Digital signage projects have grown a LOT in scale in recent years, but the numbers of projects that involve 10,000-plus screens are still pretty limited. So it’s interesting to see news that Topgolf Entertainment Group has kitted out each of more than 50 venues with 200 or more displays.
Topgolf, if you are not familiar, is a rather amazing entertainment venue that turned the tired old concept of driving ranges completely on its ear. Instead of an empty field on the edge of town, with the office and ball shop in a shack or trailer, Topgolfs are multi-tier facilities in built-up areas that have bar service, food, comfy lounge seating, automated teeboxes and a whole gamification spin that goes way beyond hitting balls.
I remember a friend commenting that this was how millennials were going to play golf – less cost, less time and no real frustration. There are no doubt arguments out there that Topgolf and its clones will bring more people into the game, but wonder how many of those will become real golfers and regularly take five hours to play 18 holes.
Anyway, in this case, Topgolf venues had a pair of smaller screens at each teebox/stall and wanted to change that up. They converted that set-up to single 55-inch LG webOS smart displays that had three stacked content zones.
Says a press release:
To transition Topgolf venues worldwide from simple consumer televisions to immersive commercial displays, LG Business Solutions USA joined forces with AV control software leader SAVI Controls and Topgolf’s systems integrator Diem Digital. Complementing the advanced LG screens is a new solution called SAVI Canvas, which gives Topgolf a unique tri-pane video solution to display broadcast and satellite programs, Topgolf TV, marketing messaging and custom content from its gaming systems, including Toptracer.
“This is a game-changer for the digital experience at Topgolf venues,” says Topgolf Chief Technology Officer Andrew Macaulay. “Our special blend of technology and entertainment connects communities of fans, allowing them to experience the best our technology has to offer. This platform will enable Topgolf to meet business goals while also achieving high standards of performance and aesthetics.”
The system combines the power of SAVI with LG’s award-winning webOS platform to enable Topgolf to control, manage and deliver content to displays over a single network cable, according to SAVI Controls Vice President Byron Baird. “Integration of the LG displays and SAVI Canvas enables Topgolf to manage displays remotely, significantly reduce the failure rate of previous consumer displays and decrease the amount of labor time required for support,” he said.
Diem Digital President Derek Wilson said LG’s hybrid outdoor displays were specifically selected for their reliability, picture quality and customizability. SAVI developed new custom mounts certified for warranty by LG, providing Topgolf improved ongoing service and support for the display hardware.
“As the designer and integrator of audio-visual systems for Topgolf, we have seen first-hand the unmatched reliability of LG products and technologies,” says Diem Digital President Derek Wilson. “Moving to SAVI Canvas on the LG webOS platform also added to the Topgolf brand identity of championing innovations and seamlessly integrating Topgolf’s Toptracer technology into the hitting bay experience.”
I was talking to a consulting client yesterday about the industry and how there are steadily more and more companies that operate outside of the formal digital signage ecosystem putting together solutions that “do” digital signage. In this case, it’s a SAVI adding signage to AV controls.
In most cases, it’s waaaaay easier for an established software company that does other AV things to add video and graphics playout than it is for a software CMS company to add something like AV controls.
I’ve only been to the Vegas Topgolf (there’s always a vendor doing an event there during trade shows), but Topgolf is all over the US and has expanded into markets like Canada, the UK, Australia and Dubai. The one in Vegas, behind the MGM, also has a ton of direct view LED.
Great venue to pop into, even if you don’t play golf or “get” what’s going on.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.