Final Four fans score with digital signage assist

by / Wednesday, 09 April 2014 / Published in Feature Articles


by Christopher Hall

The NCAA Men’s and Women’s Final Four just wrapped up a thrilling March Madness — and digital signage was there to make enjoying the game possible for fans.

The Men’s Final Four was held at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, home to the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, which already has some of the most impressive digital signage scoreboards in sports. In fact, the stadium’s video screens dwarfed the basketball court on which the games were played itself — measuring in at 72 feet by 160 feet, while the court itself was a mere 50 feet by 94 feet, or less than half the size of the screens.

But even those titanic screens weren’t enough: Argyle, Texas-based customized LED sign supplier GoVision built and hung four massive LED screens beneath the stadium’s own high-definition LED screens to let fans seated courtside watch replays and see the scoreboard. The four-sided, scale-model video wall was configured with two 18-foot-by-40-foot screens flanked by two 15-foot-by-18-foot screens comprising 468 Panasonic 8 mm tiles, GoVision said.

“We are proud to have worked with the NCAA on the Final Four, and most of the regional tournaments, since 2008, and they are always a highlight of our year,” GoVision CEO Chris Curtis, who also serves on the NCAA Local Organizing Committee, said in a company announcement. “Having the chance to work on this amazing event in our own backyard is just the icing on the cake. It’s a genuine thrill seeing our screens hanging right above the court when the national championship tips off.”

And all those screens were critical for fan enjoyment of the college basketball game played in an NFL football stadium, according to a fan who was at the Final Four. AT&T Stadium was not an optimal venue for watching basketball, Tim Clark, who traveled from Louisville, Ky., to root for the national runner-up University of Kentucky Wildcats at the Final Four, told Digital Signage Today. “I was [on the] 100 level and still needed the TV [to see the game].”

Clark said he was right behind the goal in section 145, and, while the screens were “incredible,” he wishes he’d been able to see the game without having to rely on the LED screens. Still, he said, “without the TVs it would have been horrible.”

“[The] technology was great and the screen had incredible color, etc.” Clark said, but he prefers relying on the screens for replays — and since fans needed the screens to be able to see the live action, when they showed replays fans were missing the actual live-game action, he said. Clark had friends in the 400 section, he said, and they had no choice but to watch the whole game on the screens to be able to enjoy it at all.

“So in all, thank God for them,” he said. “Final note: Imagine the game without the TVs. Impossible. So they were a huge asset for the fan. If it were 1980 it would have never been possible.”

(From Digital Signage Today – Click here for full article)