University of Kentucky Sports Next-Generation Stadium Signage System

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Commonwealth Stadium is home to the University of Kentucky’s football team. In October 2015, the University completed a $120 million renovation that included the installation of a CastNET SportsView digital signage system. The objectives for the CastNET system were to improve fan experience, increase revenue for the university and increase safety.

Nominating Company: CastNET, Eden Prairie, Minnesota
Venue: University of Kentucky Commonwealth Stadium, Lexington, Kentucky
Project: Commonwealth Stadium Renovation
Category: Event Venues & Hospitality

BACKGROUND
The University’s stadium renovation included adding more private suites, more club seats, new press facilities, a multi-purpose recruiting room, improved concession areas and the installation of a CastNET SportsView digital signage system. CastNET SportsView manages content on screens throughout the stadium including in the concourses, suites, lobbies, locker rooms, recruiting rooms, press box and lounges. CastNET SportsView sets the bar for the next generation of stadium and arena digital signage systems. Today’s sports venue digital signage systems must enhance the game day experience and allow advertising sponsors to realize a return on their investment.

CHALLENGES
One significant challenge was that the new CastNET IPTV system architecture and new Samsung monitors are installed in only the home team half of the stadium. The rest of the stadium’s existing monitors on the visitor side are using an existing RF system architecture. The CastNET SportsView installation needed to be flexible enough to be supported on both architectures. The remaining half of the stadium will be upgraded in the summer of 2016.

Most screens are in public spaces and are subject to accidents, tampering or abuse. CastNET developed a troubleshooting dashboard to quickly identify and respond to non-functioning screens. CastNET’s Game Day Support supplied one technician to be on-site during every home football game during the 2015 season to respond and fix non-functioning screens.

SOLUTIONS
The CastNET SportsView installation at Commonwealth Stadium is a massive digital signage integration project. Its success depends on a number of customized features:
– CastNET is real-time integrated with the Daktronic scoreboard so that scoreboard data can be shown immediately on stadium screens.
– CastNET is integrated with Stat Crew Software so that live game-day statistics can be shown on stadium screens
– CastNET is integrated with a closed captioning system to comply with recent ADA rulings
– CastNET developed a Game Day Control Panel so that a tablet can easily control the entire the digital signage system.
– Touch screen tablets using CastNET SuiteView remotely control the screens in the executive suites and lounges.
The system provides access to 32 cable channels from Time-Warner and 14 digital signage channels. A total of 563 new Samsung screens were installed in half of the stadium.

RESULTS
The university wants to hear that the fans are enjoying the games more, the sponsors feel their investment is paying-off, the athletic department is recruiting more athletes, donors are contributing more and the staff is finding the system easy to use. The University has been extremely pleased with the results through six home football games.

Two significant services offered by CastNET were instrumental in making this installation a success. One was the consulting services provided by CastNET to design a network that supported the IPTV system architecture and the existing RF architecture. The second service was provided by CastNET’s outstanding creative team who designed customized digital signage templates and digital signage advertising content used throughout the stadium.

CastNET was nominated for a DSE 2016 APEX Award in the Public Spaces category. Alpha Video Sports & Entertainment was also a partner on the project.

 

 

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