Horizon Communications: Digitizing Stadiums through Robust and High Density Networks

Mike DeGraw, President and CEO
The sports industry is demanding more connectivity and an engaging and interactive experience for all. Having a proven expertise in the telecommunications industry, Mike DeGraw, CEO, Horizon Communications harnessed his passion for sports and technology to improve fan experience in sports stadiums and entertainment venues. “By ‘making it really about the fans,’ we strive to capitalize on technology to enhance fan experience in stadiums,” says DeGraw. Today, with the increasing number of smartphone users and a wide range of supporting applications, the users demand ubiquitous connectivity within a sports venue. Thus, the phenomenal demand of a high-density network is compounded when it comes to the designs of a wireless network, while providing a futuristic stadium experience to the fans.

Headquartered in Irvine, CA, Horizon Communications provides telecommunications infrastructure for large stadiums and arena to meet this need. Apart from temporary venues, Horizon also sets up network installations for resorts, conference centers, hotels, and office environments. The company designs and installs the latest wireless technologies, Distributed Antenna systems (DAS), and WiFi without compromising on the location architecture and its aesthetics. However, for sports stadiums, this is a challenge. As owners are increasingly investing on accentuating the visual brilliance of stadiums with glass facades and fatidic structural designs, planning the installation of a wireless system without compromising the designs is an arduous as well as an innovative task. DeGraw points out that deploying state-of-the-art wireless communication system is a work of art. “Through a creative approach, we design the high-density Wi-Fi installation in multiple locations within a stadium without disrupting the structuring, and at the same time meeting the requirements of the venue.”

In addition, Horizon moves a step ahead by helping stadium owners to exploit profound commercial opportunities for enhancing fan engagement.
From ordering food online from a concession kiosk to an instant video replay or a stadium-exclusive video feed of the players on the sideline, Horizon-designed WiFi enables agile connectivity. By merging with advertisers and corporate sponsors, Horizon helps to push digital marketing campaigns through the support of the applications and services which can run on wireless networks. Fans are offered free Wi-Fi in exchange for viewing advertiser-supported content, along with the convenience of logging in via Facebook or Twitter. Also, the changing demographics of fans gives an opportunity for advertisers to conduct specific targeting based on customer behavior and location type. For a more enlightening experience, teams can also be promoted for social engagement with fans through features like geo-fencing.

“As a single technology partner, we aim to integrate with all technicalities in a sports arena,” states DeGraw. Horizon has further proved a nonpareil expertise in the field by installing robust networks in some of the most complex arenas. For instance, Horizon was able to deliver fast and high density Wi-Fi coverage for over 50,000 fans, very recently, for one of the largest Baseball grounds in San Francisco.

Through a creative approach, we design the high-density Wi-Fi installation in multiple locations within a stadium without disrupting the structuring

In contrast to its competitors, Horizon reduces the cost of installing Wi-Fi networks for large spaces through the policy of monetization. Going forward, Horizon Communications envisions strategizing the monetization policy at a more advanced level for bringing national advertisers to a number of venues at the same time.

Horizon Communications

Irvine, CA

Mike DeGraw, President and CEO

Horizon Communications provides telecommunications infrastructure for large venues, stadiums, and arenas.