Changing the Game: MLB Stadium Advertising Has Evolved with Digital Signage

Changing the Game: MLB Stadium Advertising Has Evolved with Digital Signage

Changing the Game: MLB Stadium Advertising Has Evolved with Digital Signage

  • On February 2, 2024
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In the world of modern sports venues, digital signage is transforming the traditional stadium experience, especially in major league baseball (MLB). While the excitement on the field is always a highlight for fans, modern MLB parks harness the power of signage technology to bring the fan experience at sporting events into the 21st century. Stadium digital screens create captivating experiences for sports fans, provide guidance to guests, and facilitate engaging stadium advertising.

But just how influential are these digital displays? In this article, we will delve into the evolution of advertising in MLB stadiums, the rise of digital signage technology, and the myriad of modern stadium advertising opportunities to explore. We’ll also cover some of the most successful digital signage campaigns in MLB stadiums, as well as how Keyser can assist you in implementing successful MLB stadium advertising.

History of advertising in MLB stadiums

Stadium advertising boards have undergone significant evolution over the years. Before today’s dynamic jumbotron scoreboards existed, most advertising was static and relied on wooden signs and baseball cards. These early forms of professional sports advertising marked a pivotal moment in the industry. Brands utilized the popularity of baseball stars by featuring them as inserts in cigarette packs, aiming to boost sales and cultivate brand loyalty. These innovative approaches by tobacco corporations effectively turned prominent athletes into powerful advertising mediums, revolutionizing the landscape of sports marketing.

A few years and a World War later and print advertising was the hottest thing on the street. More specifically, the Wheaties Breakfast of Champions campaign was among the early forms of print advertising programs in the MLB. It started putting photographs of athletes on its packaging to help sell the brand. However, the images were on the packaging’s side or back. Famous athletes dominating the top of cereal boxes began in the 1950s and are still being used today.

Challenges with static advertising

Early forms of static advertising, while groundbreaking at the time, presented significant challenges that hindered their effectiveness. Some of these challenges included:

  1. Limited creativity: Static banners and concise text offered little room for creativity, making it challenging to create visually appealing and personalized advertisements.
  2. Lack of flexibility: Once printed or installed, static ads were difficult to modify or update, posing a problem for advertisers needing to adjust their messaging or target specific audiences throughout a game or season.
  3. Visual clutter: With multiple static ads vying for attention in a confined space, visual clutter made it difficult for individual ads to stand out and capture the viewers’ attention effectively.
  4. Low engagement: Static display formats were susceptible to banner fatigue, as viewers could become desensitized to repetitive content, leading to reduced engagement and diminished impact.

The emergence of digital signage in MLB stadiums

Large stadium ads made their debut in the MLB during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Static sports stadium billboards were strategically placed along the outfield walls and other visible areas. Over time, technological advancements led to the introduction of digital signage, with the first LED screens appearing in the early 2000s. These LED displays revolutionized arena advertising, allowing for more dynamic and eye-catching content.

Today, MLB stadiums feature state-of-the-art video boards, high-resolution LED screens, and immersive multimedia experiences, creating an advertising landscape that captivates fans and maximizes revenue opportunities for both teams and advertisers.

These screens were bigger than any other consumer signage market display ever. Safeco Field in Seattle, one of the earliest stadiums, debuted a 1,152-square-foot LED display in 2003.

Although baseball cards and printed scorecards are no longer used as marketing tools, today’s marketers have new ways of implementing successful advertising campaigns when developing strategic marketing plans for sports teams, athletes, franchises, and stadiums.

Benefits of digital signage in MLB stadium advertising

Digital signage is the standard in today’s market. All Major League Baseball stadiums have digital displays and see numerous advantages, including:

  • Increased revenue opportunities: Larger digital displays attract more attention and increase viewer engagement. Investing in digital signage for sporting facilities can be a major selling point, especially for owners attempting to secure new advertising partnerships.
  • Enhanced fan experience: Digital signage offers a lot of opportunities to elevate the fan experience. From watching the live action on the field to giving details on the players’ hobbies, interests, and game statistics for the entire season.
  • Greater flexibility for advertisers: Digital stadium signage is highly adaptable and can be customized for practically anything, allowing advertisers to get creative with their campaigns. For example, advertisers could run customized campaigns with messages to the fans from their favorite players.
  • Improved ROI tracking: Digital signage systems in major league baseball stadiums enable marketers to more accurately and immediately monitor the performance of their efforts. They get critical insights on where to improve their campaigns for maximum engagement.
  • Better brand recognition: Digital signage in MLB stadium advertising offers numerous opportunities to showcase your brand to spectators. With a variety of advertising locations, including stadium screens and billboards, even the most ambitious marketing campaigns can effectively reach the target audience, ensuring maximum visibility and brand exposure.

