In the summer of 2017, the Atlanta Braves baseball team found their organization in flux. After spending more than 20 years playing home games in the iconic Turner Field, the Braves announced they would be transitioning to a new playing facility prior to the 2017 Major League Baseball season. While this move certainly signaled a fresh era of Braves baseball, the team’s front office recognized the importance of imbuing elements of the franchise’s rich history into their contemporary home. The trick here, as organizations in other sports have recognized, is using new-school technologies to communicate old-school messaging.
Old Game, New Tricks
The Braves new home is called SunTrust Park and it is resplendent. Neighboring the stadium is an energetic fan village called the Battery, and though it bustles with bars, restaurants, apartments, and shopping, it lacked the kind of prominent digital feature necessary to connect with fans of all generations. Committed to installing such a feature, the Braves first needed to reckon with the challenges presented by the location. For starters, the designated installation area was completely exposed to the sun, and thus other elements as well. Second, the feature would likely be seen by around 50,000 fans on game days, meaning serviceability and performance were of the utmost priority. These unique demands required a unique technology solution. Fortunately, the Braves were able to find a willing partner right nearby in NanoLumens, digital display pioneers headquartered just a few miles away from SunTrust Park.
The Battery Baseball Brightens the Ballpark
Together, the Braves and NanoLumens decided to create a 360 degree curved LED display feature in the shape of a baseball and to suspend it high above the crowds so that fans could see it from great distances and navigate their way towards it. Suspended 40 feet above an in-ground spray fountain popular with the youngest fans, the display runs 24/7 and is used to showcase team-centric images, graphics, and live video footage, while a half-mile long fiber optic cable connects the display to the control room inside the ballpark. The installation has quickly become a popular gathering place for fans to meet prior to entering the stadium. The local television broadcast hosts their pregame show in the shadow of the display feature and performers regularly dance and make music as well. The creativity demonstrated by the installation reflects brilliantly on the Braves organization as a whole. Not only did the team cater to younger fans with their digital endeavor off the field, but their commitment to young players on the field has lead them to the playoffs this season for the first time since 2013. The future is bright for Braves fans! To learn further details about this inspiring installation, you can download the case study here.