When BB&T Ballpark and its Winston-Salem Dash Minor League Baseball team needed to separate itself from the competition, Sharp was asked to play ball. A four-panel video wall and interactive display system were installed in the exclusive VIP section to give patrons and business partners more bang for their buck.
Business Environment Challenges
Prior to the 2009 season, the Winston-Salem Dash (“the Dash”) Minor League Baseball team was previously known as the Twins, Cardinals, Red Birds, Red Sox, Spirits and Warthogs. Despite the name changes, the Class-A Advanced baseball organization was consistently successful in grooming players for the big league. In fact, since joining the Carolina League™ in 1945 as the Cardinals, 349 players in the Winston-Salem, NC-based franchise have moved up to the big league.
Although its successful tradition laid the foundation for a promising future, the Dash needed a heavy hitter to complete its prestigious “Flow Club” room. The 5,000 square foot, air-conditioned VIP area inside BB&T Ballpark was using five 50" TVs scattered around for entertainment and communications purposes. It needed an upgrade to complete its all-inclusive, upscale, sports bar environment.
Aside from the roughly 70 baseball games per year, there are also about 200 non-baseball events where the Flow Club and other parts of the stadium are used as a destination for events including proms, weddings, class reunions and corporate functions. A traditional projector, pull-down screen and all the cumbersome cords that went along with it, were used for these occasions. It was time to break away from the competition and provide major league amenities in the minor league stadium. That’s when Sharp was asked to step out of the dugout and up to the plate.
Business Technology Solutions
Sharp hit one out of the park by adding a video wall of four 60” Class (60” diagonal) professional LED displays in a 2x2 configuration to the Flow Club. With up to 700 cd/m2 brightness, 4000:1 contrast ratio and Sharp UV2A LCD Technology for exceptionally deep blacks and bright vivid colors, the ultra-slim-bezel video wall allowed a breathtaking view from any area of the room.
The multipurpose video wall can show up to four local ballgames or big league games including the Dash’s Chicago affiliate, on four separate screens or as one big screen. The video wall in the Flow Club, named in honor of sponsor Flow Automotive Companies, can also show partnership advertising content or any other presentations when needed.
Sharp Business Systems in North Carolina (Sharp) has had an alliance with the ballpark for five years prior to the installment of the video wall. To commence the 2017 baseball season, Sharp, through integrator CIAv, also added an AQUOS BOARD® interactive display system for meetings. The wall-mounted 80” Class (80” diagonal) interactive display joined an existing 70” Class (69.5” diagonal) interactive display. The two interactive displays and video wall allows the Dash organization and its partners to have meetings with ultimate collaboration and communication tools.
According to Sharp’s North Carolina Branch Sales Manager Richard Shackleford, establishing partnerships and a sense of community is a core value of BB&T Ballpark. “The organization is very loyal to its business alliances,” he explains. “Each company is allowed to reserve the ballpark for one night per year to use for a board meeting or an outing. With the new video wall and second interactive display installed, they get a greatly improved VIP area that many minor league teams don’t offer. This adds more value to their sponsorship’s investments.”
“Family Movie Night” is one of the many community events that Sharp cosponsors at BB&T Ballpark. “Families from the area get to watch a movie free of charge on the big screen if they bring canned food items for a local food bank,” Shackleford says. “Families get popcorn, peanuts, drinks and snacks, and they can either sit in the stands or relax in sleeping bags on the field.”
The Winston-Salem Dash has received a great deal of positive feedback from the new Sharp Pro AV products in the Flow Club.
“Our season ticket holders and corporate partners love the new displays,” says Corey Bugno, VP of Corporate Partnerships for the Winston-Salem Dash. “Although many major league teams offer this all-inclusive, sports bar-style set-up, a lot of minor league teams don’t. Therefore, partners feel a sense of pride when they show clients the Club. A ticket for the Flow Club during baseball games includes a parking pass and access to an upscale buffet. With all this, plus the new video wall and 80” Class (80” diagonal) interactive display, everyone who invests in a Flow Club ticket recognizes the added value.”
In addition, the new Sharp Pro AV equipment is expected to help book events when no baseball games are being played. “Our event manager loves how it’s an easy, plug-and-play system,” Bugno says. “It used to be more time-consuming with cords running everywhere, trying to sync everything up, so the new displays are a huge selling point for her when booking the stadium. Plus her time is freed up because she can now quickly explain to people how the equipment works, then they’re up and running.” Also new on the team are three Sharp Advanced Series color document systems that the organization uses to create brochures and other in-house marketing solutions to save money without sacrificing quality.
Prior to the 2017 season, BB&T Ballpark already had eight Sharp 60” Class (60-1/16” diagonal) monitors that hang in the concourse to show partnership advertising content. In addition, there are around 10 total Sharp displays that have built-in digital tuners around the ballpark. They range in size from 42” (41.9” diagonal) to 70” Class (69.5” diagonal). Now that the equipment roster has been updated, the Winston-Salem Dash and the BB&T Ballpark can offer a major league experience at a minor league ticket.
“Our season ticket holders and corporate partners love the new displays.”