Successful digital signage campaigns in MLB stadiums

Digital signage in stadiums is awe-inspiring, and over the years, numerous companies have executed remarkable campaigns in MLB that have captivated both stadium and home fans. Here are a few noteworthy examples:

Coca Cola

Coca-Cola interacts with its customers through various marketing initiatives, alliances, and MLB sponsorships at a number of MLB stadium locations, such as the Washington Nationals Park. It has made use of a variety of strategies in its stadium sponsorships to improve the patron experience. 

In 2018, Coke launched a campaign providing baseball fans access to exclusive video content and other features. Alongside digital signage, this campaign utilizes augmented reality (AR) technology and virtual reality (VR) technology, facial recognition, and a mobile app. By leveraging these advanced technologies, Coca-Cola effectively connects with fans and establishes a stronger brand connection, ultimately contributing to the success and impact of its stadium advertising campaign.

T-Mobile

Over nearly a decade of collaboration with the MLB, T-Mobile has continuously sought innovative ways to enhance the baseball fan experience. One notable initiative that has cemented their brand as fan-centric is the “T-Mobile Tuesdays” MLB offer. This campaign, which provides fans with exclusive perks and promotions, demonstrates T-Mobile’s commitment to prioritizing the needs and desires of fans. 

By offering free rewards and experiences, T-Mobile not only reinforces its brand presence but also fosters a strong connection with MLB fans, positioning itself as a company that goes the extra mile to engage and reward its customers. This approach has undoubtedly contributed to the campaign’s success and recognition as a standout example of effective stadium advertising in the MLB.

Budweiser

Budweiser, the MLB‘s longest-serving partner, exemplifies effective digital signage used in stadium advertising. With a focus on community connection, Budweiser aims to be present during memorable moments and engage directly with fans. One notable campaign, ‘Hit the Buds,’ introduced during the 2020 World Series, demonstrates their innovative approach. In this campaign, lucky spectators seated in the Budweiser ‘Hit the Buds’ area have the opportunity to win prizes when a home run is hit into that section. 

This strategic combination of digital signage, targeted seating, and exciting rewards creates an immersive and rewarding experience for fans, fostering a stronger connection between Budweiser and baseball enthusiasts. By using these engaging tactics, Budweiser showcases the power of digital signage in capturing attention and enhancing the overall fan experience.

Why work with a digital signage company?

When it comes to implementing digital signage in MLB stadiums, partnering with a digital signage company like Keyser elevates the execution process. In addition to providing cutting-edge technology and expertise, Keyser can make the installation process and permit acquisition easier for MLB teams. Let’s explore the advantages of working with a digital signage company for seamless integration.

  • Expertise and experience: Digital signage companies have extensive experience in designing, installing, and managing outdoor advertising solutions. Our expertise ensures that the stadium’s unique requirements and constraints are taken into account, resulting in an optimized advertising environment.
  • Tailored solutions: By collaborating with a digital signage company, MLB teams can benefit from custom signage solutions catering to their needs. Keyser understands the complexities of MLB stadiums, including architectural considerations, seating layouts, and fan behavior. Our customized approach ensures that the digital signage seamlessly integrates with the stadium’s infrastructure.
  • Simplified installation process: Installing digital signage in an MLB stadium involves intricate planning, coordination, and technical know-how. A digital signage company like Keyser takes care of the entire installation process, including the mounting of displays, wiring, and integration with existing systems. Our expertise streamlines the implementation, saving time and resources for MLB teams.
  • Permit acquisition assistance: Obtaining permits and approvals for digital signage installation can be a challenging process. Keyser has experience navigating the permit acquisition process for stadium advertising, reducing the administrative burden for MLB teams. We understand the regulations and requirements, ensuring compliance and a smooth permit acquisition process.
  • Ongoing support and maintenance: Digital signage requires ongoing support and maintenance to ensure optimal performance. Partnering with a digital signage company provides access to a dedicated team of professionals who can monitor, troubleshoot, and maintain the system. Keyser offers timely support, minimizing downtime and maximizing the effectiveness of stadium advertising.

Keyser ensures seamless integration of digital signage, enhancing revenue opportunities and fan experience in your stadium. By partnering with a trusted digital signage provider, MLB teams can focus on what they do best—delivering an unforgettable game day experience for their fans.

Investing in stadium advertising with Keyser

While enormous digital screens and signage may have been novel in the 2000s, they are now an essential part of the MLB and a number of other sports leagues like the NBA, NFL, NHL, and in college sports stadiums. For sports advertisers interested in investing more in stadium advertising, working with a digital signage partner is a great way to ensure you’re getting what you pay for.

With years of experience in the digital signage industry, Keyser offers solutions that feature customized messaging, modern hardware, and real-time content upgrades. With the help of our variety of cutting-edge digital signage systems, businesses can improve customer satisfaction, boost revenue, and raise brand recognition. Get in touch with Keyser today to learn more about our services and how they can help your MLB stadium advertising.

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