The Phoenix Suns have inked a deal with Verizon Wireless that makes it the first NBA team to fully integrate wireless tablet technology into both their business and basketball operations. It’s a big customer win for Samsung which has recently touted other high profile users of its Galaxy Tab 10.1 such as American Airlines.
Sports teams have come a long way from having to schlep around thick paperbound playbooks and scouting reports. Laptops have proven to be a good alternative, but tablets, which offer far greater portability, are gaining ground.
“Today’s announcement marks the beginning of a new era in the NBA, where I think teams throughout the league will want to integrate a tablet into their operations,” Suns head coach Alvin Gentry, said in a release.
The Suns say they plan to implement the Android-based Galaxy Tab into all aspects of the team’s preparations, both on and off the basketball court. Each player will receive a tablet which includes a custom Suns playbook, video from team practices and games, team and individual scouting reports for upcoming opponents, and travel itineraries for all road trips.
“No longer are coaches sifting through 3 feet worth of scouting reports, they now have everything they need on a tablet that will go with them everywhere they go (plane trips, bus rides, etc.),” a spokesperson for the Suns told TabTimes.
He said the tablet is already being used prior to games by the coaches to show players videos of what shots they’re taking that are good shots, and ones that “maybe weren’t the best decision” so they can better understand where in the offense they will find opportunities to shoot.
Coach Gentry can also have an assistant call up situational plays during a game that will show players in the huddle where they need to go to set up, for example, a game winning shot. Typically, this is now scratched out with magic marker on a clip board.
Helping the Phoenix Sun’s business operation
The Suns said the Galaxy Tab 10.1 will be incorporated into business development opportunities, client and season ticket holder presentations, and in-game promotional programs. The team will utilize the tablet throughout US Airways Center on game-nights, showing prospective Suns ticket holders an interactive view of seats from anywhere in the arena.
In addition, the Suns said they’re integrating the Tab into various elements of their TV and radio broadcasts as a way to interact with the club’s digital fans through social media and other in-game promotions.
“Our organization has always placed a priority on remaining at the forefront of digital innovation within the sports industry,” said Sun’s President Brad Casper. “Utilizing the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network to integrate the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 into our daily operations is yet another great digital milestone for the Suns.”