David Birkett, Business Development Manager, LED European Display Organisation at Samsung Electronics Europe, has underlined the importance of replicating the best aspects of the “home experience” at live sporting events to attract young fans.
Samsung recently struck a deal to serve as the official display and presentation partner at Lancashire Cricket Club (pictured).
Samsung has provided two 60-metre square screens and two 56-metre mid-tier LED ribbons across two of the main stands at the club’s 23,500-capacity Emirates Old Trafford stadium, providing enhanced presentation of scoring, graphics, animations, video and crowd interaction.
“As I’m talking to cricket and other sports clubs generally, they are all aware that their audiences are getting older so they’re trying to get younger fans interested and affiliated with the club,” Birkett told TheStadiumBusiness.com.
“If a club can encourage brand loyalty at a young age, that can carry on into adulthood. Clubs have identified that one of the ways in which to achieve this is via digital signage.
“Younger spectators have all got mobile phones and tablets and they’re expecting to be able to experience something similar at a stadium.”
The partnership with Lancashire builds on installations already in place at other sports venues in the US, including the homes of the Baltimore Ravens, Atlanta Hawks and DC United.
Birkett added: “We hear that the common challenge facing everyone is how to get people out of their living rooms and into the stadium. After all, you can watch the action at home in incredible detail.
“In the US there have been huge 60-metre-wide screens installed specifically to replicate the experience as if you were at home. From the halfway line of the pitch to your seat it is like you are in your living room.
“You can end up watching the game on the big screens, but it doesn’t dilute the experience. You see this a lot at music concerts where the star is a small dot in the distance, but you can watch them up close on the giant screen. In fact, I think it massively enhances the experience.”
Birkett added that the screens allow for “digital fireworks” to be triggered at certain points in a match, whether it is a six, a wicket or someone scoring a century.
“Cricket has been a fairly early adopter of electronic scoreboards,” he said. “However, that phase is now coming to an end and moving into a more sophisticated era.”