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Led by an experienced team of industry veterans, Pro Media spent almost four decades establishing itself as a top-tier audio-video design and installation integrator with a knack for satisfying big-name customers.
That stellar reputation won Pro Media contracts to create singular audio solutions for several of the country’s most well-known facilities—from the Dallas Cowboys’ new AT&T Stadium to the Green Bay Packers’ revamp of legendary Lambeau Field.
So when Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Company acquired Pro Media in June of 2016, it represented an incredibly powerful partnership. Pro Media team’s unparalleled expertise and experience in large-scale audio solutions bring invaluable assets to Panasonic’s arsenal.
A deeper look reveals that the acquisition of Pro Media, Panasonic’s third major acquisition of 2016, is just one element in its bold strategy to redefine fan experiences through emerging, immersive technology. By combining Pro Media’s audio capabilities with its state-of- the-art solutions, Panasonic can now present an unparalleled, forward-thinking package to enterprise customers.
The Panasonic acquisition of Pro Media is a match made in tech heaven. After all, the history of Pro Media is deeply rooted in perfecting performance audio systems, large-scale audio-video design, engineering and installation, which perfectly complements the aims of the Panasonic Sensory Solutions Group. Its wide range of specialties extends to broadcast cable plans and the optimization of existing large-scale sound systems. Plus, Pro Media’s expertise in system design for everything from convention centers to houses of worship supports the Panasonic vision of ongoing full-service integration and solutions for a diversity of customers.
Yet for Panasonic, that expertise was the secondary draw. More than anything, its interest in Pro Media stemmed from the desire to craft solutions with superior “interoperability”—the capability for each system in a facility to interact and communicate with every other.
Much like the key player that keeps a winning team moving forward, Pro Media provides the “glue” necessary to keep a large-scale solution operating seamlessly, even as it takes on more complex, moving parts. Put another way, Pro Media represented the perfect collaborator for Panasonic as it continues to engineer solutions that are not only comprehensive, but that provide greater value through their seamless interconnectivity.
Why is integration so critical for crafting large-scale solutions for major- league sports venues, entertainment arenas, and the like? The key lies in the fan experience. As teams and facilities look for ways to woo consumers away from their living rooms and toward live entertainment, crafting engaging fan experiences is increasingly seen as the most effective tactic.
“You have to offer everything a fan expects at home,” writes Kirsten Nelson for AVNetwork, in an article announcing Panasonic’s acquisition of Pro Media. “Then you have to change it up just enough to persuade them to leave home with a compelling game-day experience.”
The challenge for technology providers and vendors? Building a truly exceptional fan experience requires the integration and cooperation of every element in a venue, from social media and concessions to audio- video and production.
“[Our customers are] talking more and more about how to create immersive, interactive experiences at every event,” says Don Szczepaniak, Executive Vice President for Panasonic Sensory Solutions Group. “They absolutely want to give their fans a big, beautiful 3,000-square-foot LED video display to experience every moment… and then they want us to help to improve the fan experience in their seat, after the game, and even on their way home. This is what our customers are telling us they need today. Now with Pro Media a part of our Panasonic team, when you talk about ways to solve that problem, we have additional expertise.”
By welcoming Pro Media into the fold, Panasonic has set its sights on building a truly interoperable solutions group, where every element works not just in perfect harmony, but in a modern chorus that bolsters fan engagement.
Prior to the acquisition, Pro Media was hard at work on a major contract at the new Atlanta Braves stadium. Its team was led by Ted Leamy, former COO of Pro Media and now Senior Vice President of Audio Solutions for Panasonic Enterprise Solutions, with critical support from senior design engineer Demetrius Palavos, senior project manager Jim Kinkella, and several other industry vets. Now, that same team is helping Panasonic tackle the state-of- the-art arena, applying their expertise to everything from overall interoperability to Internet Protocol television (IPTV) distribution.
With an emphasis on security and sustainability, the Braves’ new SunTrust Park will seat 41,000 fans and sport a staggering 120 by 64 foot, 16mm pixel pitch LED scoreboard, custom-built by Panasonic.
To support what’s being hailed as the “sports venue of the future,” Panasonic has helped the Braves build a truly modern park—as well as a showcase for their integrated fan engagement technologies. From video- enabled concession stands to interactive kiosks to smart analytics that gather data like traffic flow, the new Braves stadium makes full use of Panasonic’s growing capabilities.
And its next project? In early 2017, Panasonic will take on Nike’s world headquarters expansion in Beaverton, Oregon. Nike’s revamped, ultramodern campus is a work-in- progress, but its mockups reveal a stunning concept, designed for sustainability and incorporating the latest tech advancements.
As Panasonic welcomes Pro Media’s team on a growing number of projects, Panasonic Enterprise Solutions has carved out an identity as the most comprehensive technology partner of the future.