Intel Becomes Preferred Tech Partner at 49ers' New Stadium

The giant chip maker will be able to use the new football facility to showcase its technologies to both consumers and business users.

Intel is making another move to get its technology out in front of businesses and consumers by signing up as the preferred technology partner at the San Francisco 49ers new stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., just a few miles away from the chip maker's headquarters.

The deal with the NFL team means that Intel will be able to showcase its technology to the tens of thousands of people who will come into the 68,500-seat Levi's Stadium for football games and other events, and 49ers officials said they will work with vendors at the facility to integrate Intel solutions and products that use the chip maker's client, server, embedded and security technologies.

In addition, a pedestrian area in the northwest corner will be renamed Intel Plaza and will include a place where attendees can use products that are powered by Intel technologies. Intel's deal also includes radio and television advertising and the opportunity to host events at the stadium with customers and partners.

As part of the deal, Intel has been named a Founding Partner of the stadium. Neither the chip maker nor the team said what Intel paid for the deal. The 49ers are scheduled to begin playing at the stadium—which is about 45 miles south of San Francisco—in 2014.

Team officials said Levi's Stadium will be among the most technologically advanced in the world, with an infrastructure that is adaptable and hardware that is scalable. There also will be enhanced features during game days, they said.

"The vision for Levi's Stadium has always been to provide an individually customized user experience through the use of innovative technology, aligning these two organizations perfectly," San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York said in a statement.

Intel Chief Marketing Office Deborah Conrad said, "There is no better place than the heart of Silicon Valley to showcase the best that technology has to offer."

As more sports teams are building new stadiums and outfitting them with the newest technologies, vendors are seeing an opportunity not only to sell their products into the facilities, but also use them to show off what their technologies can do. Networking vendor Cisco Systems has been particularly aggressive in this area, with its products being used in such stadiums as the Dallas Cowboys' new facility, the new stadium for the New York Giants and Jets, and the new Yankee Stadium in New York.

Cisco also has a Sports and Entertainment Solutions Group aimed at sports stadiums and other venues.

Verizon technology also is used in the Giants/Jets stadium, Hewlett-Packard products are in the Cowboy's massive facility and IBM has its own share of sports arena wins. Before it was bought by Extreme Networks, Enterasys Networks inked a deal with the Philadelphia Eagles to put its WiFi products throughout the team's Lincoln Field stadium.

Intel is aggressively pushing its chips for a wide range of devices, from tablets and smartphones to laptops and new form factors, such as two-in-one systems that can be used as either a traditional notebook or as a tablet. It also is looking to expand its reach in such areas as networking and storage. Given the amount of technology being used in Levi's Stadium—from WiFi networks to digital signage—there will be large numbers of Intel chips being used. In addition, the stadium and Intel Plaza will let the company show off what its technologies can do.

It follows other recent efforts by Intel to put its products in front of consumers. For the holiday season, the chip maker has opened three Intel Experience Stores—in New York City, Chicago and Venice, Calif.—to showcase tablets, notebooks and other systems and devices powered by Intel technology. In addition, earlier this month, Intel announced it was the preferred technology partner of the FC Barcelona soccer team, which meant the Intel logo would be put onto the team's jerseys.