Cisco is one of the world’s largest sponsors of elite sport and entertainment. They support rights holder’s stadiums and infrastructure with technology services. And as Official Technology Partner of Manchester City, they wanted to explore ways of improving connectivity and bring fans the best venue experience while watching and supporting their team.

To help strengthen that unique bond between fans and players, Octagon and our partners Unit 9 came up with something entirely new. A way to help clubs track, analyse and understand the emotions that unite fans across the world.

We took the iconic symbol of football fandom, the scarf, and gave it a tech-led makeover. This innovative wearable, complete with bio-monitoring sensors embedded in it, was able to measure emotions during the highs and lows of the match.

Together with UNIT9 we researched, prototyped and tested The Connected Scarf. Then in partnership with Manchester City Football Club, we fitted City scarves with a device to capture bio-signals from skin conductance sensors, which accurately track and record fans’ emotional, physiological, and movement data throughout a match, capturing critical data such as heart rate, heart rate variability, respiration, oxygen saturation and hydration, as well as sympathetic nervous system responses, temperature fluctuations, and movements and gestures, among other things.

We then created a film to launch the project, featuring Manchester City stars Jack Grealish and Aymeric Laporte, documenting the development of “The Connected Scarf” as fans tested the new technology during the team’s crucial victory over Newcastle in the Premier League title run. The project was supported by a product microsite, which provided more details on the project and included key insight from team members.

So, the scarf was more than just a neck warmer.

It was a whole new, way to connect fans to their club, proving that technology can be emotional.