Once just for major sporting venues, LED videoboards now are within reach of practically any sporting facility, from sports complexes and park districts to civic centers.
With advances in LED technology and falling prices for components, the cost difference between videoboards and fixed-digit scoreboards today is negligible. It's no wonder new and existing sports destinations are replacing traditional Home and Away scoreboards with full-color, high-resolution videoboards suitable for live and pre-packaged video, photos, and animations.
Personalizing for a competitive edge For a tournament organizer attracting teams or a venue competing for an RFP, a digital scoreboard gives the advantage of personalization. A digital display gives a court or field a unique look in seconds, from the event logo to the scoreboard color, to the messaging displayed.
David Allen Memorial Ballpark in Enid, Oklahoma, hosts more than 400 games a year, including several high-profile tournaments such as the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II Baseball World Series. An 18’ x 34’ virtual scoreboard allows the park to display customized graphics with team branding, while keeping score, showcasing players, energizing fans, and providing advertising opportunities. Scoreboard operators can instantly switch from a scoreboard with stats to live video of the crowd or the field with a few simple clicks.
Many destination venues are built to accommodate multiple sports and levels of play. A video display can switch from a football scoreboard displaying downs to a soccer scoreboard displaying corner kicks. Digital scoreboards can also be easily configured for different levels of play. Basic information, such as runs, strikes, and outs may be sufficient for a Little League game, while a complete line score with pitch counts may be required for a Pony League game. With a video scoreboard, every event can have a fresh canvas that is custom-designed to meet specific needs.
Video scoreboards also expand the use of venues by allowing them to be employed for non-traditional events. When Union Public Schools in Tulsa, Oklahoma, renovated its $34 million sports complex in 2022, they chose a 31’ x 55’ videoboard for the 10,000-seat stadium. In addition to using it for varsity, junior varsity, and youth football games and high school marching band, the district plans to leverage the display for community movie nights and concerts.
“We felt it was important to serve all 16,000 students and the community with this stadium, not just football players and student-athletes,” said Lee Snodgrass, executive director of special projects for Union Public Schools.
Getting athletes and families pumped In addition to flexibility, video scoreboards help sporting facilities make games more exciting for the players and families from across town and across the country.
Looking to add this “wow factor” to games, theUniversity of West Alabama, in Livingston, Alabama, spruced up both its Tiger Stadium and Pruitt Hall Gymnasium with new video scoreboards.
Officials installed a video board measuring 22’ x 35’ at Tiger Stadium, home to UWA men’s football and men’s and women’s soccer teams, and new video boards at Pruitt Hall Gymnasium, which hosts men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball teams. The new virtual scoreboards are used to showcase player profiles and videos, live-action, and game replays, along with timing, scores, and stats. A fan cam and animations get fans on their feet.
To the east, the University of West Georgia added a high-resolution, four-sided center-hung display and an end zone display in its Coliseum, which is home to the university’s indoor sports teams and is used to host important events, including graduation. The displays can be programmed into multiple content zones capable of displaying scores, stats, photos, live video, and sponsorship information all at the same time.
Maximizing profits Athletes and fans aren’t the only ones who love digital scoreboards; so do sponsors.
Nazareth Area High School, located about 20 miles east of Allentown, Pennsylvania, raised nearly $60,000 in ad revenue in the first six months after installing a digital scoreboard in the school’s football stadium, which hosts football, soccer, lacrosse, and field hockey games, as well as youth camps, marching band competitions, and community events.
Content zones on video scoreboards enable sporting facilities to recognize different sponsorship levels, expanding advertising opportunities for local and national advertisers.
Since digital scoreboards can be programmed on the fly, venues can advertise merchandise sales, and quickly update messages to sell surplus items and food. For example, concession stands can advertise reduced-priced pizza toward the end of the game to avoid having unsold food.
Finally, digital scoreboards provide exciting backdrops for selfies. Not only does this engage the audience during the game, but it also gives venues and sports tourism commissions valuable organic (and free) advertising on social media platforms.