Verizon Business announced the New York Islanders are using BlueJeans by Verizon (opens in new tab) to provide video-enabled watch parties in their HOMEICE Experience platform within the UBS Arena mobile app. Leveraging the BlueJeans software development kit (SDK), the new BlueJeans Meetings capability for HOMEICE, powered by HomeTurf, will be available as an in-app “second screen” experience for fans looking to connect live over video with their friends and favorite team during games moving forward.
HOMEICE allows fans to chat live with NHL alumni and insiders, score points, and win prizes by participating in trivia and polls while watching the game. Through conducting fan focus groups, the Islanders have been able to deliver new programming and features into HOMEICE that build on its community outreach and engagement efforts. The addition of BlueJeans videoconferencing will provide another layer of intimacy for the Islanders’ dispersed fanbase. Furthermore, by providing the same programming available to fans in and outside the arena, the New York Islanders are looking to gamification as a way to drive more equity by ensuring all fans have the best seat in the house.
As part of a continued collaboration with Verizon to supercharge the hockey fan experience through technology and the Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband network, the BlueJeans Meetings integration will complement the Islanders’ existing HOMEICE chat, trivia, polls, and other scoreboard features available during games to fans everywhere by further simulating the in-arena experience through face-to-face fan engagement. Bringing the HOMEICE chat to life, fans across cities can choose to share the Islanders game experience over BlueJeans with others in the main chat room or break off into separate chats.
“The pandemic created a complete paradigm shift when it comes to sports engagement. It really compelled us to look beyond the physical arena boundaries into how we can do more for fans on a global level,” said Ryan Halkett, senior vice president, event presentation, content experiences and operations. “We have over 55 supporter groups globally that follow the Islanders and have created fan group chapters around the world, and our partnerships with companies like BlueJeans allow us to engage them in a more personalized and inclusive way that gives them that exclusive, in arena content and community feeling they wouldn’t necessarily have otherwise.”
“The power of video is that it allows you to create personalized touchpoints on a global scale, something that was previously missing for many displaced fans throughout the world.” said Chris Lewter, vice president and general manager, BlueJeans by Verizon. “It’s these personalized touchpoints that drive brand advocacy and team excitedness, which is why we worked closely with the Islanders to help them get this integration off the ground. As one of the first professional sports organizations to embed video for fan and community engagement into their official team mobile app, the New York Islanders are at the forefront of driving hybrid fan participation in this new era of sports.”