While sports can bring out the most heated debates on coffee tables, boardrooms, bedrooms, and lounge bars, they are also a great unifier.
Since an interest in popular sports is a key factor that binds people together in a widely divided world, it also offers exciting opportunities for creating an electrifying fan experience. AV solutions when integrated well into sporting venues can surpass the experience of a regular stadium. While we anticipate cancellations and delays in sports events due to crowding restrictions with the pandemic, we do feel that it’s now time to ring in the sports season, both for our own enjoyment and the concerns about eroding revenues for sports businesses.
Sports venues versus their at-home rival is a tug of war
Alongside the standard AV technologies centring around live broadcasting, lighting, HD video walls, audio, and monitoring, sports venue providers now need to embrace technical advancements like virtual reality, flexible display technology and interactive displays.
Afterall, home theatre systems with HD, UHD, and 4K video are tough rivals for the attention of viewers. Post-pandemic, it’s not an easy feat to pull the audience out of the comfort of their stellar AV and smart living spaces, while ensuring their safety remains uncompromised in a stadium.
Now more than before, it is important to adopt sport specific AV systems for live sports within a venue, in a way that surpasses the high quality audio and visual experience that viewers with a top-of-the-line home theatre system enjoy.
With the current post-pandemic scenario, it is challenging to lure in the audience at a venue. It is quite a task to bring an unrivalled adrenal rush to every fan in the sports venue, who decides to let go of the at-home immersive viewing experience, and heads to a venue for a sport spectacle worth seeing live.
How can AV upgrades at sports venues capture larger audiences?
With millions and billions riding on live sports events, it is important to discuss the nuances of AV technology which can help draw audiences back to sports venues. That’s why we decided to give you a quick and simple rundown of the AV solutions that factor in pandemic-accelerated changes for sports venues (minus the jargon).
A compelling fan experience is a challenging feat on the rollercoaster of 2020, especially amid the limited crowd capacity arrangement and social distancing mandates.
An upgrade of the in-venue AV equipment will likely ensure that the fans can hear announcers better, and enjoy compelling video displays and projection. The stadium executives should also aim for a significant increase in digital signage over the next few months and at least a year, for companies to thrive in the space and meet the market expansion needs, beating the challenges of a constrained economy.
Going forward sports venues can adopt:
Flexible design and multi-purposefulness of sports venue
COVID-19 has jolted the economic environment in most countries. To recover the lost revenue, a flexible venue that leverages display technology will help create custom experiences for different events curated in the venue. A venue that hosts a sports event will also need to be able to accommodate an audience for a cultural event to recoup some of their losses. It can be a wise decision for stadium executives to utilize the stadium for a live sports event as well as a cultural performance.
Enhance the individual viewing experience of the sport
Ensure sports fans never miss a moment of the action – large central screen, dispersed displays all across the stadium and crystal clear audio.
It is crucial to remember that a better sense of sight goes a long way in delivering immersive entertainment for the audience. Installation of vast arrays of modular LED displays with HDR compatibility can be a good pick to excite audiences with clear and crisp picture quality. The display arrays help maintain an interactive tandem between fans and teams, despite the physical distancing norms that are a non-negotiable safety requirement as a result of COVID-19.
Another key factor in creating higher engagement is keeping the visitors informed wherever they are in the complex — informational digital signage network, with scores, highlights etc from the sporting event and also info about other things like offers, cross promotions, crowding warnings etc.
Utilize advertising opportunities that can be created with AV
Since corporate suites are another important source of revenue for sports venues, these can be equipped with interactive video walls. These help create a significantly richer viewing experience that can help ensure the participation of high-value viewers in the events. It would be a good idea to enhance the VIP suite experience with the interactive video wall, and surround sound and perhaps a high power camera to zoom in where they want to – like binoculars.
Alongside, rich advertising content on large, high-quality displays can also motivate discerning sponsors into taking action and lead to soaring profits for the organisers. These can be installed in key transition spaces to engage the attention of audiences, and help meet the sponsors’ business entertainment and promotional needs.
Few more quick tips to improve the fan experience and business outcome for sports venues:
- Create an interactive visitor experience space (like a sports museum or a hall of fame) with retail elements like stores where you can buy things or play virtual tennis or golf
- AV enabled NOC (Network Operations Centre) for smoother broadcast management (as part of better facilities in the Media Centre). A video wall and controls for all sporting cameras.
- Video Wall enabled SOC (Security Operations Centre) for crowd and security management especially keeping COVID distancing requirements in mind
A final word: the show must go on
Cancellation of major sporting events and all sporting leagues globally was also one of the “new normal” in a slew of post-COVID 19 changes.
But, ultimately, riding the sports rush does not have to stop with a pandemic, as sports enthusiasts are looking at ways to access the sports rush in the changed world of spectator sports.
The pandemic has forced sports venues to take some unplanned action, however, this is the right time to respond and invest in a well-planned return to live sports.
Irrespective of the complexity of the post-pandemic implications, designing, supporting and implementing effective AV integrations that will engage your audience and drive better profits is now possible with our AV installation and infrastructure solutions. You are sure to find a wow factor with our wide array of end-to-end AV implementation services to handhold you through remodelling the outdoor sporting venues that serve hours after hours of excitement, and embody the adrenal rush that sports give.