Big sports venues often have screens showing the live TV feed from the rink, court, field or whatever on the public concourses and in places like corporate suites, so that fans can keep half an eye on the action while getting food or mingling, but the screens at the home of Toronto’s Raptors and Maple Leafs take things a step further with hyper-granular real time data.
Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, which owns both teams, works with Bannister Lake, a data-centric software shop located about 90 minutes south in Cambridge, ON, to put in-house data on screens around Scotiabank Arena.
Screens in the suites, for example, display real-time game statistics, “providing fans with a deeper understanding of the game and allowing them to track the performance of their favorite teams and players,” says Bannister Lake in a company press release.
MLSE ingests the data directly from the leagues, aggregates and manages the content through Chameleon (Bannister Lake’s software), and then distributes it to the venue’s signage system. Fans are exposed to targeted advertising along with game statistics populated within an overlaid L-Bar graphic.
“Bannister Lake now helps our venue effectively manage real-time data content and make it readily available in Scotiabank Arena,” says David August, director of venue technology, MLSE. “Chameleon makes it easy to ingest, aggregate, and customize all kinds of data feeds without the need to write custom code.”
MLSE displays real-time sports data using Chameleon in multiple locations within Scotiabank Arena. End-zone screens located at either end of the venue display game scores from around the NBA and NHL, and the main scoreboard screen displays specific team and player stats based on game action.
The Chameleon platform has a built-in RESTful API that can reformat data and make it available to digital signage CMS platforms and graphics engines. It also allows MLSE staff to direct specific content to specific endpoints.
The company, which also does a lot of work in broadcast for things like real-time election results, is currently testing new data use cases for MLSE, including entry-gate wait times. They might also look at concession and restroom line-up analytics.
Bannister has been doing real-time data aggregation forever, and it is interesting to see the application of it in public places like sports venues. It is also interesting to see content that goes well beyond basic scores and sports news, which a number of good companies like Screenfeed, DataCall, Digichief and Seenspire all provide. That base stuff definitely has a place, but sports junkies love their numbers, and this system appears to spit out plenty.
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.