SBJ/May 22-28, 2017/Facilities

Texas hires ANC for video board upgrades

The University of Texas has hired ANC to overhaul and upgrade video boards in Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium as part of a $4.5 million project.

A new video display in the stadium’s south end zone will be the centerpiece of the deal. The size of the board — 55.85 feet high by 134.4 feet wide — will not change, keeping it the fourth-largest board among college football stadiums, but ANC will significantly improve the quality of the picture.

The centerpiece will be a new video display in the south end zone at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.
Rendering by: ANC
ANC is working with Mitsubishi Electric, which will manufacture the new video board for the south end zone. ANC officials said the 16mm display with more than 2.7 million physical pixels will be the largest of its kind in college athletics at that quality level. The more pixels, the greater level of detail in the video, and the Mitsubishi physical pixels are specially designed to have the highest brightness for the glaring Texas sun.

“Texas is going to have the clearest, deepest images in college athletics,” said Jerry Cifarelli Jr., ANC’s vice president of collegiate sales, who led the pitch for the Texas business.

The new boards also will create new advertising and sponsorship inventory for Texas’ multimedia rights partner, IMG College, to sell.

Arthur Johnson, an executive senior associate athletic director who spearheaded the selection process for Texas, said the old 23mm video board was approaching 10 years old and its picture quality no longer met the expectations of fans.

“We knew we needed to upgrade the board because technology changes so fast,” Johnson said. “It’s like your televisions and computers at home.”

The Longhorns’ front office began meeting about a new video board after the football season and hired WJHW, a Dallas audio-visual firm that consults with universities and a range of other clients. WJHW worked with Texas on a request for proposal that went out in late March.

ANC, which eventually will have someone in Austin full time to manage the relationship, emerged as the winner after four vendors submitted bids. The $4.5 million price tag includes the video board in the south end zone, upgraded ribbon boards and several more fascia boards at different levels of the stadium. In addition, the price covers a video board and scoreboard for the newly constructed tennis facility.

As part of the deal, ANC will work with the Longhorns’ production team to create content and operate the displays on game day and for other live events.

Prior to hiring ANC for this project, Texas has had a longstanding relationship with Daktronics, and that will continue given how many Daktronics boards are still in use at athletic venues around campus, Johnson said.

But ANC’s win at Texas represents another major step forward for the company that was acquired by Learfield in March 2015. From 2010 through 2014, ANC averaged six new college projects a year. The company surged in 2015 with 20 new college projects and since January 2016, ANC has picked up 37 new projects in the college space.

Construction on the new boards at Texas will begin right away and completion is expected by late July. Some of the existing infrastructure will be preserved and re-used by ANC, which helps keep costs in check, the school said.
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