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. It set out to invest £76m (US$116m) into the stadium upgrade project, 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 past three years a number of areas have been upgraded, with new changing rooms and a new gym and player medical facilities, the replacement of stadium seats, the upgrade of media facilities and the 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.
Two 169m² (1,819ft²) screens have been installed, suspended from the roof, that can show high-quality live video and instant replays, and can 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, with it now standing at 82,000.
The new AV control room, created to produce more event-day content, facilitates coordination through the IPTV system, which enables different content to be broadcast to different areas of the stadium from big screens, the LED boards and Samsung digital display screens placed throughout the stadium. These 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 matchday 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, said, “As part of Twickenham’s Connected Stadium project, upgrades to the existing digital infrastructure were a key component in 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 the IPTV system to take maximum advantage of the screens they are delivering, combining live streamed content with key messaging, advertising and audience relevant data.
“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,” Morris continued.
“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 matchday content.”
With the initial phase of the digital signage and IPTV deployment in place and being utilized 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 maximize revenue generation by reducing waiting times before, during and after the game.
“Tripleplay has been flexible and professional in its approach to working with the RFU in delivering IPTV and Digital signage throughout the stadium,” added Morris. “Throughout the installation process Tripleplay provided ongoing support and advice with regards to how to maximize delivery of content to the digital display screens.
“Tripleplay is a very agile business and has 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.”
October 30, 2015