College Football Season, Daktronics and a Personal Rivalry

Take a look at what some of Daktronics’ NCAA college and university customers installed for the upcoming football season.

It’s that time of year again. The temperature is starting to go down a little bit, school is back in session and – most importantly – football is starting back up! I am a fan of watching football at pretty much every level. So far this month, I’ve enjoyed watching the NFL preseason games but the real, meaningful games for NFL and college football are right around the corner. In this post, I’d like to focus more on the college football side of things (since my marketing focus at Daktronics is on college sports) and talk about all the games coming up, including which ones feature new products from us this year.

So, college football, while there were some games played last Saturday – University of Miami vs. The University of Florida at Camping World Stadium and the University of Arizona playing the University of Hawaii at Aloha Stadium, to name a couple – this coming weekend is when the college football season gets a huge jump start to the year.

I was looking at the NCAA football schedule results on Google to see how many schools are going to be playing and, for the top 25 alone, there are 46 different schools playing football this weekend across the country ranging from Thursday to Sunday. I then found a more comprehensive listing on CBS Sports’ website that included a way to list all FBS or FCS schools that are playing Week 1:

  • FBS Week 1 – 82 games/164 schools
  • FCS Week 1 – 72 games/144 schools

With so many games going on in a lot of different stadiums it can be tough to keep track of all the schools that have new Daktronics equipment. In marketing, we like to monitor social media to see if there are any pictures or videos highlighting our products and share them across our channels. So far, I’ve started a list of some of the schools that I know are getting new equipment this year and I’m looking for your help to see if there are any that should be added to my list. If your school (or a school you know of) is not on this list, feel free to email me pictures of the display at matt.anderson@daktronics.com. Or, if you see them on social media this weekend, comment or share using the hashtag #DakCollege.

Alright, here’s a first look at my list along with a quick highlight for what type of equipment they will be getting:

  • Mizzou Football (13HD; 28ft x 159ft)
  • University of Southern Alabama (15HD; 30 x 99.6ft)
  • Central Michigan (13HD; 31ft x 99.6ft)
  • Liberty Bowl – Memphis (main video: 15HD; 48ft x 96ft – ribbon: 15HD 9.6ft x 37ft)
  • Aloha Stadium (15HD; 48ft x 96ft)
  • Samford University (13HD; 25ft x 69.6ft)
  • Pittsburg State University (15HD; 22.8ft x 68ft)
  • Southern Illinois Carbondale (15HD; 28ft x 61ft)
  • University of Central Arkansas (15HD; 36ft x 54ft)
  • Kent State – NPP (1.9mm; 10ft x 18ft)
  • University of Tennessee (Ribbon Display)
  • University of Mass – Amherst
  • Winona State University
  • Purdue University (ribbon: 10ft x 378ft)

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(pictured above: artist’s renderings and pictures of football installs for this year)

As you look at this list, you’ll notice that I included Winona State University at the end. They will be getting a 23-foot-high by 41-foot-wide, 10mm end zone video display along with a new Sportsound® 1500HD audio system. This one really stuck out to me. Not because we published a news release for it, but because we also talked about it in a recent podcast episode. We had Dustin Culhane, one of our account service managers here at Daktronics, join us on the podcast to talk about what services we will be providing for the upcoming football season.

Winona State University 2019

You see, Dustin and I have a history. I went to THE Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota, and Dustin went to Winona State University, one of Northern’s biggest rivals during that time. Adding to the rivalry, Dustin and I were also sales interns for Daktronics at the same time. It was right after we’d graduated from college and we used to go to the games where our two schools played each other.

During these games, however, we wouldn’t talk to each other or even sit by each other during the contest to avoid the potential fallout from our emotions during the game. So, it was fun to talk to him about that on the podcast and to hear he might be coming back to Winona this fall to check out a game and enjoy the experience provided by our new equipment there. As painful as it is for me to say, I might have to line up a trip to join him.

With all that said, I am very excited about this upcoming weekend to watch all these college football games. I feel like what makes college football unique is the importance of winning every game in order to have a shot at the national title. The opening weekend can be a trap for a lot of really good and highly ranked teams that might be overlooking their opponent. And, by doing so, it can have a drastic effect on their entire season. So, I can’t wait to sit down and channel hop between all the different games this weekend and see how everything turns out by the beginning of next week. I hope everyone enjoys the games and has a great weekend!

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