Though the logo of a sports franchise is often the most recognizable representation of the team, in truth a team brand is built on so much more. A team brand includes the history of the organization, the past successes and heartbreaks, the style of play, the players themselves, and the shared memories amongst fellow fans –in short, a team brand is built on the experience of being a fan and everything that goes into that. This fan experience, and the subsequent emotional connection collectively felt between fans and a team, is enhanced through the integration of large-format display technology into stadium space.
As televisions have advanced, large portions of the viewing public have opted to watch sporting events from home rather than trek to the stadium for what they believe might be a sub-par experience. There’s nothing quite like the roar of a crowd following a critical play, but fans are willing to miss out on that simply because the accompanying stadium experience is lousy. For every ounce of enjoyment a football fan gets from seeing their team score a touchdown, there are an infinite number of smaller moments that factor into their overall experience as well. Consider the minutes they spend waiting in line for food, or the clutch plays they might miss as they struggle to find their section. Think about the details they process when trying to meet up with a friend seated elsewhere, or the conflict of deciding whose turn it is to go order popcorn. With all the logistical headaches a stadium can create, it’s no wonder fans are reluctant to brave the crowds when they can get a similar viewing experience at home without any of the hassle.
Live sporting event organizers have finally recognized this disparity between on-field (or court) product and the associated concourse experience and have begun a digital revolution to remind fans why live events are worth going to. With advancements in digital display tech, fans’ moments away from the action are finally becoming more efficient as stadiums push to optimize the fan experience and create a stronger emotional connection with their team brand.
Digital Displays Energize the Live Sports Experience
NanoLumens has helped teams strengthen their brands by introducing stunning LED display features to dazzle and delight fans both inside and outside stadium space. Two fruitful partnerships with teams in different sports illustrate the power and versatility LED display tech can bring to team branding. The first is with the Atlanta Braves of Major League Baseball. In concert with Comcast and the Braves, NanoLumens provided visualization solutions for Atlanta’s newest entertainment hub, The Battery at Sun Trust Park. The emergent luxury village, debuted this year as part of the Braves first season in their new ballpark, features a gigantic digital baseball suspended 30 feet above the central throughway. The dazzling LED-feature is wrapped with a seven-foot tall, nine-millimeter pixel pitch Nixel Series™ display that the team uses to showcase sponsorship content and livestreamed video of the game being played only a short distance away. The feature is one of the most iconic symbols of the new park and has established a meaningful place in the next generation of Atlanta Braves baseball.
A second productive partnership is with the Miami Heat, of the National Basketball Association. With the NBA season entering full swing, Miami Heat fans visiting the American Airlines Arena will be met again this season by the stunning NanoLumens displays that dominate and define the arena’s lively outdoor gathering space. Located in a city blessed with beautiful weather most of the year, the Miami Heat executives recognize that the experience of being a Heat fan should not be something exclusively found within their arena. Acting on this knowledge, the Heat transformed the outdoor Xfinity East Plaza with a stage, a full bar, and a lively canopy, highlighted by six NanoLumens displays to give the extroverted and energetic Heat fan base another venue in which to gather and interact with fellow hoops fans without missing a second of the action.
Branding in today’s sports climate is about creating an emotional connection through the marketing of experiences. Consumers that attend a game and are met with an efficient, energetic, and exciting stadium experience will become fans for life. With high-end large-format LED displays, stadium executives are finding new ways to optimize this stadium experience and thereby strengthen the connection fans feel with their team brand. These large-format displays can assist fans with wayfinding around the concourse as they simultaneously show live highlights, and they can function as iconic centerpieces of a gathering area while also marketing team merchandise. These displays will additionally leave event organizers better equipped to gather crowd data in real-time so they can take action to make stadiums safer, more efficient, and more profitable. To create meaningful connections with team brands, sports teams need to cultivate incredible live fan experiences. Incorporating modern display technology within stadium space will help deliver these experiences, enhanced and enriched with the power and versatility large-format LED displays are uniquely capable of providing.
~Joe' Lloyd, VP of Global Marketing