Ruggedized and Secure Digital Playbooks Help NFL Teams

The Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts have embraced digital playbooks, but need to keep them physically and digitally secure.

When teams roll out tablets to replace their physical playbooks, they place a high priority on protecting both the devices themselves and the data inside them.

For physical protection, the Denver Broncos, which rolled out digital playbooks on Apple iPad devices in 2012, housed the tablets in OtterBox Defender Series ruggedized cases.

“Since I pay the bills for those things, breakage was definitely a concern,” says Russ Trainor, vice president of IT for the team. “When you go walking through the locker room, the iPads are on the floor, in the locker, under bags, under shoes. So we needed a good, sturdy cover for them.”

The Indianapolis Colts turned to AirWatch’s cloud-based mobile device management software when the team rolled out digital playbooks, giving IT staff the ability to enforce security policies such as password protection. Also, if the devices are lost or stolen, the team can remotely erase all the data.

That’s a security step up from the days of paper, notes Ryan Fannin, the Colts’ director of football information systems. “With a paper playbook, you can take it to Kinkos and make a copy of it,” he says.

For more on how sports teams are using digital playbooks and other technologies, check out, "Digital Playbooks, Wearables and Virtual Reality Can Give Teams an Edge on the Field."

Apr 22 2016