ProWire, a startup that provides in-stadium streaming audio channels to fans' phones, is now fully integrated into the Maple Leafs’ mobile app. Once the NHL resumes, hockey fans at Scotiabank Arena will be able to access commentary, live arena microphones and the team’s play-by-play broadcast in real time by joining the free Scotiabank Arena fan WiFi network and selecting channels via the team’s app.
The company’s technology can be integrated into any team’s mobile app and involves a one-time installation of hardware in the venue, which instantly enables real-time audio over the existing facility’s WiFi or 5G network, ProWire co-Founder Gordon Sumner said. ProWire plans to sell its technology as well and is in active discussions with NHL and NBA teams, Sumner said.
“Obviously with what's going on right now with the health and safety of people on site, and just the practicalities of being in venue, has an effect,” Sumner said in reference to the coronavirus pandemic. “But those conversations are ongoing, and I think one of the really interesting sentiments that we're getting is sports teams are trying to figure out what a return to play looks like, and what the impact long-term is going to be.”
The new service will also have sponsorship activation opportunities for a mobile-based and captive audience and can be differentiated from in-venue activations, Sumner said. “It sits right next to a team’s ticketing and food and beverage offerings,” he added. “So the chances of getting people to interact with it are a lot higher.”
Sumner declined to divulge the cost of ProWire’s product but said the price point for the service would be “very competitive.” ProWire is backed by the Future of Sport Lab, a sports tech innovation platform launched by Canada’s Ryerson Univ. and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment.