Manchester City Set For Increased LED Capacity – But Is Bigger Better?
Manchester City are set to double the size of its LED perimeter boards which will see the removal of around 1100 seats from the Etihad Stadium.
The Premier League leaders will double the perimeter advertising space around the stadium with a second tier of LED screens, similar to a system already in use at Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Molinuex Stadium.
The installation will be facilitated by the removal of up to the first three rows of seating in the North, East and South stands which will reduce the overall capacity of the stadium to 54,000.
A statement released by the club said: “As part of Manchester City’s ongoing development works to enhance the Etihad Stadium a second row of digital signage will be installed in the lower stadium bowl. Regrettably, a small percentage of seats allocated to both seasoncard holders and supporters who purchase on match by match basis will be removed.”
Manchester City have been playing behind closed doors since football resumed in late summer last year following the restrictions in place due to the covid-19 pandemic.
The financial impact has been great on many clubs and City are hoping the increased advertising space will help them recoup some of their lost revenues. However, the club’s plans to increase the amount of digital advertising space may have the opposite effect according to analysis by YouGov Sport.
Analysis by YouGov Sport’s brand recognition software which monitored a sample of data for three of Manchester City’s key brand partners on its supersized LED board location showed Brand Visibility, the percentage of time a brand logo is captured in a broadcast, will remain consistent with the single tier LED board. The monitoring showed a nominal decrease of 0.7%.
The Brand Impact Score — YouGov’s proprietary brand exposure valuation — for the supersized board also remained similar, with a 3.9% decline in comparison to the current single tier boards.
According to the analysis, the increased size of the branding on the bigger board resulted in fewer instances of the branding being captured. The results showed a 34.5% decline.
YouGov Sport concluded that whilst this is an innovative use of LED display systems, the introduction of larger boards may not have the big impact advertisers may expect. The results showed that the two key metrics used to apply values experience a negative impact, albeit a very small one.
In the case of LED boards, then, the case for bigger being better is not yet proven.