Octagon Partners With Cisco To Launch “The Connected Scarf,” A Groundbreaking Emotion Tracking Tool For Manchester City Fans

July 27, 2022

Technology Partner UNIT9 Collaborated with Octagon on Production

Octagon has partnered with worldwide technology leader Cisco to launch “The Connected Scarf,” an innovative new technology project in support of Cisco’s partnership with Manchester City FC and City Football Group. UNIT9, a global production and technology agency, also helped spearhead the initiative.

As part of Cisco’s ongoing efforts to power a more inclusive future, drive innovation, and better connect fans globally with the clubs and players they love, Octagon helped bring to life Cisco’s vision for “The Connected Scarf,” a wearable technology that helps monitor a fan’s emotional journey throughout a match, providing further insight into the interconnection between the club and its supporters.

“In our work with Manchester City over the past few years, we’ve continuously looked for ways to connect fans to the sport they love, on another level,” said Ashley Marusak, Global Sports Marketing Manager for Cisco. “‘The Connected Scarf’ is an exciting project for us to pilot together, as we seek to better understand and measure the ups and downs of football fandom, and how the game impacts supporters not only emotionally, but physically as well.”

“Being a fan of any club is an emotional rollercoaster. Thanks to ‘The Connected Scarf’ we’re now able to understand the physiological emotions fans go through during a game,” said Ryan Shaw, Creative Director, Octagon UK. “Creating this technology from scratch has been an incredible journey, and we’re incredibly excited about how much this scarf can teach us about fans and club culture.”

Conceptualised and brought to life over a period of four months, this sophisticated wearable is fitted with an open-source device of biometric sensors integrated into the fabric, anonymously capturing bio-signals coming from a series of skin conductance sensors. “The Connected Scarf” is able to accurately track and record fans’ emotional, physiological, and movement data throughout a match. The sensors are also able to capture four separate data streams including:

  • Heart rate, heart rate variability, respiration, oxygen saturation, and hydration.
  • Sympathetic nervous system responses that are driven by cognitive and emotional arousal.
  • Movements, activity, gesture, rotation, and cardinal direction.
  • Temperature that can be used to assess emotional reactions.

When worn by a fan watching their team, the feedback is remarkably accurate with fascinating nuances, capturing both positive and negative reactions to goals, tackles, and referee decisions.

A two-minute film was created to launch the project, featuring Manchester City men’s stars Jack Grealish and Aymeric Laporte, and documents the development of “The Connected Scarf” as fans throughout Etihad stadium tested the new technology during the team’s crucial victory over Newcastle in the Premier League title run. The film is supported by a “Connected Scarf” website, which provides more details on the project and includes key insight from team members.

To read more about “The Connected Scarf” project and watch the introductory film, click here.


Octagon is the preeminent creative, integrated marketing, and talent management agency in global sports and entertainment. The agency creates distinctive marketing campaigns for some of the largest brands and Fortune 500 companies across the globe and represents more than 900 of the most prominent and influential athletes, talent, and properties in the world.

With more than 1,000 employees worldwide, based in 50 offices, in 20 countries, Octagon is positioned in virtually all areas of sports and entertainment.


UNIT9 is a global production partner with offices in Los Angeles, New York, London, Berlin, and Lodz. We innovate content with love.

Our studio is a breeding ground of disciplines with a common vision to achieve ground-breaking marketing experiences & create new audiences. Our talent roster includes film directors, innovation architects, product designers, software engineers, art directors, designers, and producers – delivering installations, events, social films, VR content, games & digital campaigns. Our production process combines open source with a lean start-up philosophy, designed to enable collaboration across ideation, feasibility, and production.