Earlier this week executives from City Football Group joined China-based LED giant Unilumin for a live-streamed signing ceremony of their official partnership.
In January, Manchester City announced its partnership with Unilumin, with further announcements focused on the supersize LED (double height) perimeter boards at Etihad Stadium as the first project from the new partnership.
The deal is viewed as global in its scope, taking in all 12 clubs within City Football Group, its 15 offices around the world and reaching its 400 million followers across matchday and digital experience.
Dubbed “Unilumin Sports & Manchester City Cooperation Signing Ceremony and 2021 Smart Stadium Forum” this week’s livestream from Shenzhen included a discussion about various stadium technologies and their potential rollout across City’s club associates.
The Shenzhen-based group used the opportunity to showcase some of its sport project references, including: the giant external LED façade at Kazan Arena (pictured below – a venue for FIFA WC2018 Finals); displays and branding for the NBA 5V5 2018 Finals; and the perimeter boards and screens at Shenzhen Universiade Sports Centre, which hosted the 2018 Trophée des Champions match between PSG and Monaco.
The double-height perimeter boards currently being installed at Etihad Stadium will result in a reduction in seating capacity of 1,100 at the east Manchester venue but will be ready for the end of this season.
“The new system will revolutionise the way matchday content is showcased,” stated Scott Munn, City Football Group’s China CEO.
Adding that the installation on some of the most “commercially-valuable pitchside media experience in the Premier League will allow greater design scope for club partners looking to showcase their brands and create maximum impact with the global TV audience, as well as for the club’s in-match messages to fans all around the world”.
Munn said that the club was also installing the latest technology in control systems that will “allow content to be adapted depending on the camera angles and weather conditions.”
He added: “Perimeter LED remains one of the most valuable assets in sport. Our bespoke supersize LED system will provide an exciting new platform to engage with our fans as well as drive even greater value for our commercial partners through the highest impact brand moments in the Premier League.”
Hinting that Unilumin will be exploring external façade LED at Etihad Stadium, Munn concluded: “It’s exciting to imagine what the future inside and outside the stadium looks like as we continue to improve and innovate for our fans around the world.”