This past Saturday, I spent the day watching a combination of Big Ten football and several nationally-televised games, then drove up to my local college football stadium to catch a night game. While watching the game, my football fan cohorts – one is a New Fan to the sport but not to sports in general, and the other is primarily an NFL Fan – and I discussed what we would do to make the live experience better.
First, let’s begin by saying the LED video screen was spectacular. Huge, colorful, perfectly-contrasted. It provided everything necessary from the replay/highlight standpoint. The LED video replays were quick and network television-quality. Watching the crowd, it was obvious that half of the fans, if not the majority, watched the play on the field and then turned their attention immediately to the Lighthouse LED video screen. This included myself, New Fan and NFL Fan. In addition, I noticed that a lot of people in front of me tended to watch the live action on the LED video screen (offering the normal TV perspective) instead of on the field.
These observations led to a couple of conclusions:
B. As technology continues to improve and streamline the method by which we obtain information, it is important for stadium and arena management to understand the state of divided attention by which most people are accustomed to being entertained, and capitalize on it with LED video, while also understanding that anything less (for most fans) than the constant barrage of information received from a television broadcast will invite boredom, particularly in younger, money-spending generations.
It is not enough to just put the game on the field. In today’s sports venue, live action needs technological support like LED video.
“I want to see something between plays,” the NFL Fan commented. “Statistics, what’s going on around the country. Scores. That kind of thing.”
“A ticker like ESPN would be perfect,” New Fan added, “and I miss what the announcers are saying.”
When investing in a big ticket item like a Lighthouse LED video screen, fascia-mounted “ribbon” LED video, or another of the myriad options available, consider this: It is EASY to set up your venue with LED video to beat the television experience. After a long discussion about this very thing, here is what’s necessary to make sure your fans are content with their live game experience, never bored, and don’t feel as if they’re missing something by not watching it on TV:
1. A Lighthouse LED video screen, large enough to seem “big screen TV-sized” from any fan’s perspective.
2. A statistics/scores ribbon running constantly at the bottom of your Lighthouse LED video screen or fascia-mounted LED video.
3. An internal WiFi network, free to those inside and promoted by the venue, that broadcasts either the network commentary/color or a two-person in-house announcing team. The PA announcer is not enough. Fans want and expect to know what’s going on down on the field, and want the spoon-fed strategy they receive when watching televised games at home.
4. Highlights from not only the current game, but from games around the NFL, or college football, or whatever sport the fan came to see at your venue.
5. A cutting-edge graphics package, a skilled operator, and a graphics service subscription, so that you can maximize your Lighthouse LED video board’s capability. Your Lighthouse LED video screen CAN match high-end television broadcasts. It’s crucial you invest in the fan experience.
When fans watch a game at home, they listen to the commentary, check scores around the league, watch highlights, and watch the game. All at the same time. These are the basics that separate a televised game from a live game. If a venue can equal the technology of the televised broadcast – and this is only a matter of investing in your fans with LED video and its accoutrements – then the live experience cannot be matched. Contact Lighthouse today to find out how LED video can maximize the fan experience and create impact at your venue.