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Nottingham Forest Invest in Stadium-wide Fan Engagement Platform

Mon 18th Mar 2013 | IT & Technology

Nottingham Forest’s fans have been treated to an enhanced matchday experience as European leaders in stadium hardware, services and content - ADI - create an extensive fan engagement platform across the City Ground.

A combination of cutting-edge LED technology, innovative content delivery and high quality Production services are bringing tangible value to both supporters and the club. In addition to enhancing matchday experiences at the ground, ADI’s solution brings a technical platform for the future development of the club and offers a wealth of new commercial opportunities, ideally placing Forest for a Premier League revival.

Nottingham Forest’s Boxing Day clash with Leeds United saw the City Ground’s new state-of-the-art technology unveiled and used for the first time. A pair of giant LED stadium screens and 245 linear metres of ADI’s market-leading digiBOARD digital perimeter system engage and communicate with both stadium and TV audiences, while providing a promotional platform to attract big name brands to the club.

An essential component of the solution is ADI’s innovative Live Venue platform, which uses high speed fibre optic connectivity to deliver live matchday programming around the stadium at the speed of light. Lightning fast links between the City Ground and ADI’s Live Venue studios delivers a future-proof and cost-effective studio solution for the club, where they don’t have to invest in heavy broadcast and production infrastructure which may only be used 30 days of the year.

Joe Sharphouse, Commercial Manager at Nottingham Forest comments, “We have a strong vision for our brand, our stadium, our commercial partnerships and the experience of our fans.

“ADI’s solutions are delivering on every level, with a stadium-wide platform that enhances the matchday for our supporters and provides a cutting-edge look to the stadium, while offering significant commercial prospects.

“Owning the in-stadium platform and being on the Live Venue network provides vast opportunities for future growth and the flexibility to grow our support-base not just in the UK but across the world. We can achieve our aims with the long-term support of ADI who bring vast technical and creative expertise to the club.”

Working in close collaboration with Nottingham Forest’s internal teams, the expert services of ADI’s in-house Production team sees customised, exciting club content delivered via Live Venue for every home game. Live Venue also provides the club with fan engagement opportunities beyond the stadium and for the future, with the ability to repurpose content for multiple uses and broadcast or stream it to supporters across the globe in the blink of an eye.

As a result, Nottingham Forest fans have received a huge boost to their matchday experience at the City Ground, which has been transformed thanks to ADI’s innovative products and services.  The giant video screens - with a 30m² display in the Bridgford stand and a 40m² screen pitch-side between the Trent End stand and the Brian Clough stand- display a host of on-screen fan-friendly features, with an integrated digital scoreboard and clock, while matchday programming and commercial messages are broadcast live as part of the dynamic entertainment platform.

ADI’s Production team work with the club’s media department to create programming that features exclusive news and behind the scenes footage that thrills, informs and encourages fan interaction in the stadium.

The giant high resolution LED screens were created using ADI’s own Virtuality product, which is specially made for the stadium market and the most popular technology of its kind in UK football. The inclusion of an extra green LED adds richer colour and greater image quality, which delivers a brilliant viewing experience to supporters in the stadium. With the video screens in place, there’s also the opportunity for Nottingham Forest to host beam-backs at the ground, so that fans who can’t travel to an away game can still enjoy a great shared viewing experience watching the game with their fellow supporters, while also generating extra revenue for the club.

Value for the club

Rather than building a new stadium, the management of Nottingham Forest decided to redevelop the existing City Ground, with the new ADI infrastructure a key feature of the modernisation.

Sharon Smith, ADI’s Commercial Manager - Sport, commented, “While encouraging fans to arrive early at the stadium - and providing the club with the means to engage supporters directly - the Virtuality pitch-side screens and digiBOARD perimeter system creates a stadium-wide media platform which can attract new sponsors to the club and cement existing commercial partnerships.”

The cutting-edge LED technology offers big name advertisers with an effective medium for targeting stadium and TV audiences, while delivering a valuable communication and promotional channel for the club – allowing them to advertise tickets for upcoming fixtures, matchday hospitality and merchandise in a dynamic new way.

With ambitious owners who are targeting promotion to the Premier League, the ability to develop and build the club’s brand value is essential. Tailored matchday programming and state-of-the-art LED technology combine to bring new life to the Nottingham Forest FC brand. Consistency of brand values and exceptional quality is visible across all content, with the inclusion of exciting and exclusive inserts in the programming that interest fans and stokes their passion for the team.

ADI’s Live Venue platform allows the clubs to deliver fan engagement and brand communication beyond the stadium, with the ability to instantly repurpose club content for multiple platforms and distribute it at the speed of light - meaning supporters have access on-demand wherever they are.

Live Venue – A platform for fan engagement and the future

Live Venue is the most widely used content platform in UK football, with clubs including Everton FC, Sunderland AFC and Cardiff City FC amongst those joined to ADI’s dedicated fibre optic network.

With Live Venue, Nottingham Forest doesn’t need to invest in the heavy infrastructure of an on-site production studio at the club. Instead, the club are linked through ultra-fast fibre optic technology to ADI’s centralised studios, where an in-house Production team create and deliver live and customised matchday programming. In a tenth of a second match footage can be sent to the Live Venue studios, mixed with graphics and then sent back to the City Ground for broadcast on the stadium screens.

With the ability to service multiple matches at once Live Venue offers a cost-effective and future-proof studio solution, freeing the club from the financial burden of an on-site studio that requires staffing and on-going technical updates.

Live Venue also allows the club to engage with fans beyond the matchday at the City Ground; club content can be instantly repurposed at ADI’s studios before being distributed to multiple platforms at the speed of light – including smartphones, the club website or tablets – and with links to BT Tower it can also be sent to international broadcasters.  This means Nottingham Forest have the technical capability to grow their support base across the world, while maximising the value of their content and monetising it.

All screen and LED technologies at the stadium are integrated on the Live Venue platform, offering remote delivery of content to the giant Virtuality screens and digiBOARD, bringing a more stream-lined operation to matchdays at the club, with less staff and kit required at the stadium.


Further Information

See www.adi.tv/stadium for more information on ADI’s range of stadium LED products.

See www.livevenue.tv for further information on ADI’s pioneering Live Venue cloud broadcast solution.


Posted by: Aaron Gourley

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