Built in 1882, Edgbaston is a stadium steeped in history and home to Warwickshire County Cricket Club and Birmingham Bears. One of the UK’s leading Cricket venues, Edgbaston is among an elite group used by the English Cricket Board (ECB) to host international test match cricket, including Ashes series, having hosted its first England match in 1902.
However, with the emergence of a number of other Cricket grounds as potential test match venues Edgbaston has had to invest heavily in modernising the stadium itself and improving the match day experience of supporters who visit.
Seen as playing a key role in both the modernisation and fan engagement programs Edgbaston decided to implement a digital signage and IPTV solution, as well as building a brand new Pavilion.
“We wanted a system that was simple to operate, cost-effective and provided us with all of the features we needed. Having looked at what was available in the market Tripleplay became the obvious choice,” commented Sean Miller, Digital Media Producer at Edgbaston.
Once the New Pavilion was completed, Tripleplay and Edgbaston implemented digital signage and IPTV screens in the venue’s main reception, pavilion concourse, concessions stands, corporate boxes, scorer’s box, media and press areas, stadium shop, restaurants and player dining areas. Every screen and every zone has the ability to show its own unique digital signage layout, playlist or TV channel, all controlled from a central server and web browser interface.
For example, screens in the reception area can be personalised to welcome guests and visitors, concourse screens show live TV with price promotions and offers, media boxes carry pure TV feeds whilst corporate hospitality screens have marketing messaging and live television.
Sean commented; “We wanted to be able to push a variety of feeds out to screens, a different playlist for each different area. With Tripleplay we have been able to adapt playlists for match days, special events, weddings, functions but also to vary during the course of a day and depending on which department the screen is located.
“In planning, we realised that the future of TV was digital, we needed content that was on-demand, adaptive and responsive. Screens used to be for playing out full screen TV broadcasts, now the live TV element is just another asset in our own messaging along with RSS feeds, adverts, news and images.”
Creating a means by which to communicate with the venue’s customers is seen as an essential tool in maximising profit during events and getting a return on the investment in the technology purchased. The solution is not seen as a resource solely for use by the venue and ‘big name’ sponsors, but also for smaller local firms who work in partnership with Edgbaston.
“We don’t just want the screens to be used by our major sponsors, we see this as something a local taxi firm, bar or restaurant could take advantage of to drive customers to them following an event. Because of the nature of the system this is all possible, and very simple to achieve,” added Sean.
Aside from commercial benefits the Tripleplay solution is being used by the playing staff and venue management to serve alternative needs.
Sean explained; “Tripleplay has given us a clear communications channel to our customers. We can use the screens to get important messaging across to our customers, keeping them up to date during rain delays, assisting in fire alarms or evacuations. TV is a very eye-catching and engaging medium, our televisions can be adaptable; they are not just for broadcasting other people’s media.
“We have even created playlists for the team managers in the dressing rooms to help with analysis of opponents. The screens will show an individual’s strengths, weaknesses and information about how that player plays; it’s a genuine all-in-one solution.”
Moving forward the Tripleplay solution will give Edgbaston and Warwickshire County Cricket Club the opportunity to take advantage of video on demand streaming for training, coaching and tactical assessments; it will also be very simple to implement the digital signage solution in other areas of the venue.
Sean Miller summarised; “It is a fantastic system, it has served our purposes perfectly, has been simple to deploy and has enough flexibility to fit with the plans we have in the future. The in-built layout and playlist creation and scheduling tools are simple for anybody to use and have made it possible for us create an array of digital signage screen designs.”