Rogers, Sportsnet, and University of Waterloo Team Up for Hockey Hackathon

Rogers Communications Logo

Rogers Communications, Sportsnet, and the University of Waterloo have launched the Sportsnet Hockey Hack: Powered by Rogers 5G.

The virtual hackathon offers a unique opportunity for students to design applications to enhance the fan experience for Sportsnet viewers, using Rogers’s 5G technology and data from the NHL’s Puck and Player Tracking system during the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The participating teams of students will also take advantage of Intel technology, software tools and expertise, including Intel Smart Edge and OpenVINO, to build applications designed to create fun, immersive viewing experiences for Sportsnet and NHL fans. Potential solutions may involve augmented reality and second screen experiences, as well as fantasy and other gaming or e-commerce applications.

“The next generation of sports fans will engage with and experience our broadcasts in ways we can’t even imagine today,” said Bart Yabsley, President, Sportsnet. “As Sportsnet continues to be a leader in sports technology innovation, we are excited to work with some of Canada’s top young minds at the University of Waterloo to discover how Rogers 5G technology can change the way millions of NHL fans watch and engage with the sport.”

Today Rogers also announced a 5G program dedicated to the research and development of sports and fan engagement. The new program is included in its three-year partnership agreement with the University of Waterloo to advance 5G research in the Toronto-Waterloo tech corridor. In September, Rogers also lit up the University of Waterloo’s 5G Smart Campus to support university researchers testing 5G applications in a real-world setting such as smart city infrastructure monitoring and alerting systems, asset tracking technologies, and more.

“5G is at our doorstep and it’s poised to change the world as we know it. Fan engagement is a very interesting use-case and one that will really benefit from the ultra-low latency of this next generation technology,” said Jorge Fernandes, Chief Technology and Information Officer, Rogers Communications. “Our work with the University of Waterloo focuses on bringing together our country’s brightest minds to advance Canada’s 5G roadmap and I’m excited to see what the students come up with at this hackathon.”

With the guidance of experts, mentors, and feedback from stakeholders, each student team will work throughout the week to create a working prototype of their application and showcase their idea to a panel of judges in hopes of earning prizes, job placement opportunities, and potential funding to transform the prototype into reality. The judges are Bart Yabsley (President, Sportsnet), Mina Chan (VP Video and Entertainment Services, Rogers Communications), Jonathan Kyle (Engineering Director, Intel), Grant Nodine (Senior Vice President, Technology, NHL), and Marisa Benjamin (Research Communications Officer, University of Waterloo).

“The University of Waterloo is very proud to be working with Rogers, Sportsnet, and the NHL to make the experience of watching a game on TV more interesting and interactive for hockey fans,” said Bridget Moloney, Managing Director of Waterloo’s Gateway for Enterprises to Discover Innovation (GEDI).

“Waterloo has a proud tradition of student innovation. This project will give our students the chance to interact with cutting-edge 5G technology and will really showcase how these bright young people will shape the future of corporate Canada,” said Carly Cameron, Manager of Entrepreneurship Experience at Concept, the campus-focused entrepreneurship unit leading the hackathon.