and support for CenturyLink Field and Event Center in Seattle. WBL also provides telecommunication services for large sporting events, trade shows, conferences and special events throughout the world, earning them a reputation for providing trustworthy, secure, and customer-centric services.

Avaya <amp></amp> WBL Services: Communications Technology for the Big Draft Event

Andy Steen

Andrea "Andy" Steen specializes in leading internal and external strategic communication initiatives with an expertise in managing and developing high-performing communication teams and social, digital, mobile-led business solutions. She also leads Avaya's Sports Marketing Team. Follow her at @andydances.

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