Electronic Scoreboards: 21st Century entertainment

Electronic Scoreboards: 21st Century entertainment

Anyone that has recently been to a stadium for a sports event or concert has probably witnessed the next generation of electronic scoreboards. What started out as an informational display so many years ago is now the state-of-the-art for visual and sound in complete entertainment.

A few years ago, scoreboard manufacturers took a good hard look at the type of high def and quality in-home theatre experiences that were available for purchase. In order to compete, they had to develop something bigger, better, and with more flash than something that could be found at home. Thus entered the new high definition, high quality, large video screens. They partnered with quality sound companies to add a touch of excellence in a closer-to-surround sound ability, and the audio visual senses are complete.

These new screens have the ability to accommodate score updates for sports fans, streaming video, ad hoc repeat play-by-play action, real time stadium video, animation, and are so complete that they are used for music concerts. The additional ‘key’ to this presentation is that advertisers can get their message to the fans in absolute perfection. The initial 1080 bpi that is found in what is now standard high def television sets, is already being examined for replacement. Larger screens mean bigger attendance and the race is on to talk about 3D.

It is almost passé to refer to these as electronic scoreboards, as the technology has surpassed that concept. The resolution is of such excellence that they are being used on YouTube videos.

Over 60 million Americans are using smart phones with that number increasing exponentially; and the apps keep on coming. The newer apps are allowing fans to bring on the replays and send to those that couldn’t attend the game or concert.

The streaming video and text in the wrap displays are giving sponsors an added reason to join in. Marketing companies are developing entire advertising campaigns that they coordinate with the attending vendors. The campaigns are not just local, but planned for nationwide tours and games. The advertising dollars are well-spent as the return-on-investment is proven in fan purchases and participation. Sharing on social media pages increases the advertising push without additional dollar investments. As friends share with friends on such pages as Facebook and Twitter notifications, it becomes viral and takes on a life of its own.

The initial costs for the ‘complete entertainment experience’ are in the millions, but the payoff is quite substantial. Increased attendance coupled with the sponsorship and advertisers equals a win for everyone. In a time of economic question, fan base usually takes a dive. The manufacturers and stadium managers are proving their worth with forward thinking and planning and the fans keep showing up for more.

The electronic scoreboard used to be an add-on for an event. In the 21st century, it is now an integral part of the entire experience; with color, sound and definition. The screen sizes allow even those in the back to feel like they are on the stage or in the field.

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