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The San Francisco 49ers are a professional American football team that competes in the National Football League. In anticipation of the 2016 NFL Draft in Chicago, the team unveiled a new high-tech draft room that replaced traditional white boards and 2,000 player magnets.
The draft room functions as a base of operations for assessing the strengths and weaknesses of prospective draftees, evaluating player trades, and game or play replay and analysis. Coaches, scouting professionals and executives now have access to entire databases of information at their fingertips.
Electrosonic provided the engineering design, installation, commissioning and programming for the room, which is located inside the 49ers’ training facility near Levi’s Stadium, the most technologically advanced stadium anywhere in the world.
Technology is now key to success in elite-level professional sports like American football, where the San Francisco 49ers are one of the leading players in the National Football League.
The owners recognized that the existing draft room was no longer fit for purpose — the traditional whiteboard displays could limit the team’s ability to maintain their leadership. The aim was to create a collaborative visualization space that would serve the needs of their annual draft operations and create a strategic war room environment for coaches, scouts, and management beyond the draft and throughout the year.
Electrosonic engaged with the 49ers coaching and scouting staff and management team to evaluate the needs for the draft room and its main functions such as player trades, game and play replays and analysis.
To meet the needs, Electrosonic provided a comprehensive 4K audiovisual system for the new, high-tech San Francisco 49ers draft room, which includes 4K projection, touchscreen displays, a touchscreen video wall and a teleconferencing system.
To ensure that systems were always available, Electrosonic installed an ESCAN Remote Monitoring service. This provides 24/7 real-time monitoring of the audiovisual systems to enable fast troubleshooting and fault resolution.
Coaches had previously relied on whiteboards and other limited display systems. Electrosonic worked with the 49ers staff to understand how the draft process worked and how the team intended to utilize the new fully-electronic draft rooms.
Once the project team had determined the audiovisual and database needs, Electrosonic had to fast-track the detailed design and installation process as access would be limited in and around the site, as Levi’s Stadium was hosting Super Bowl 50 in early February.
The draft room has an extensive array of displays, including 4K projection, a multitude of 84-inch touch displays, and an 8-foot tall touch screen video wall. The entire system can be easily controlled from a single or multiple controllers.
The displays are driven by dedicated computers or data aggregators, which feed into a large video and data router, handling all processing and switching. Electrosonic also provided a teleconferencing system with sound reinforcement gear to deliver clear audio.
Technology is now an integral element of success in football and many other sports. The speed and depth of the information that can be accessed instantaneously gives the team decision makers a powerful tool and gives them an edge over the competition.
The increased level of collaboration with team members means all the right people are involved in critical decisions. The solution has become an essential tool for the 49ers all year round.