Originally posted on KnoxSports.com–
In early September, the Houston Rockets announced plans to install the largest scoreboard in an indoor arena. The official release claims to be setting “the new standard for indoor arenas.”
The monster video board will measure 25 ft high and 58 ft. wide. After doing the math, I realized that at 1450 sq ft. the board is larger than my 2-bedroom apartment. This leads me to my question, is bigger really better?
I understand the value of total, bowl-dominant branding. Our clients love seeing their colors and logo wash over the crowd. But when a center-hung is this large I believe you’re taking away from the in-game experience. Look at the picture below and imagine your sitting in the upper deck:
Would you be able to look past the brilliant HD colors and fancy graphics to the action that is happening live just beneath it? Will the fans that paid the big bucks for courtside seats be able to see the board without leaning back and getting that dizzy feeling you get at an IMAX movie?
These new, bigger, badder video boards make the sponsorship sales reps’ mouths water. “Your Logo will be 2 stories high,” they’ll say. I know it may seem weird for a girl who makes her living in Sports Marketing to be upset about these impressive boards. However, I think that sports marketing is effective because of the fan’s love and devotion to their sports team. Good campaigns are more than a gigantic branding. Good campaigns involve a multi-layered attack involving all the tools in the box: video, PA, social media, etc. These boards will raise the already premium prices of sports without adding measurable value.
Fans used to spend a lot of money and time to try and make the home experience feel more like the in-game experience. Now, sports properties are working tirelessly at creating an in-game experience more like the one at home. So, what’s next? 3-D video boards?