Matt and Justin recently sat down with Trisha Schuver, Professional Services Manager, for a conversation on The Daktronics Experience podcast. Trisha discusses how Creative Services has shifted their focus during this time and can continue help serve customers in unique ways.
Justin: So today we’re going to talk about Creative Services and how displays and content for displays might help display important messages as people start coming back together.
Trisha: Yes, I think we can all agree 2020 has shaped up a little differently than most of us expected. When we think about what we do, specifically in the sports and entertainment industry, quarantine and the social distancing have really forced us to think outside the box and re-strategize our business. When things were still more uncertain, our design team really dug their heels in and did a great job of creating a large inventory of free content that we made available to our customers to help them communicate different messages about their business and public service messages. Things have been different this year, so we really had to rethink how we could help our customers best.
Matt: How has your group changed and what are they doing to help with some of the new needs we will be seeing?
Trisha: Daktronics has amazing products and we have the great honor of being able to put content on those displays. We all know that any medium of communication is invaluable right now because you just don’t know. You don’t know if your favorite restaurant is open. You don’t know if you can dine in or if you need to carry out. You don’t know if events are happening or what the protocol is. But with a display, communication opportunities are endless. There are so many ways that you can use your displays that were primarily used for entertainment in the past and switch your focus a little bit and start to think about them to help communicate certain messages.
So, we have been following along with what’s going on, what’s coming back and how are they coming back. Thinking about the sports industry, we know there is a ton of uncertainty right now. But what we do know and understand is with the uncertainty, budgets and timelines are tighter than ever before. You know the teams are waiting and getting ready to do what they can. Staffing is sometimes limited, so one of things that we have spent a lot of time on over these last few months is expanding our catalog content library. Our catalog content is something that we have done for years and we’ve continued to evolve it. Today we really do have a robust offering that we are proud of and feel is unique in the industry. We have developed a lot of elements specific for all the primary sports and we also have 6-8 branded styles that we can customize with any text, images or logos. Those packages come with several templates. You get the After Effects file so you can modify them on your own. Our goal for this content catalog is to make sure we are providing customers with high quality content that is flexible, affordable and that we can turn around quickly.
You can check it out on our YouTube channel, and again one of the many ways we are trying helpful with everything going on.
Justin: Can this catalog content be for all markets?
Trisha: Yes. Actually, we were working on content a professional basenall team and they were in desperate need of some cheer animations and prompts early in the season. So, we showed them our catalog and they had picked out three or four different cheer animations. I was talking with a gentleman that works there later in the year and he told me that they loved the custom content, but they continued to use those catalog animations and their fans responded so well to some of those catalog cheer animations. They said for the price they paid and the quick turnaround to get the files, they were really impressed with the impact they had on their game-day presentation. So, our catalog is suitable for high schools to professional teams with different price points.
Matt: When you say it’s customizable, is that so that it matches the team’s branding?
Trish: Yes, and one of the things people fear when they hear the word catalog is that they will get content and everyone else is going to have the same exact thing. That’s not our intention or our goal. These pieces are modifiable, customizable pieces so we are changing the colors, text, logos, icons or whatever it is you want, so it does have that unique feeling.
Matt: Another area that I know Creative Services helps in is the conceptualizing process, when customers get an idea of what a new display or product might look like in their venue. How has that been changing recently as well?
Trisha: Yes, conceptuals or previsualizations. Before COVID, many times we were doing site surveys where we would go out to a venue, meet with a customer in-person and walk around their venue to get a sense of what their objectives are, who their audience is and what they are trying to communicate. Is it that they want to have more live feeds in the concourse area? Or do they want to push concessions? Is it that they need more space for brands or partner recognition? We had the opportunity to do a lot of those pre-COVID. Today, we are still finding ways to have those conversations remotely, through photos or videos.
The objectives or the story has changed a little bit, too. In the past, it was about getting more sponsorship and more entertainment in certain spaces. Today, the conversation is shifting. As people are starting to go back to events and things are starting to kind of get back to normal, we need to direct people more than ever before. We need to communicate more specific messages. So, it’s more strategic thinking, considering the types of displays we put in different locations to help communicate information pre-event. And then when the event is happening, how can we then transition and use those displays accordingly to help create more energy around what’s going on and keep people informed.
Matt: That’s a great point. The need to inform and direct fans will be more important than ever. Even if you’ve been a season ticket holder for many years, it’s not going to be the same experience that you’ve had in the past. They may need to provide information about sanitation or directing people that they can only walk one way.
Trisha: It’s definitely going to be interesting. There is going to be a lot of change in the way productions are handled moving forward. Along those lines, one of the things we have spent quite a bit of time working on over the last several months and have a heavy focus on now is talking to our customers and helping to make sure they are getting the most out of their systems from a production standpoint. We have been providing educational webinars and Facebook Live sessions where our customers are able to join and learn tips and tricks about their control systems. This information could help if teams need to be more efficient with their staff because staff is having to do both streaming and a live production. We are trying to help them get the most out of their Daktronics system.
The other thing that we know is a big topic of conversation is the streaming. If fans can’t be at the game in-person, then we want to stream it for them. We are working to make that option more readily available for all markets.
To hear more about Creative Services, check out the full conversation with Trisha by clicking here.