It makes some New Yorkers cringe, but the phrase "Brooklyn is the new Manhattan" is gaining ground -- and digital translation company Ortsbo has found one way to capitalize on New York's booming borough.
As construction of Brooklyn's Barclays Center (soon-to-be home of the Nets and plenty of other sports and entertainment events) progresses, Ortsbo is creating an online world for global fans to engage with anything and everything happening at the arena. Barclays Center TV will offer pre- and postgame interviews by a multilingual host, plus two-way communication between fans anywhere in the world and those lucky enough to be sitting in the stands.
But what makes the social media experience unique is the ability for users to instantly translate interviews and other content into multiple languages. The arena opens Sept. 28.
"Imagine there's a great concert or game at the Barclays Center," says Ortsbo CEO David Lucatch. "We wouldn't broadcast the entire event, but we'd broadcast interviews and other tidbits. Fans in the stands could interact with event staff to offer real-time engagement with online users, who can then press one button to change the language to their preference."
Lucatch explains they'll also offer real-time closed captioning in 53 languages. A user could engage with a chat board in almost any language.
"We're living in a world where (Internet) speed and connectivity are less of a challenge, and language is becoming the real issue," he says. "If a Nets player is from my country, and I want to hear an interview with him in our native language, I could do that by pressing one button."
The multilingual project is the first of its kind for an entertainment arena, and Lucatch says Brooklyn and the Barclays Center are the perfect launch pad. Jay-Z, minority owner of the Nets, will be opening the center with a series of shows and Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions is holding boxing events this coming October. Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus, Disney on Ice and Andrea Bocelli are all slated for appearances, too.
"Brooklyn is so multicultural and New York is one of the coolest cities in the U.S.," Lucatch says. "We're really making the Nets a global team."
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