Twickenham is the largest stadium in the world devoted solely to rugby union. Ahead of 2015 the RFU set a clear objective to deliver a state-of-the-art, connected stadium that would ultimately benefit the fans. The RFU set out to invest £76 million into the stadium upgrade project and it has seen significant modernisations to the stadium over the past three years, placing Twickenham at the forefront of stadia innovation.
The RFU’s Connected Stadium project encompassed the deployment of venue technology to improve fan experience, enhance fan engagement and create brand value, while also delivering key operational improvements across existing business as usual stadium functions.
Over the previous three years a number of areas have been upgraded, with new changing rooms, gym and player medical facilities, replacement of stadium seats, upgrade of media facilities and provision of additional public bars and toilets. Through investment in the stadium’s digital and technology infrastructure, the RFU has been able to digitally connect and enhance engagement with the fans on match day.
With installation of two 169 square metre screens suspended from the roof, these screens have the ability to show high-quality live video, instant replays and can also be divided into multiple sections to show a range of different content. The removal of the old screens has also increased Twickenham’s capacity by 650 seats, now standing at 82,000.
The new AV control room, created to produce more event-day content, allows coordination through the IPTV system allowing different content to be broadcast into different areas of the stadium from big screens, the LED boards and Samsung digital display screens placed throughout the stadium which show a range of content from point of sale (POS) information to match day action. This coordinated approach will further improve the spectator experience and match day atmosphere.
With Tripleplay’s technology it is now possible to broadcast targeted messages to key audiences throughout the stadium. The RFU’s IT Operations Manager, Mike Morris commented; “As part of Twickenham’s Connected Stadium project, upgrades to the existing digital infrastructure was a key component to achieving success in delivering a state of the art stadium.
“Through installation of 700 Samsung digital displays, IPTV and digital signage we now have the capability to deliver relevant, targeted messaging throughout the stadium from partner campaigns to stadium information. This cohesive approach ultimately benefits the fans’ experience at Twickenham on a match day.”
The RFU has also harnessed the capabilities of the Tripleplay Digital Signage and IPTV system to take maximum advantage of the screens they are delivering too, combining live streamed content with key messaging, advertising and audience relevant data.
Mike Morris continued; “Through the screen L-wrap facility, we can now tailor messaging and screen content for each game and for each screen, combining live TV with graphical overlays. This allows us to offer fans a unique experience every time they come to Twickenham. We simply did not have capacity to do this previously.
“The Tripleplay solution also allows us to broadcast HD content to our 700 Samsung digital display screens placed throughout the stadium, again which ultimately benefits our fans as they can view HD match day content.”
With the initial phase of the digital signage and IPTV deployment in place and being utilised on match days The RFU has begun looking at how they can harness the platform for future use.
This includes plans to deliver live action replays, live food and beverage stock details on digital menu boards and queue busting messaging on public bar screens, allowing the venue to maximise revenue generation by reducing waiting times before, during and after the game.
Mike Morris concluded; “Tripleplay have been flexible and professional in their approach to working with the RFU in delivering IPTV and Digital signage throughout the stadium.
Throughout the installation process Tripleplay provided ongoing support and advice with regards to how to maximise delivery of content to the digital display screens.
“Tripleplay is a very agile business and have always met the project brief, working closely with the RFU to deliver a cohesive system that will ensure those coming to Twickenham on a match day will have the best experience possible.”