There are roughly 130 sports venues supporting about 149 major North American professional basketball, football, baseball, hockey, and soccer teams. In addition there are numerous "pro-style" sports venues that host Division I colleges and universities, as well as 23 NASCAR Sprint Cup Speedways, and many other venues that seek the attention of sport-loving consumers throughout North America. The majority of these teams and venues have made major technology upgrades within the past five years -- most of those that haven't are actively planning to do so, and the ones that have are constantly looking for new ways to make better use of their investment. As the sports and entertainment markets gradually meld together, sports teams are seeking new ways to increase visits and viewership from their fans. The rabid sports fans are still out there, but they are increasingly demanding, information-seeking consumers with more options than ever for their time and wallet. Panasonic can help you plan and deliver an in-venue experience that keeps fans entertained beyond just the level of play, and generates an attractive financial return for all stakeholders. We have delivered major LED and control room projects for three of the last six major professional league (NHL and NBA) arena All-Star games (Staples Center in Los Angeles, Scotia Bank Place in Ottawa, and Toyota Center in Houston).
As LED technology improved, the "bigger is better" ethos took hold. LED screens and square footage expanded dramatically, and screen resolution also improved. The sports industry did this to "keep up with the Joneses" while improving the fan experience, and teams varied in their approach to Return on Investment (ROI). In many markets LED square footage and pixel counts will increase much more slowly and it will take more than a big scoreboard to differentiate a facility. The landscape for future A/V investments will be determined by how well different providers and stakeholders - installers, service providers, teams, venue owners, sponsors, etc. - develop and execute a strategy for delivering an overall product that gets fans and sponsors excited and keeps them coming back.
Panasonic is constantly developing new solutions for sports venues, and threaded through each of these solutions is the digital content that makes in-venue A/V solutions meaningful to fans. Digital content is one of the easiest and most often overlooked ways to improve the fan’s digital experience and maximize ROI. The right A/V solutions, including scoreboards, fascia displays, HDTVs in suites, concourses, etc., will fall flat without content that:
- Leverages the technical features of the technology solution. Newer professional and major college LED displays are expanding beyond "true HD"(1920 lines by 1080 lines) and exceeding the limits of many content management products.
- Brings fans and sponsor messaging into the flow of the game, while keeping them engaged and entertained. Sponsor content that is better suited to a billboard is really an advertising wrapper than takes fan attention away from the game. Sponsor content is valuable when it connects the brand with a captive audience, in the context of the game, and establishes the connection between the sponsor and the fans' team or sport.
- Takes advantage of the specific situation and moment of the event. This includes important "moments of exclusivity" (touchdown, soccer goal, etc.) that capture all fans attention, creative ways to use of breaks in the action (integration of sponsor message into fascia content during a timeout or rain delay), and discount offers on team merchandise or food.
Panasonic’s sports solutions portfolio includes a full assessment of content strategy, management, and delivery based on a team’s current A/V technology and future technology plan, as well as the content development and gameday production services to maximize ROI. We have created content programs and provided content services for older systems installed by other companies, new systems needing the right guidance and expertise. Whether a customer has a best-in-league scoreboard and control room, or needs to get a couple more seasons out of their current solution, we will work with you to plan and deliver content that moves the needle with sponsors and fans, and takes advantage of the most advanced content solutions and concepts available.
The following are some of the types of content we can develop into a customized program:
- Animation showcase - 2D or 3D Animation 30-60 seconds in length for team/event opens. Logos and elements would be 3D, multiple layers with full extrusion, effects, reflections and shadowing to show depth of field.
- Custom design - custom background with 2D or 3D animation stylized in team/event colors with logo treatment to be the template for all prompts. The style can be unique to the team/event and developed for a variety of form factors (scoreboard, ribbon boards, suite and concourse displays, etc.)
- Stylized template - option to choose from a series of stylized 3D backgrounds and animation templates. Each template has a unique look and feel, from CLASSY to EDGY, or TRADITIONAL to SHOWTIME. Teams and venues can easily apply alternate colors and logo treatments to a template.
- Team/game/venue prompts (for scoreboard or fascia/halo ring displays) - 2D or 3D animation, 10-12 seconds in length, with unique font styles layered with the approved custom design or stylized template. One or more additional layers of animation and effects can also be added for each prompt, including alternative team logo animation with full extrusion, movement, effects and glows.
- Sponsorship animation and prompts - Similar to team/game/venue prompts, and integrated into the game, but with style, design and sponsor logo changes to tie in with the sponsor’s message and brand. Can also be provided with specific fan engagement animation, including fan cams, shuffles, trivia/quizzes, text and Twitter messages, etc.