Videoboards are the single-most important fan experience resource that teams have to entertain their fans. No other investment in the stadium is more valuable. Every time the ball is out of play, your fans turn their attention to the videoboard. As game producers, it is our job to ensure that we provide them the content they want when they want it.
A hot topic is how the at-home experience is better than in-venue, which is why more and more people are staying home. One area in which stadiums are doing well is replays. In most venues when a play is over, you can turn your attention to the video board to see a better angle of the play. Unless a team runs a hurry-up offense, or the refs are reviewing a play, replays are an in-stadium norm and similar to the TV broadcast experience.
One major gap between TV and in-stadium experience is following the storylines of the game. Play-by-play announcers share stories of the players, keep fans up-to-date on individual stats, if records are being approached or broken, and provide historical graphics about the programs and players involved. This is something that the in-venue experience doesn’t come close to capturing to the extent they do on TV. But we have to ask ourselves the question: why not? We have the same resources and access to information as the TV broadcast but do not provide it for our fans.
The reason for this gap is that as game directors, we don’t place the same emphasis on keeping our fans up-to-date and informed as they do on the TV broadcast. Let’s use our single-most important resource to inform our fans about the game. How about using your team’s Twitter feed, which typically tweets information that a play-by-play announcer would pass along to a viewer, on a portion of the video board to keep your fans engaged? Tell them a player is questionable to return because of an ankle injury or that the opposing team’s running back went to a local high school.
Spend an hour with your SID, PR Director or media guide to create graphics and video content that captures the rivalry or build story lines about the players. In an average TV broadcast, they use less than 20% of their pre-produced graphics. Let’s not be afraid to create a graphic that would create a wow moment in the stadium only because it may not be used.
The days of catching up on what happened in the game on the post-game radio show are over. Fans want information and want it immediately. We control one of the largest and most influential “TV’s” in our markets. Let’s make sure we are putting it to good use so fans get off their couch to experience live sporting events.