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August 31, 2018
With Japan hosting international mega sporting events one after the other even before and after the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020--such as the Rugby World Cup 2019, World Masters Games 2021 Kansai, and 2021 World Aquatics Championships--opportunities for sports promotion are increasing nationwide. Under the Sport Promotion Basic Plan announced by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in 2000 and other guidelines, local sporting facilities have been improved and expanded, and large sporting venues have appeared in various regions. Today, these facilities are gradually becoming the center of initiatives for attracting tourists and community development.
In recent years, new methods for enjoying sports and promoting local sports have been developing through the fusion of sporting facilities and ICT technology, and NTT has also been undertaking new initiatives aimed at generating a tide of "Sports x ICT technology".
In July 2016, NTT concluded a cooperation agreement with the J. League (Japan Professional Football League) and DANZ live-streaming service for a "Stadium Smartification Project" introducing ICT to sports stadiums and other facilities. Based on the project's track record built up at the NACK5 Stadium Omiya, initiatives to expand smartification to other stadiums have also begun, with Wi-Fi environments created at Yurtec Stadium Sendai and Prefectural Kashima Soccer Stadium during the 2017 season. Using Wi-Fi, spectators can enjoy replaying fantastic goal-scoring scenes over and over again using the DAZN replay function, or participate in interactive projects. By mixing the appeal of sports and technology, NTT is contributing to the generation of new fan groups as well as regional vitalization by providing completely new match-watching styles and ways of enjoying sports for spectators at stadiums. Moreover, NTT is also contributing to the expansion of the sports industry through our contributions to the deepening of digital marketing.
In July 2017, initiatives were begun to conclude a cooperation agreement for a "Smart Stadium Project" for spreading stadium hometown ICT together with the soccer league and DAZN, the sport channel, expanding the model constructed at NACK5 Stadium OMIYA nationwide. Beginning in the 2018 season, in addition to the creation of Wi-Fi environments at Yurtec Stadium Sendai and prefectural Kashima Soccer Stadium, verification experiments were begun with the aim of providing information services that transform the way spectators enjoy matches being played before their eyes by enabling them to, for example, check statistics while watching matches or replaying fantastic goal-scoring scenes over and over again using the replay function.
By mixing the appeal of sports and technology, NTT is contributing to the generation of new fan groups as well as regional vitalization while providing completely new match-watching styles and ways of enjoying sports. Moreover, NTT is also contributing to the expansion of the sports industry through our contributions to the deepening of digital marketing.
In September 2017, co-promoting with Panasonic Corporation, NTT conducted the demonstration experimets, "High-presence Public Viewing" . At Panasonic Stadium Suita--the home stadium of the Gamba Osaka soccer team--Japan's largest free-floating air screen (measuring 16 m wide and 9 m high (720 in)) was installed. Using high-quality video transmission services provided by NTT, live match images were projected to remote areas.
A variety of possible applications for this technology are envisioned for the future, including enabling people to enjoy watching sports filled with a sense of being there at the match while actually being far away, or simultaneously watching multiple matches being played at the same time.
Not only in the lead-up to Tokyo 2020, when huge numbers of sports fans and journalists converge on Japan from around the world as we reach the peak in international sporting events, but also afterwards 2020, NTT will open up new possibilities for regional promotion x sports as we continue to take on new challenges.
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