As anyone who’s been to a UT Vols football game can tell you (or an Alabama game if you prefer), there’s no excitement like that feeling you get when you’re in your seats, cheering on your team, and if you’re having a good day – seeing your team win. What’s not always as fun is trying to arrive at the stadium, as the crowds can be overwhelming, parking is often a mess, and if its your first time you might be quite lost on how to get where you need to go. You certainly don’t want to miss kick-off right? Fortunately that’s where signage comes in. Whether you’re attending a Major League Soccer game in Nashville, a Major League Baseball game in Atlanta, a college football game, or any other sports event, you may not realize how much you truly rely on signage, as do the venues and teams themselves.
- Wayfinding Signage
Perhaps the most crucial signage you need as a fan is wayfinding signage. Wayfinding signage includes everything from parking lot signs telling you where you need to go, and for after the game where you parked, along with signs directing you to different seat sections in the sports arena. Even after you’ve found your seats signs can help you find the bathrooms, the concession stands, and the merch booths.
- Electronic Signs and Scoreboards
One sign you’ll encounter at many indoor and outdoor sports event, that for some is becoming increasingly more obvious, is the importance of digital signage and scoreboards. Scoreboards have not always been digital, but they’ve always been an important way of conveying the score to anyone who’s needing to know, along with other key details. Back in the day these could be changed out by hand, but now they’re run by sophisticated digital LED displays which allow for quicker, easier changes. Many of these digital displays also help with the entertainment between innings or plays, i.e. kiss cams, fan catches, and a myriad of other traditions unique to each team.
- Advertisements and Marketing
Now these messages may not be a fan’s favorite, but undoubtedly for teams looking to capitalize on their audience, digital displays, wall graphics, murals, and many other types of signs, help allow them to sell space or time to make money by displaying advertisements. Of course these are also used for marketing of the team itself, as they can highlight announcements for future games, or events taking place in the stadium, and also reminders to buy more concessions and shop for more merch.
4. Signage On the Road
Everything we’ve covered thus far pertains largely to the facilities where sports teams play. Yet signage doesn’t just stop and start at the stadium. Teams want to make themselves known as they travel, and that often includes wraps for their tour buses, as exemplified here by one of the Chattanooga Red Wolves touring buses. These wraps can serve as moving marketing machines for the team, as they hope to garner attention and fans even well beyond the city they’re based out of.