LED Video: The Missing Link

LED Video Bridges the Generation Gap Between the Thrill of Live Events and a Media-Hungry Audience.

If it’s Not on LED Video, Did it Happen?

A few months ago I read a compelling “deep thought,” a commentary on the generation now in their teens and twenties. It went something like this, regarding life’s everyday happenings and events: “If it’s not on YouTube, did it happen?

A few weeks ago, I watched the Portland Timbers defeat Real Salt Lake at Portland’s new, beautiful soccer facility, Jeld Wen Field. The match’s lone goal set off smoke bombs, ecstatic singing and, of course, brilliant LED video replays on Jeld Wen’s Lighthouse LED video screen, situated on the main scoreboard. Multiple angles, close-ups, sharp resolution, followed by custom animations. In a sport where the excitement is mostly in the flow of the game – the build-up to a shot – when a goal does occur a major multimedia extravaganza seems appropriate.

And that’s the thing. It seems in order. And, watching the crowd, it seems to be expected.

Lighthouse LED Video at Jeld Wen Field, Portland, OR

Lighthouse LED Video at Jeld Wen Field

LED Video as Expectation, Not Luxury

Within a few years the coveted 18-34 age group will be made up entirely of those who have grown up with the Internet as a major aspect of their lives. This brings with it a minimum entertainment expectation. Basic marketing theory tells us that you don’t give your customers (sports fans, shoppers, concert-goers) what they need. You give them what they want. And today’s fan wants it all. The live experience. A strong cellular signal and a free wi-fi network. LED video that brings them closer to the action, so they can connect with the artist or athlete. They want involvement with the event.

LED Video Delivers the Total Experience

In a world that is increasingly criticized as being an “armchair experience,” today’s fan wants an integrated experience. The Portland Timbers’ one goal is an excellent example of how LED video integrates the event with the fan and brings the audience, the crowd, the fans, closer to the action than ever before. The goal was scored. The crowd erupted. The LED video screen took over, showing different angles, bringing each perspective of the goal to fans in all corners of Jeld Wen Field. In a very real way, the LED video screen brought the crowd together as one with each other and with the Timbers.

How else could everyone in the stadium see a close-up on the joyful scoring player’s face? How else could the hundreds of people who were checking their email via smart phone see the goal again and again, until they felt they’d witnessed it as it had happened? LED video brought that subset of the crowd – the Facebook addicts and the hopelessly tech-dependent – back into the fold of the Living. And, for about 2-3 minutes, the crowd was One.

LED video as Memory

I don’t remember much of that game, other than the goal. I watch a lot of soccer, so the various ebbs and flows of many games churn through the “soccer” partition of my mind. But when I do think of that goal, the crowd’s reactions, the smoke, the singing and flag waving, right there in the thick of the experience is Jeld Wen Field’s main LED video screen. The replays on that screen are as much a part of the remembered experience as any of the “live” elements.

My conclusion: Not only does LED video bridge the generation and experiential gap, it has become an integral part of the experience. LED video is live, it’s memory, and now it’s expected.

Click here for tickets and more information about the Portland Timbers

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