Welcome to the future of live sports viewing. SunTrust Park, the new home of the Atlanta Braves, offers a fully immersive fan experience. Towering above 1,000 feet of high definition ribbon fascia is the ground’s main attraction: a 120 by 64 foot, 16mm pixel pitch SMD LED video scoreboard by Panasonic. And that’s only the beginning.
SunTrust Park sits within the Atlanta Battery, a 1.4 million square foot venue in Cobb County. Baseball is only part of the draw: boutique shopping, world-class restaurants, luxury hotels and residences combine to create a 365-day entertainment destination that goes far beyond the standard ball game.
Billed as the “sports venue of the future,” this is a visionary project that many professional sports team will seek to emulate in coming years. But Mike Plant, President of Development at the Atlanta Braves, didn’t have years. They needed to create the venue of the future in less than 36 months.
With an extremely aggressive timeframe, this is one of the fastest stadium builds ever undertaken.
“We’re building a professional sports stadium in 9 months less than anyone has before, while also building a multi-mixed use development park,” reveals Mike. “It should be a 5-year project, but to be ready for the first game of the season in April 2017, we’re doing it in 36 months.”
This tough schedule called for a tech partner who could deliver cutting- edge technology within tight deadlines.
The Atlanta Braves had big objectives to meet, and Panasonic could deliver. But Rob Zeller, Sales Director for Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Company, first had to prove what Panasonic was capable of. He took the Braves’ leadership team to the Philadelphia Eagles’ Lincoln Financial Field stadium, where they were blown away by the unbeatable quality and viewing angles of Panasonic’s videoboard technology.
Technology capabilities were only part of the package. Panasonic also had the expertise to integrate on all levels of the project, working alongside the construction company and the architects.
“Rob gave us confidence that Panasonic would be there throughout the entire project,” Mike recounts. “A lot of tech companies don’t do this. They build a solution, deliver it, and then check out. We knew we had made the right choice when we said, ‘Guys, sorry, but we need this tomorrow’ and Panasonic replied, ‘Mike, no problem, we’ve got your back.’”
SunTrust Park’s imposing LED video scoreboard boasts the best sports viewing experience currently possible. And the entire Atlanta Battery is digitally connected, with multiple LED displays, monitors, projectors, digital signage kiosks, and video security systems—all regulated from one central control room.
This integrated technology allows the Braves to interact with fans in new ways. Video-enabled concession stands keep fans immersed in the game between innings, while interactive kiosks connect consumers to the diverse entertainment, retail, and food opportunities available.
This offers advertisers enticing opportunities as well. Location-activated digital advertising slips marketing messages seamlessly into the immersive environment—engaging the Brave’s increasingly younger audience. “The engagement possibilities are endless,” reveals Mike. “Soon, we’ll start exploring face recognition technology so we can personalize messages based on age, gender, and potential interests.”
With a technology system that gathers data in real-time, the Braves will be able to adjust their fan engagement strategy on the fly.
In the near future, Smart analytics will begin returning invaluable data, like traffic flow and dwell time. Armed with these insights, the Braves will be able to rapidly adjust their operations to enhance fans’ entertainment or retail experience.
“The Braves have nearly future-proofed themselves,” suggests Rob. “With the flexible system we’ve designed, they can adapt to anything. They’ll never be behind the times.”
The highly anticipated Battery Atlanta will meet its extremely tight deadline—a feat the Braves believe they couldn’t have achieved without a responsive technology partner.
“Panasonic excelled on all fronts—tech, responsiveness, service speed,” confirms Mike. “It lowers our stress levels knowing we can reach out to them day, night, weekends, holidays—it doesn’t matter when, they’re there for us every step of the way.”
For Rob, this service is ingrained in Panasonic’s ethos. He knew a project of this complexity called for the best, and that’s exactly what Panasonic provides.
“The Atlanta Braves are now part of the Panasonic family,” explains Rob “Whatever the challenge, they can rely on us. What sets us apart from the competition is we go above and beyond—it’s in the Panasonic DNA.”