Digital signs (in the form of monster-sized screens) are a staple of the modern sports venue. We’ve all gone to a ballpark, arena or stadium and seen the enormous Jumbotron displays that give fans up-close views of the action. And as it turns out, these sports venues were some of the forerunners of the digital signage movement.
The Jumbotron displays as we know them today were born in the 1980’s as a way to enhance the fan experience for those who couldn’t get seats near the field. And while these screens were larger than anything anyone had seen before in the consumer signage market, they were CRT devices that offered a reduced resolution for their size.
These days, LEDs are the name of the game, giving owners of digital signage the ability to create monolithic screens with crystal clear definition. These types of large digital displays are found in nearly every sports venue, from college football stadiums to professional baseball parks.
Modern marketing applications of digital signage have come a long way from the early days of sports venue signage, but its goal remains the same: Using high-impact digital video to enhance the viewer experience. And while Jumbotron digital displays can put fans into the action better than any other audience engagement strategy on the market, the applications of digital signage for sports venues aren’t limited to supersized screens.
Just as it is for hotels, restaurants, and medical offices, there are plenty of different strategies for unlocking the benefits of digital signage for sports stadiums.
Ticketing means queuing, and there’s no better fit for queues than digital signage. While fans are waiting, a stadium’s in-office digital screens can display ticket prices, special promotions, package deals, or discounts for military and service members. It can also be an excellent way to build excitement for other marketing campaigns, such as game day giveaways of hats and merchandise before fans get invested in the game.
Digital signage for sports stadiums can turn a run-of-the-mill concession stand into a fully digitized dining experience. Digital signs can show prices, highlight unique (and high markup) food items, or be used to provide “last call” alerts for alcohol purchases. This communication is valuable for giving fans the information they need and easing the burden of a stadium’s overworked concession staff.
Digital signage for sports venues isn’t only about the fan experience. It can also be used to improve backend communication for the players, coaching staff, and stadium personnel working behind the scenes.
Information about scheduling can be displayed, along with wayfinding tips to help players or VIPs navigate the confusing corridors of national stadiums. Digital signage for sports stadiums can also be used to provide information about the bios of coaches, athletic trainers who players will work with, or any other relevant staff who players should recognize.
One of the best features of digital signage is its flexibility. And while the above digital signage features can go a long way in improving the fan experience, the real value of digital signage strategies comes from its adaptability. Content published on digital screens can easily be updated and rotated to suit multiple purposes—making it ideal for multi-purpose sports venues.
Large stadiums are often rented out for other events during the off-season—think concerts, conferences, or promotional events sponsored by big businesses. Having a stadium with engaging digital video displays supports these functions and makes the venue more valuable to sponsors who may wish to contribute. For example, a sports stadium with a massive Jumbotron is the perfect place for a live music concert, where fans without front-row seats can watch the screen and see the performer in high-definition. And having a network of connected digital video displays throughout a stadium can make it the perfect choice for corporate events where organizers must communicate with masses of attendees all at once.
And of course, digital signage for sports stadiums presents the perfect opportunity for advertising. Bigger digital screens mean more eyes and more engagement with the content displayed. An investment in digital signage for sports venues can be a key selling point when owners try to lock down new advertising partnerships. In this way, digital signage for sports venues is as much about the fan experience as it is equipping the venue with the digital tools it needs to succeed and continue to grow revenue.
There are numerous benefits to digital signage for sports venues—and stadiums without it are quickly falling out of touch. Massive digital screens may have been a novelty back in the 80’s, but these days, they’re a necessity. Digital signage for sports stadiums offers a better fan experience, new opportunities for revenue, and demonstrates a commitment to the home team in question.
Sports venues are all about competition, both on and off the field. And in our technology-oriented market, owners of sports venues who want to stay current with the competition need to invest in engaging digital signage platforms that drive value over time.