LED boards are just the beginning

Since the first match of the second half of the season in September 2014, six clubs in the Swiss Football League have introduced new LED advertising board systems. They mark the dawn of a new era.

In mid-December, the Swiss football leagues are on winter break. Klaus Haussener, Head of Event Warehouse & Operations, packs two trucks for Spain with his crew. The Spanish league has asked Swisscom Event & Media Solutions to step in. "So we are heading to Spain with three complete LED advertising board systems – for matches in the Primera División and Copa del Rey," explains events specialist Klaus Haussener. The crew will only return to Switzerland again in January. "We are responsible for planning, logistics, setup and dismantling, maintenance and operation. Our main customer is the Raiffeisen Super League. The additional jobs that we can take on, for example for the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and international matches, are based on their match schedule."

Digital era in the stadium

Rotating advertising boards – every football fan has seen them. Advertising messages created long in advance try to grab the attention of stadium visitors and TV viewers. But the visibility of the boards is limited. And at international games, not every message is interesting for the viewers in all countries. It is plain to see that a new generation is slowly taking over the stadiums: LED boards. They are a sign that the digital age has finally dawned in football. And they also show how a telecommunications company like Swisscom can diversify its core business in this era.

Maintenance is important

An LED wall is made of tile-like panels that are one metre high and almost 1.5 metres wide. Nearly 14,000 LED lights light up on every panel and supply extremely sharp pictures. It is immediately obvious when one is broken. And repair is no easy task. Even though LEDs are supposed to have a long service life, the system is continuously exposed to wind and weather and is transported often.

New added value thanks to digital signage

Another product of the digital age is digital signage. It offers a colourful mix of digital services for stadiums and visitors. For example, the information system for visitors via screens. There are also event apps, live voting and SMS services for on-site competitions. Digital signage also offers access management, ticketing, live streaming or central storage of event data.