Why You Should Have a Video Display

April 23, 2019


Gone are the days when there were only scoreboards for keeping score and gaining the attention of fans. With video displays, schools can now do so much more at their games. From engaging fans to raising revenue to providing learning opportunities for students, video display boards provide a number of benefits to athletic departments.

Enhancing the Experience

Perhaps the most obvious advantage of having a video display at your athletic facility is that it creates a more exciting atmosphere for the spectators and the athletes. “One major benefit of having a video display is improved fan interaction,” says Jean-Paul Grice, Director of OES Scoreboards. “You’re able to really drive content thought the audience, which improves fan engagement and helps you hype up the crowd.”

Instead of the people in the stands being mere spectators, they can interact in real-time with the video display, which helps them stay energized and engaged throughout a sporting event. For example, live video allows you to display fans up on the screen and encourage them to cheer or celebrate a big moment.

“Video displays provide you with a lot of ways to engage fans,” says Bob Ferrulo, Sports Market Director at Watchfire Signs. “First and foremost, the fans get to see themselves up on the big screen. They become part of the event because they’re shown on the screen celebrating or cheering on their team.”

Other features allow fans to interact with the screen through social media. “Fans can use a certain hash tag when they post something on Twitter and then the Athletic Director or the person operating the video board can monitor the Twitter feed and throw certain tweets up on the video board during the game,” explains Kyle Sydow, High School, Parks & Recreation Market Manager at Daktronics. “This allows fans to interact with the display.”

With video displays, there never has to be a stoppage in the action. During any break in play, the video board can take over and keep fans entertained, whether through pump-up videos, live feeds of people in attendance, or instant replay. From start to finish, video boards can add so much to the game day experience, benefiting fans and athletes alike.

“A lot of schools will use the boards to display hype videos and intro videos, and it’s really cool to watch the kids get excited,” says Eric Light, Vice President of Sports Video at Nevco Sports.They feel like they’re in the pros when they watch the intro video of themselves holding a bat or twirling a ball. I think it makes them feel pretty special to have that.

“The video board definitely benefits the athletes,” Light continues. “They always get excited when they see themselves on the big screen. And it doesn’t hurt to have that little extra motivation to make a great play so it ends up on a replay clip on the video board.”

Funding the Purchase through Ads and Sponsorship

Though the cost of a top-notch video board might seem daunting, schools have found that the limitless revenue raising opportunities that video displays provide can offset the price. Video boards allow you to display ad content without any limitations. With so many more ways to generate revenue, the displays can pay for themselves.

“We’ve found that when the schools we service work with the Daktronics marketing team, they bring in an average of $50,000 a year in ad revenuesays Sydow. “Over time, this can have a significant positive impact for an athletics department.”

Video displays provide schools with a number of dynamic ways to create sponsored content. “You can theme advertisement towards specific events or stages of the game,” explains Grice. “A lot of schools will have local companies sponsor the quarters or halves and they’ll include the logo of the sponsor in the corner of the screen. During phases in the game, you can dynamically overtake the entire screen and put an advertisement or commercial on to the video screen and really have the fans immersed in that advertisement.”

Not only do video displays allow for more compelling ads, but they also provide so many more advertising opportunities. Schools with video displays don’t have to worry about having limited space for ad messages.

“The video displays are like a blank canvass,” says Ferrulo. “You can display whatever ad you want and then change it to another instantaneously. You can have someone sponsoring the goal of the game, or sponsoring the replays, and you can have a sponsor for each period or intermission. With the live video and production capabilities, you have so many more chances and places to bring sponsors in to get recurring revenue. It becomes much more flexible and you have many more ways to engage possible sponsorships.”

Teaching Tools

A lesser-known, yet equally important, advantage of a having a video board is that it can provide students with valuable learning opportunities. Many schools have designed their video production classes around their video boards, giving students firsthand experience using the equipment and mastering the software. Not only does this allow students to participate in sporting events by operating the board, it also gives them the tools to pursue a degree or career in the video production field.

“There are a lot of technical skills and graphic design that goes into what’s being displayed on the screens, and schools are leveraging that as a learning experience for students,” says Grice. “They’re getting students involved in creating animations and videos to display on the screen, as well as teaching them about the production side, such as running the screening, controlling the content on the screen, and directing the program the audience is going to see.”

For those who want to pursue a career in video production, working directly with a video board sets them up for future success. “Students can use the displays to learn how to work with the software and pursue their career interests,” says Sydow. “This provides direct career potential for high school students, while also giving students outside of athletics the opportunity to work on a team and contribute to the school community.”

Light has seen the benefit of these learning opportunities firsthand. “I’ve been to many high schools and seen young people working on their video board, and four or five years later I’ve run into some of them at a college and they’re majoring in video production,” he says. “They got their start because their high school had a video production class and had real video equipment to actually practice on. Seeing that has been really neat for me.”

Even if your schools doesn’t offer a video production course, that doesn’t mean that other people can’t learn how to use the video board. Many are surprised to discover that this high-tech equipment is actually quite easy to use.

“For example, at my local high school, they don’t have a video production class, but after just a couple hours of training, everybody from booster club parents to students to the athletic director were all able to operate the display,” says Light. “It’s very quick to pick up and easy to use.”

Creating Community

Along with providing the perfect compliment to a sporting event, video boards can also be used for a variety of other events and occasions. School assemblies, pep rallies, presentations, fundraisers, and graduation ceremonies can all benefit from the presence of a video display—and that’s only scratching the surface.

“Video scoreboards allow you to take a customizable approach to each sport and event,” says Sydow. “In an outdoor setting it can be used for football, soccer, and a variety of sports, while also allowing you to host a movie night. In an indoor arena, video boards can be used for sports like basketball and volleyball, but it can also be used for watching exercise videos during gym class, presenting student films, or hosting school assemblies. “

Such versatility gives video boards much of their value. Whatever the occasion, you can use a video board to suit your needs, which can also increase the versatility of your facilities.

“Video displays make a facility a more universally useful place, in addition to just sports activities,” says Ferrulo. “A lot of schools use gymnasiums for parent-teacher nights, fundraising events, and graduations, so adding a video display to a facility opens up that facility to being used for more than just sports.”

With so much to offer, video boards can become a point of pride for an entire community. “It brings a lot of pride to a community when you have a great video board to complement a facility,” says Light. “I’ve seen communities really rally around a video board, and it’s always about a lot more than just athletics. Video boards really provide a way to involve and celebrate the entire school.”


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