Verizon Boosts Shark Experience With Customer Engagements

Verizon Communications Inc. VZ recently extended its digital advertising footprint through more customer engagements in the Shark Experience platform. The strategic move is likely to redefine the way advertisers seek to reach consumers in the aftermath of the coronavirus-induced lockdown, when people were forced to stay indoors and seek the refuge of the safety of their homes.

Launched in January 2018, Shark Experience is a premium media platform jointly developed by Verizon, Greg Norman Company —  a conglomerate founded by golfing legend namesake — and Club Car — a golf and utility vehicle provider. Together the firms offer connected golf cars with customizable content, powered by Verizon’s LTE network, featuring HD touchscreen displays and built-in speakers with Bluetooth connectivity. The screens are equipped with IoT sensors, enabling them to function as advertising platforms for brands.

In addition to high-quality entertainment, Shark Experience enhances golfing experience with access to GPS yardages, hole flyovers, music via streaming radio or Bluetooth, real-time sports updates and on-demand sports, including the PGA TOUR. Leveraging Verizon’s LTE network, it is available in more than 23,000 connected carts at more than 250 golf courses across the country. Moreover, by integrating its media platform with Edison interactive — a premium in-ride digital media and content provider that operates as the software development partner of Shark Experience — Verizon has embedded streaming services for an innovative golfing experience.

The consumer connect program at the point-of-sale is regarded as the last mile of advertising and likely to make a lasting impression on consumers for top-of-the-mind product recall. The collaboration aims to tap this opportunity for more focused advertising campaigns and further intends to explore ways to leverage the speed and latency of 5G for transformative customer experiences.

Over the years, Verizon has systematically diversified itself as a major player in the digital content and online advertising space. The company wrote off a majority of its media business, Oath, which includes Yahoo and AOL, due to a lower-than-expected performance. Verizon Media replaced the Oath brand. The company has spurred technological innovation and economic development, including introducing mobile data and making the ecosystem more pervasive with 4G LTE. The company has now embarked on a new operating structure under Verizon 2.0, with an operating model closely aligned with the evolving customer needs. The business transformation is likely to propel the growth engine of the company as the industry is witnessing a major upheaval.

With one of the most efficient wireless networks in the United States, Verizon continues to deploy the latest 4G LTE Advanced technologies to deliver faster peak data speeds and capacity for customers, driven by customer-focused planning, disciplined engineering and constant strategic investments. The company has been aggressively marching ahead to expand its fiber-optic networks to support 4G LTE and the upcoming 5G wireless standards as well as wireline connections. The company remains focused on making necessary capital expenditures in order to support increased demand for network traffic. At the same time, Verizon is focusing on continued build-out of its 5G Ultra Wideband network, deployment of significant fiber assets across the country and upgrades to the Intelligent Edge Network architecture.

However, shares of this Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) company have lost 5.4% over the past year against the industry’s growth of 2.3%.

Some better-ranked stocks in the industry are T-Mobile US, Inc. TMUS and ATN International, Inc. ATNI, both carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), and United States Cellular Corporation USM, sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

T-Mobile has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 18.9%. It delivered a positive earnings surprise of 19.4%, on average, in the trailing four quarters.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for next fiscal-year earnings of ATN International has moved up 108.3% in the past 90 days.

United States Cellular delivered a positive earnings surprise of 104.1%, on average, in the trailing four quarters.

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