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Cisco seals City Football Group tech deal

Manchester City celebrate in the Uefa Champions League (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

City Football Group (CFG), which owns English Premier League champion Manchester City, has signed up Cisco as the official technology partner of the group.

The deal spans all of CFG’s clubs, including Major League Soccer’s New York City FC, Melbourne City FC of the Australian A-League, Yokohama F. Marinos of the J.League in Japan, and Chinese second-tier club Sichuan Jiuniu. The group also operates the women’s teams of Manchester City and Melbourne City FC.

Under the agreement, Cisco will provide networking and operational technology to each club. Cisco will also support the group’s Cityzens Giving corporate social responsibility initiative by creating a new community football project.

Brian Eaton, Cisco’s director of global sports marketing, said: “While they already use Cisco technology to bring connectivity to fans, they see an opportunity to partner and use technology to positively shape the business of football.”

The official partnership represents an expansion of an existing relationship that was established in 2013 when Manchester City installed Cisco technology across its Etihad Stadium and wider campus.

The new deal marks Cisco’s first major commercial partnership in football, although the company has sealed a number of agreements with other sports properties.

The company’s Japanese division is a partner of the Tokyo 2020 organising committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, while the corporation’s Australian unit was a sponsor of the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Cisco provided WiFi support during this year’s Euroleague Final Four basketball tournament, while last month the International Table Tennis Federation named the company’s Japanese division as a partner of November’s Team World Cup competition in Tokyo.