Extreme Networks doubles down on sports, hires Mitel vet as channel chief, in drive to become a cloud and SaaS company

Extreme announced new partnerships with Manchester United and the NHL, and the appointment of Scott Peterson as their Senior Vice President of Global Channel Sales.

Joe Vitalone, Extreme Networks’ CRO

Coming off of a strong second quarter, Extreme Networks has been making a flurry of announcements. The company is making a big play in the sports space, extending their agreement around providing Wi-Fi and analytics services with the NFL, and signing new ones with the NHL and with the Manchester United football club in the English Premier League. The company also made a major announcement in the channel space, that former Mitel CRO Scott Peterson has joined Extreme as Senior Vice President of Global Channel Sales.

Extreme is coming off a second quarter of their 2022 fiscal year in which they posted a revenue of $280.9 million, up 16% year-over-year, and up 5% quarter-over-quarter. Significantly, their SaaS ARR, which the company has made a top priority, reached $88.3 million, up 55% year-over-year, and up 11% quarter-over-quarter.

“We beat the street on revenues, and we outperformed our comparables,” said Joe Vitalone, Extreme Networks’ CRO. “We were double what Juniper did in terms of growth. Our subscription business grew 117%, as we move everything to the cloud, not just access points, switching and routing. We are now being considered to be more of a cloud company. Our backlog also speaks for itself, despite the transportation and product constraint issues. Sales were very diversified around the world, with the Americas being basically equal to the rest of the world, and APAC and Europe both doing well.”

Extreme Networks’ focus on high-profile customers in the sports vertical is not new, and sports clubs and leagues generally have been highly desirable reference customers for many vendors. However, Extreme is intensifying its efforts in this space because they believe broader trends make the sports market more important than ever,

“We see an increased enthusiasm for sports because sports are leading us out of COVID,” Vitalone said. “This is especially the case when the sports are outdoors. It has really helped open up the European market to us. Sports relationships also provide us with opportunities to take customers and partners to the games.”

A major win for Extreme was Manchester United selecting them to modernize the fan experience at Old Trafford stadium with fast, reliable Wi-Fi connectivity, while providing the club with access to real-time network analytics to drive more personalized and informed decisions around both the fan experience and overall venue operations. The deployment will start later this year.

“This is extremely important because Manchester United is one of the most valuable franchises in the world,” Vitalone said. “We represent a great cross-section of sports, but this team has a significant following.”

Another brand new relationship sees Extreme being named the Official Wi-Fi Analytics Provider and an Official Wi-Fi Partner of the NHL through 2026. As part of the partnership, Extreme will deploy ExtremeAnalytics across select NHL arenas to help create more personalized, fluid, and memorable gameday experiences.

“We do all the Wi-Fi analytics for the NHL,” Vitalone said. “The rink relationships are different because they typically host hockey and basketball, but we are the only company that can advertise. Our Wi-Fi analytics provide the NHL instant access to business intelligence and actionable insights regarding foot traffic flow, application usage and network security, and enhance certain elements of venue operations for NHL teams.”

The third sports-related announcement was a reaffirmation of an existing partnership, with the NFL. Extreme announced that they are again the official Wi-Fi Analytics provider for the Super Bowl, with Super Bowl LVI, set to take place on February 13, 2022 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. This marks Extreme’s ninth consecutive Super Bowl as an official provider of Wi-Fi analytics. SoFi is also one of nine NFL stadiums using Extreme Venue Analytics 2.0, a custom solution designed for the NFL.

“This covers the stadium, the NFL Hall of Fame, and everything now when you buy things at games,” Vitalone said. “All of that is now bought online. We have been doing this for the New England Patriots for years, and they have been with us the longest of any team.”

Scott Peterson, Senior Vice President of Global Channel Sales, Extreme Networks

Extreme also announced that Scott Peterson has been named Senior Vice President of Global Channel Sales, reporting to Vitalone. While Peterson spent a large part of his career at Verizon, his most recent industry position was Chief Revenue Officer at Mitel Channels.

“We expect that Scott will make a significant impact on the business as we continue to move to being a cloud and SaaS-first company,” Vitalone said. “He will help us being on new partners and help us develop the SD-WAN business, which will be the fourth leg on our stool.”

The SD-WAN business came from the recent acquisition of Ipanema, whose full integration into Extreme was also announced. Extreme will launch their ExtremeCloud SD-WAN solutions this quarter.

The appointment of Mark Dellavalle as Senior Vice President of Global Systems Engineering was also announced. He will also report to Vitalone.