HP becomes official imaging, printing and PC partner for complex; HP technology implemented throughout the field house and beyond; initiative further enhances sports experience for youth athletes
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (March 3, 2011) — Walt Disney World and HP today unveiled the HP Field House at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex during a ceremony that featured NFL star Jason Witten and soccer legend Mia Hamm, along with ESPN Radio’s Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg and executives from HP and Disney. The project will deliver an even more immersive sports experience for the nearly two million athletes, coaches and spectators who visit Disney’s sports facilities each year.
‘Today’s youth athletes are extremely tech savvy.’
—Ken Potrock, SVP Disney Sports Enterprises
The 165,000-square-foot HP Field House, a multi-purpose facility that can accommodate virtually any indoor sport and has been the cornerstone of ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex since it opened in 1997, has been outfitted with a variety of innovative HP enhancements, such as touch-screen kiosks and a one-of-a-kind retail imaging area. Additionally, HP technology is being infused throughout the 230-acre complex, enabling athletes, coaches and fans to have an unparalleled “hands-on” sports experience while providing ways to customize their visit with amenities previously unseen in youth sports.
The most prominent feature of the HP Field House is the HP Photo Creation Center, where players and fans can download, design and enhance commemorative photos and images from their events, then immediately produce and print them at an onsite retail location. Guests will also be able to purchase life-size posters of action photos from the complex, wallpaper coverings, multi-page calendars, photo CDs and many other unique photo keepsakes, giving athletes, coaches and fans even more ways to cherish their sports memories long after their competitions have concluded.
“Today’s youth athletes are extremely tech savvy and HP is the perfect partner to help them better capture and savor the lasting memories of their unique sports experience in ways that no other sports venue can,” said Ken Potrock, senior vice president, Disney Sports Enterprises.
Beyond the HP Field House, guests can tap into a wealth of HP technology. For instance:
HP TouchSmart Kiosks – Conveniently located in seven locations throughout the complex, the touch-screen stations, which feature new HP TouchSmart 9300 Elite Business PCs, will guide users to field assignments, schedule updates, display game day photos and video highlights, as well as provide general complex information, including maps, weather and dining options.
The TouchSmart kiosks also host a custom application that allows sports fans to create and share personalized avatars for their official ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex credential. The application can generate virtually unlimited uniquely tailored avatars with details ranging from sports preferences to jersey colors, skin tones and hair color.
The Welcome Center and ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill – The Welcome Center, the complex’s on-site concierge service, provides guests with a number of one-of-a-kind services, from identifying field locations, to booking dining appointments, to transacting theme park and water park ticketing, to making hotel reservations. Additionally, the ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill now provides an Internet-café experience, with web access to relevant sites such as WaltDisneyWorld.com, ESPN.com, ESPNRISE.com and HP.com. The services are all enhanced via HP technology.
Working Laboratory – HP, Disney and ESPN will have the opportunity to collaborate on 3D, custom application development and new HP products.
Utilizing the sports complex and its 300-plus annual sporting events as a real-life “working laboratory,” the HP/Disney/ESPN team is focused on developing high-tech resources that improve both today’s broadcast experience and the on-site experience for youth athletes, coaches and fans at the complex.
Overall, the integration of HP technology builds on the growing list of innovative features added to the complex in recent months, which has included the ESPN Innovation Lab and a high-tech Broadcast Center.
Additionally, high-definition cameras and multiple video boards and jumbo screens, a 20-zone audio system, and an in-room ESPN Wide World of Sports television channel that reaches 28,000 Walt Disney World Resort hotel rooms, are all designed to take youth sports to the next level.
Disney Photo Imaging – Through a new initiative with Disney Photo Imaging (DPI), guests can utilize professional-grade photographers to capture on-field action and post-game celebrations which can be uploaded to the HP Photo Creation Center. Additionally, spectators can upload their own user-generated media on-site using memory cards, allowing them to customize, enhance and share photos from their sports events at the complex.
HP-Disney History – HP’s presence at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex extends the company’s long-standing relationship with Disney, which began in 1940 when HP worked with Walt Disney to enhance the acoustics in movie theaters before the release of Disney’s “Fantasia” movie.
Additionally, HP sponsors Mission: SPACE at Epcot and is one of the sponsors of the Disneyland Dream Home at Disneyland Resort in Southern California. Disney is a large HP customer and utilizes thousands of HP business PCs, servers, managed print services, in addition to technology services and storage
“The HP Field House continues HP’s decades-long collaboration with Disney to captivate audiences through state-of-the-art athletic facilities with a rich, interactive technology experience that extends the spirit and passion of sports beyond the field of play,” said Carlos Montalvo, vice president, Innovation Program Office, Personal Systems Group, HP. “Together with Disney, we look forward to delivering technology innovation to sports enthusiasts.”
Future HP Features:
In the coming months, there are plans for the sports complex to make available handheld computers for on-field stat collection, hospitality services and interactive park experiences. Team officials and parents can utilize the handheld devices to upload scores, player statistics and other event information for broadcast on the video and jumbo screens.
HP will also be installing a range of personal computers, printers and digital displays inside the suites at Champion Stadium, the spring training home of the Atlanta Braves. HP digital signage will also be utilized to enhance the concession area throughout the venue.
HP creates new possibilities for technology to have a meaningful impact on people, businesses, governments and society. The world’s largest technology company, HP brings together a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure to solve customer problems. More information about HP (NYSE: HPQ) is available at http://www.hp.com/.
About ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, which hosts more than 350 events a year, is the leading multi-sport venue for amateur and professional sports in the nation, accommodating 70 different sports and athletes from more than 70 countries. Designed to take youth sports to the next level, the 250-acre facility features multiple competition venues, including Champion Stadium, the HP Field House, the Jostens Center, the Hess Sports Fields, a track & field facility, a tennis complex and a baseball/softball sportsplex. It is also home to the ESPN Innovation Lab, a real-world testing ground for the ESPN Emerging Technology Group that develops ground-breaking on-air products like Ball Track and ESPN Snap Zoom, as well as development of its new 3-D television channel. In addition, the complex features 56 high-definition cameras and 40 high-definition video screens, including three jumbo screens, which can capture and display footage from any event taking place at the complex. The camera and video screens, as well as a 20-zone audio system, are controlled through the state-of-the-art HD and 3-D Production Center with direct links to ESPN facilities in Bristol, Conn., New York and Los Angeles. For more information, visit www.wdwnews.com for press releases, photos and videos. Follow us on Twitter at @DisneySports.