8×8, Inc. (NYSE: EGHT), a leading integrated cloud communications platform, today announced that Race Across America qualifier Natchez Trace 444, a 444 mile cycling event running the length of the Natchez Trace Parkway from Nashville, TN to Natchez, MS, will use the 8×8 Open Communications Platform™ for collaboration with organizers and participants, as well as livestreaming of the event for remote spectators.
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The Race Across America qualifier, Natchez Trace 444, a 444 mile cycling event running the length of the Natchez Trace Parkway from Nashville, TN to Natchez, MS, will use the 8×8 Open Communications Platform™ for collaboration with organizers and participants, as well as livestreaming of the event for remote spectators. (Graphic: Business Wire)
Often referred to simply as “The 444,” the 50 team cycling event, to be held October 2-4, 2020 will take place along the Natchez Trace Parkway, a 444-mile two-lane recreational road and scenic drive managed by the National Park Service.
The parkway travels through three states and roughly follows the “Old Natchez Trace,” a historic travel corridor, which, according to the National Parks Service, takes you on a journey through 10,000 years of history, from American Indian mounds and Kaintucks to historic stands and the Civil War.
Teams, composed of solo riders and two-person, and four-person relays, have 44 hours to complete the ride. Social distancing is required throughout the event, but through the use of 8×8 video, support crews and spectators will be able to view the action remotely.
“Back in 2015, we started working with the National Park Service to create the Natchez Trace 444, a truly unique cycling event with no turns, no stop signs and no traffic lights that travels the longest, narrowest National Park in the country,” said George Thomas, Natchez Trace 444 Event Director at Over the Top Productions, Ltd. “As video became prevalent in the course of our daily lives due to the global health crisis, we realized how powerful the medium can be for organizing and running the event, especially during these challenging times.”
The 444 will use the 8×8 Open Communications Platform for video and audio briefings with riders and crews, coordination with park officials, screen sharing of maps and the course, and livestreaming of the start and finish for spectators. The livestream of the event will be available on the Natchez Trace 444 YouTube channel, with GPS team tracking available for drop-in livestream viewing.
“8×8 has been an incredible partner to The 444. With the pristine video and audio communication on the 8×8 platform, we’re doing things we’ve never been able to before, creating real connections between participants, organizers and partners long before they arrive at the starting line, and enabling friends and family to track progress and watch the event live from wherever they are,” added Thomas. “The ability to host personalized pre-event meetings with teams and park officials – wherever they are – has been a real game changer compared to the big, in-person race briefings we’re used to. When you combine that with things like video-enabled movement analysis for cyclists, we’re really innovating for the future of endurance sports events.”
“The 444 is an incredible experience for cyclists and a unique opportunity to explore our National Parks in the midst of a challenging year for all of us,” said Vik Verma, CEO of 8×8, Inc. “We’re proud to make this event possible on our cloud communications platform and invite spectators around the world to be a part of the ride from afar. We’ll be cheering for all of the cyclists participating, including our 8×8 colleagues.”
Natchez Trace 444 Livestream
About 8×8, Inc.
8×8, Inc. (NYSE: EGHT) is transforming the future of business communications as a leading Software-as-a-Service provider of voice, video, chat, contact center, and enterprise-class API solutions powered by one global cloud communications platform. 8×8 empowers workforces worldwide to connect individuals and teams so they can collaborate faster and work smarter. Real-time business analytics and intelligence provide businesses unique insights across all interactions and channels so they can delight end-customers and accelerate their business. For additional information, visit www.8×8.com, or follow 8×8 on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
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