Rotherham United opens new revenue stream and improves fan experience with digital signage and IPTV


English soccer club Rotherham United moved to the purpose-built AESSEAL New York Stadium in 2012 – a 12,000-seater venue a short distance from their former home at Mill Moor.

With a significant investment in the new stadium already made, it was important that the club delivered an improved match day experience whilst simultaneously improving revenue generation opportunities, so digital signage and IPTV seemed like an obvious choice.

Following a recommendation from English Championship soccer team Derby County FC, Rotherham United engaged Tripleplay to discuss how its platform could be used to leverage investment in existing infrastructure within the stadium, and to open up new revenue streams that were previously unavailable at the club’s home ground.

“During our years at Mill Moor and the short stay at the Don Valley Stadium we were limited in how we could generate advertising revenue, we had the traditional means only: shirt sponsorship, advertising boards, match day program, for example,” said Rotherham United’s commercial director, Steve Coakley. “With a new venue it was important to start opening up new streams of income. After a very strong recommendation, we assessed the Tripleplay platform and soon realized it provided us with the quality we desired, the ease of use we needed and the price point to mean it was not a difficult decision to make.”

In total, Tripleplay delivers content to around 40 screens in the stadium shop, staff offices, reception, corporate suites and concourse and also to the iLED Media jumbo screen in the stadium bowl.

Since implementation Rotherham United has worked with Tripleplay to improve the system, adopting new features as they become available and expanding as and when it becomes possible.

Head of supporter services, John Bird, has been heavily involved in the ongoing development of Rotherham United’s digital strategy. “We want the solution to deliver a great experience for our supporters and as we have gained more experience with the technology we have added more and more to our match day experience,” Bird commented.

“As well as pre-scheduled content, advertising and live TV, we can also deliver a live stream from the camera gantry to the screens, perform a master override on all screens to inform fans of line-ups, substitutions, goal scorers, moments of exclusivity and much more. Our supporters use the screens as a source of information and entertainment before, during and after the game, so we work hard to keep the content relevant and pertinent.”

Not only has the system delivered the improved fan experience Rotherham United desired, it has achieved return on investment too.

“In the first twelve months of using the Tripleplay system we brought in five-figure revenues from advertising on the screens, providing us a vital source of income that has never been available to us before,” said Coakley. “Our sponsors appreciate the visibility we give their business for a cost we feel is fair value; exposure to an average of over 10,000 fans on 40 screens for every home game we play.”

“It is not just external advertising that we have utilized the digital signage for, we have been able to utilize the system for club promotions, new shirt launches, season ticket promotions, and club shop sales,” added Bird. “We can be responsive and reactive, getting promotions onto screens in a matter of minutes rather than relying on print deliveries for example. Keeping our supporter base informed of what is available to them is vital for us as a club, both from a revenue generative perspective but also to keep our fans engaged and feeling a part of the club.”

On a match day, Rotherham United has one member of the team responsible for looking after the digital signage and IPTV screens, ensuring substitutions and goals are represented on TV screens, while from a commercial perspective they have engaged an outside agency to take away the burden of finding advertisers.

“We have not got the luxury of a telemarketing team so have engaged an agency to source sponsors, working on a commission basis, but as we own the digital signage and IPTV outright we can afford to do this,” explained Coakley. “Our IT team support the technology, supporter services ensure the content is created and our agency ensures screen space is filled and we achieve commercial benefit. We have found a balance that works and are delighted with our decision to work with Tripleplay.”

October 16, 2015

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