Giant screen are part of major football stadiums landscape since mid to late 90’s. They do more than showing the game score, replays, teamsheets, they are fully integrated in the entertainment experience provided to the fans but most importantly, offer a tremendous marketing and advertising platform.
It is in my opinion interesting to have a look at the big screen business model. How much do they cost? are they worth the investment? what is the return on investment? can all club benefit from them? Should small clubs focus on services to fans rather than giant screens? All these questions have a relevance, and I am bringing my 2 cents as a football marketer.
Let’s be honnest. Screens were installed initially to enhance the fans football experience. Now, they are mainly dedicated to clubs commercial and advertising purposes. With international brands having commercial relationships with clubs, a stadium LED offers a high impact and dynamic promotional space that can help maximise the value of these deals and have a quick return on investment from the LED inital installation costs.
On top of that, LED, when used the right way help boost matchday revenue since they encourage fans to spend more time around the stadium’s concession areas, directing them to the club’s website and store, promoting new features, show game highlights etc.
It’s all great, but what kind of initial investment are you looking at? Installation cost are very different according to the structure required from club to club. However, from various discussions with professionals, price vary from € 200.000 to 500.000 for a fixed screen. Given the lifetime of a giant screen, 10-15 years, we can easily assume that the price range is affordable from a large second tier european clubs.
In the UK for example, the Championship club Queens Park Rangers installed a 30m² Virtuality LED screen on top of the School End Stand as well as a 6.5m² digiSCORE scoreboard at the other end of the stadium above the goal at the Loft End.
A permanent installation could be a too prohibitive cost for club. This is why companies like ADI TV is moving fiercely into mobile screens installations. A fixed screen is an option if you are a club that can host 50.000 + fans each game and therefore cash in a significant ROI per matchday. However, for a lower standard club, it’s another ball game. Consequently, ADI TV developed interesting solutions with their range of i-Fly 12, 15, 25, 60, 100 screens. These screens can be installed in 30mn, and have been designed for clubs that do not need a fixed screen or cannot afford one.
Clubs understand the marketing potential of giant screens, and can be offered flexible solutions to have one. It is now up to them to get their ROI with their sponsors and, it is not the most difficult task.
And for the clubs with the big bucks, here is the Al Rayyan Stadium in Qatar. Giant screens are all around AND in the stadium, 420.000 square feet media facade. THE dream, if you ask me!