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Digital Signage Turns Profit for Rose Garden Arena

The Rose Garden is a $267 million, multi-purpose arena that is a part of The Rose Quarter in Portland, Oregon and home to Portland Trail Blazers NBA franchise. The arena’s digital signage network had become outdated over time, leading the management team to seek a solution that would help to improve menu presentations for increased concession sales, improve fan information flow, and create new sponsorship opportunities.
"As buildings get older you start to reinvent them – re-architect, change concourse elements and other enhancements," explains Chris Dill, VP, CIO of the Portland Trail Blazers. "In the NBA, it is about continually updating your building, adding bars, reinventing spaces, updating technology and continually improving the fan experience which can help support price increases as needed.”
The Rose Garden's management team wanted the system to be much more than just a loop of content. The goal of the project was to use current LCD screens positioned at concession stands and at facility entrances to provide bright vibrant menus and pricing, as well as advertisements, messaging and other multimedia content.
To help reduce capital expenditures, the entire system also needed to run over the facility's existing coax cable and needed to be user-friendly. What’s more, the system needed to be up and running for the pre-season opening game.
Phase one
Omnivex Moxie software was ultimately selected to manage the Rose Garden's system. The initial phase of the digital signage implementation was concentrated within Portland's Rose Garden Arena. The first step was to replace all of the facility's concession stand cathode ray tube (CRT) screens, which were displaying a loop of menu content played on DVD players. In the summer of 2009, all of the Rose Garden Arena's concession CRT screens were removed and a new digital signage network consisting of more than 250 LCDs was installed. Moxie software was used to create content and manage the 250 screen digital signage network, which they have branded as Digital Impact.
Screens range in size from 32 to 47 inches and are located throughout the facility's many food concession stands. The screens are configured in arrays of 1x7, 1x5, 1x4 and 1x3 walls, which were placed both inside and outside of the concession stands for maximum visibility for guests. The Rose Garden uses the Micros POS system and has the menu item descriptions and prices stored in the Data Pipe Client, which the Ovations Food Services group has access to for easy changes as needed. Operating costs associated with maintaining such a large network have been minimized since no additional content creation is required to make a change to the digital signage, nor is there a requirement for the third-party vendors to be trained on Moxie software.   
The digital menu board content is augmented with advertising and sponsor branding. This provides the Arena with the ability to generate revenue by selling advertising space on the screens. "We use Moxie's ad management functionality to create rules regarding when and where content should and should not be shown," says Dill. "The software eliminates the need to us to create many complex playlists, as we would need to do had we selected other products. Instead, the system manages itself through the meta-data and rule building functionality."
Phase two
In phase two of the deployment, the management team decided to deploy a 3 x 3 video wall to show content directed at the 6,500 season's ticket holders, to provide them with a more personalized experience at the venue.
Additional screens were deployed throughout the facility to welcome the general public to the venue and encourage them to come to the games and to expand the fan base. Other screens within the facility highlight upcoming events, promote fan activities and involvement, offer brand exposure for sponsors, and add to the overall visitor experience.
Phase two also included adding ‘information channels,’ which were created for the suites and VIP club to convey information to enhance the experience for visitors to those spaces. The customer feedback has been very good. All of the digital signage throughout the Rose Garden is managed remotely using Moxie software.
Moxie also has user permissioning, allowing the various departments responsible for the content creation, deployment and billing process to access their parts (eg: accounting for the reporting metrics and proof of play logs, marketing for advertisements, food services vendors for the menu items, IT and TV broadcast departments for the live game feeds). "We really liked Moxie's ad management module, which allows us to run the ads, manage the ads, schedule the ads and provide records of which ads ran," says Dill.
The addition of the digital signage has added to the aesthetic appeal of the entire concourse, making it brighter and more vibrant. Fans are pleased because they are able to continue watching the game while they are in line to purchase food and drinks. There is a decreased perceived wait time at the concession stands and the food service vendors are satisfied with the improved efficiency during the ordering process that they have noticed.
The new digital signage system has proven to be a successful revenue generating stream. The Rose Garden has 20 fifteen-second ad spaces available, which they sell to advertisers on a yearly basis. "The entire system, including hardware, software and installation cost the stadium $450,000. If all of the available advertising spots were sold, the system would be paid off within one year, with $150,000 profit," says Dill. There has also been a marked increase in concession sales, which management believes to be a direct correlation between the ads that are shown on the screens and the items that are having the highest sales.
Future plans for digital signage at the Rose Garden include personalizing the screens in the suites with messaging and content specific to each skybox owner. In addition, there are plans to expand the digital signage throughout the common areas and concourses, and could possibly extend to the adjoining convention center space at a later date. There are also plans to implement a property-wide dynamic wayfinding system, which would utilize Moxie's Map Builder module, across all buildings encompassed at the Rose Quarter. "We have plans to deploy subsequent phases of the digital signage system, in all kinds of applications, every 1 - 2 years," says Dill.

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