Pitchside LED Video is now a necessity for soccer stadiums wanting to maximize sponsor dollars or stadiums wanting to draw and feature top soccer teams or matchups.
Pitchside LED Video Makes Televised Soccer Possible
I remember a long time ago – 30 years or so – watching soccer on television and thinking it was such a novelty. I knew it was “the most popular sport in the world,” so I asked my dad why it was never on TV.
Dad: “No commercial breaks. There’s only a halftime.”
Dad: “Advertisers pay for television. No ads, no game.”
Advertising was my father’s business, so I figured he knew what he was talking about. Naturally, soccer became more prevalent on television when someone decided to run the ads along the camera-side of the pitch, and now you don’t see a single game on television without an LED video pitchside display. My dad might say LED video pitchside ribbons are the reason for soccer’s surge in popularity in the U.S.
And he would be right.
LED Video Pitchside Displays Enable the U.S. to Compete
To successfully compete in international soccer, a country must have a soccer training system that includes youth soccer, soccer camps, academies, prep-level soccer, university-level soccer and, preferably, a quality professional league. For many years in the U.S. – a country dominated by the NFL, College Football, Major League Baseball, the NBA and College Basketball – soccer couldn’t get a foothold, or even a toehold. And this, to a great extent, could be blamed on a lack of exposure. Why? Because if a child sees football, baseball and basketball on TV, and watches commercials starring football, baseball and basketball stars, that child is going to be excited about football, baseball and basketball.
Even now, the Big 3 sports in America are televised far more than soccer. But because of LED video pitchside ribbon displays, soccer has become viable from an advertising perspective and, therefore, can be found most nights on one of the ESPNs or the Fox Soccer Channel or one of the myriad sports channels. And, for advertisers whose goal (Goooooooooooaaaaaaaalllllllll!!!) is brand exposure, a logo and catchphrase is all that’s necessary. And LED video pitchside displays deliver it better than nearly any other medium.
Quick note: While writing this, I’m watching the FIFA Women’s World Cup, and I can’t watch the game without seeing Coca-Cola and Adidas and T-Mobile and the other sponsors, for a constant 90 minutes. We’re talking serious impressions here, brought to you by LED video.
But back to building a nationwide soccer system. The advent of LED video pitchside displays enabled sponsors to embrace soccer, which enabled the various networks to embrace soccer, which exposed the most recent couple of American generations to it, which enabled the creation and building of youth leagues all over the country. For example, growing up in Iowa, I played three sports in high school and college baseball. Not once in my youth did I kick a soccer ball. The one time I ever played something like soccer, we used a basketball. Soccer balls weren’t even available at the local sporting goods store. Today, my niece (living in Iowa) began playing at the age of 5. That’s progress. And that’s what it takes to build an internationally-competitive national soccer team. An army of 5-year olds chasing soccer balls across miniature pitches on Saturday mornings across the country.
So when we cheer for U.S. soccer, or are able to turn on the television and enjoy “the beautiful game,” we can thank LED video for making it possible.